Well, where to begin ? I'm sure the majority of users will of at least heard of Cannibal Corpse - for better or for worse - and I suspect a fair chunk of you have heard their music.
Cannibal Corpse could be described as the stereotypical Death Metal band to the untrained listener and viewer - long hair, black t shirts, gore lyrics, pounding drums and walls of guitars, top it off with a singer with the nickname 'Corpsegrinder' and we've completed the package.
But this view would be unfair to say the least; 'Corpse perform an extremely tight live act and studio effort - surgically precise, visceral and overflowing with energy, mainly due to their vastly under-rated technical proficiency in the guitar and bass department. But yes, the lyrics are simplistic and generic, but where do you think that stereotype came from ? ... a very big thankyou in part to the 'Corpse for that one.
Formed back in 1988 in New York, 'Corpse carved their way through the music scene and eventually found themself as the most commercially successful Death Metal band in the industry today, having achieved platinum status commercially.
With a steady release of decent albums and high rated tours, the band raised to the level it is now - even line up changes and the loss of original singer, song writer and main creative force - Chris Barnes - didn't manage to hold them back.
With George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher now in the vocal duties, they took on a slightly more varied vocal approach, yet the song writing remained the same; frantic riffing, clearly audible bass levels, simplistic blast beat drumming and throaty growled out vocals.
A few studio albums, a live CD/DVD, a best of and more line-up changes later, the band still stands proud and arguably, at their finest. The line up now stands as:
George ''Corpsegrinder'' Fisher - Vocals
Paul Mazurkiewicz - Drums
Pat O'Brien - Guitar
Alex Webster - Bass
Rob Barrett - Guitar
A deadly combination of hardened veterains; Pat having played in thrash/ metal giants, Nevermore, Alex Webster with his fearsome bass ability and reputation, Corpsegrinder having established himself as THE Cannibal Corpse vocalist and long standing members Paul and Rob [ Paul being an original member and Rob playing with the band for a few years in the 90s ], the line-up seems perfect for a sharpened, precise and brutal effort. And thats exactly what 'Kill' achieves.
Cannibal Corpse have been heavily critisised, even by some of their fan base, that there is no where near enough variety in their career, their song writing, approach and general output have been far too similar to deem the band was even trying to evolve or achieve new sounds.
'Kill' is a step forwards for the band but is still deeply rooted in their previous sound and approach. Basically they turned everything up a notch.
The thrashing opener 'The Time to Kill is Now', opens up with a throaty, piercing scream 'Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiill' from Corpsegrinder, backed by a typical frantic 'Corpse riff, then a blistering all out solo and we're back to the metalfest with Corpsegrinder growling at a very fast pace. Then comes 2 riffs in succession with brilliant use of harmonics intertwined with chugging 7 string guitars, slowing the song right down, ending with a climax of Corpsegrinder chanting 'THE TIME TO KILL IS NOW'.
The songs vary in tempo from all out thrash and death fests, to mid paced chugs for the hardened headbangers out there, down to doom laden riffage that carves a slow, deep, thick valley of a song for 4 minutes. The album is kept fresh by mixing every possible combination of fast and slow for each instrument. The vocals are sprayed out like a machine gun over gigantic and sludgy riffing, only to switch to blistering blasts of termelo picked fury with Corpsegrinder taking a back seat, letting the music do the talking, only to punch in at moments to take sharp and deliberate jabs on your aural senses.
The addition of an instrumental closer - Infinate Misery - adds a new dimension, although heavy, it builds layer upon layer, progressing and slowly letting you out of the madness that was 'Kill'. A stark contrast to the all out assault on the sense approach that the previous songs took.
The first song is a showcase of the new 'Corpse sound; still with their trademark sound but with a 'go a bit further' mentality.
The guitars are thick, scratchy and buzzsaw like; gone are the days of slightly pale and thin tone, in is a brutal palette of rought, yet sharp guitars - like a rusty blade it cuts and slices yet leaves a rough, stinging and burning sensation.The riffs have gone up a few notches on the technicality scale; pinpoint accuracy and scalpel sharp riffage is contrasted by searing yet clean wah soaked leads. The Bb tuned 7 string guitars offer a nice punch that drags a thick miasma with it, leaving a very overwhelming sensation in the tone.
The bass is thick, decisive and punchy; backing the guitars perfectly for a large wall of sound that saturates the speakers nicely. The tone is very clean with no fuzz or distortion, offering a very shimmering and stark contrast to the sandpaper like guitars. The bass is handled very well as a backup instrument and also very well as a soundscape in its own - Alex follows Pat and Rob to the wire, yet flinches out now and again with unexpected little pops or his own signiture styles. 'The Discipline of Revenge' for example contans a very exotic and unique bass line in its intro, much like a throwback to the bass solo sensation in the intro to the 'Corpse classic, 'Hammer Smashed Face'.
The drums are higher in the mix with the snare and kick drums piercing the madness much more than on previous work, the kit seems more driven and purposeful. Still keeping to his plentiful use of blastbeats, Paul keeps the 'Corpse flame alive, yet delivers his work with a new sense of urgency and dedication. His snare hits are more consice and reasoned, not just a time keeper or a sound filler, they ring true and add a new facet to the already deep sound of the album.
Corpsegrinder gives it his all, offering us a lot of variety - throwing in high screams, lower growls, fast paced vocals and slow paced vocals that are an absolute dirge, all adding to the flavour and colour of the album. Not one to be a crooner, his vocals and lyrics are still the equivalent of a steaming puddle of fresh bile, yet they are delivered with a new passion that makes your hair stand up and your blood run cold. A very dedicated new approach that takes on a bit more of a prominent role in the whole mix.
Produced by a certain Erik Rutan of Hate Eternal and Morbid Angel fame, the new album has a much glossier and crisp production to it. No more blending of instruments and loss of frequencies, everything is layered in harmony to create a dense, lush and organic sound.
The guitars are bright and full of power yet they never crush the rest of the band. Alex's bass is a perfect back up - covering the bass end extremely well - popping out of the mix at moments to add variety and flash to already brilliant parts.
The drums are clearer and feel more 'alive' than before; no longer masked with a flat and dull tone, they crash through, pounding and slashing through the speakers, filling every available space of the human hearing range.
And finally, Mr Corpsegrinder. No huge improvements tone wise, but he has certainly upped his game with a slightly more primal and forceful feel to his voice. He's not just growling over music anymore - he is GROWLING in CANNIBAL CORPSE. I felt typing it like that summed up his new found attitude, he's not just a vocalist ... he's THE VOCALIST.
Basically, its a more tight, condensed and razor sharp effort than their previous offerings.
1. The Time to Kill Is Now
2. Make Them Suffer
3. Murder Worship
4. Necrosadistic Warning
5. Five Nails Through the Neck
6. Purification by Fire
7. Death Walking Terror
8. Barbaric Bludgeonings
9. The Discipline of Revenge
10. Brain Removal Device
12. Submerged in Boiling Flesh
13. Infinite Misery
Conclusions and opinions:
Cannibal Corpse fans will not be disappointed by this effort as it rings true to their previous work so well, fans of the band will see this is a brilliant slab of death metal from a band that hasn't really proven to disappoint in their career. Definately worth picking up, definately worth hearing and definately worth buying ahead of a few of their efforts. Although the band has evolved and improved, I am 100% confident that not a single fan can or will be alienated by anything on this album.
To the sceptics and critics: yes, they have stuck to a formula for their career, yes it works, yes a lot of people like and you may not BUT, if you are an ex-fan, a death metaller with a grudge against 'Corpse or merely interested yet put off by this talk of unoriginality and generic sound please, do yourself a favour and give this a shot.
Don't expect a new band; don't expect it to sound like Dream Theater on acid and amphetamines but, do approach it with a bit more of an open mind. It WILL sound like .. Cannibal Corpse, but they have taken a very well thought out and very decisive step towards a more honed and sharp sound.
They've done it again - they've created another album that stands as a lesson on how to write and play straight up death metal. No gimmicks. No self indulgent wank fests for minutes on end. No surprise twists to change your whole opinion of this band.
Their tenth studio offering show that like a wine, this band gets better with age; their sound has progressed for the better, improving in every department and bringing good, well writen death metal to the table in a music industry where it seems to be all about being the fastest, loudest or whatnot.
If you like death metal, give it a listen.
If you like metal, give it a listen.
If you like Cannibal Corpse, do not miss it.
Riff after riff after riff after riff after riff after riff after riff.
Straight up death metal, no strings attached.
Corpse fans won't be disappointed.
A very good step in a very good direction.
It's Cannibal Corpse.
The words "Cannibal Corpse" will make a lot of people turn a deaf ear.
Certainly not for fans of extreme music.
Although theyve evolved, its not a huge step, or even a big one for that matter, so there WILL be complaints that they haven't changed.
Not for Death metallers searching for the be-all, end-all of technical, fast, heavy music.
It's Cannibal Corpse.
This is my first review in a loooong time and I tried to review it in a way describing the albums sound, approach, differences and features. This is a biased review from a death metal and Cannibal Corpse fan so I tried to review the sound, production, advancements and also describe the sound and levels that the album produced, in an attempt to not brown nose the band and songs individually.
Any comments on how to imporve, images, layout, etc are greatly appreciated. Comment away :)