Review Summary: An excellent Cannibal Corpse release, suffering only from its brevity and lack of diversity throughout the songs.
On behalf of Cannibal Corpse
, I present to you the Hammer Smashed Face
EP. Seasoned fans of Cannibal Corpse should be aware just by the title track that this offering is sure to deliver an aggressive listening experience. Featuring the infamous tracks Meat Hook Sodomy
and Shredded Humans
, this is a nonstop death metal sonic assault. Because it is an Extended Play, it's of course destined to be short winded. That being said, brevity is seems to be the album's only affliction.
Hammer Smashed Face
begins with its notorious title track. What more can be said that hasn't already been said about this track? The distinctive opening riff on top of the heavy layered bass is sure to inspire a bout of neck and head injuries. One thing undoubtedly can be said about this track, and I only know one way to put it: it's got chug
. It crushes along furiously over the indecipherable lyrics, and if you can't see the beauty in that then you don't have the balls for the songs to follow.
The follow up to the band's most notorious song is The Exorcist
, a Possessed
cover taken from their legendary Seven Churches
album. This one doesn't quite live up to its predecessor but it is excellent nonetheless, and it yields a short, somewhat uninspired solo. The vocals are a little bit more intelligible, but they are still next to impossible to separate clearly from the instruments.
After The Exorcist
, we are greeted by a sinister fade-in intro featuring the whammy bar antics of Rob Barrett over the distorted power chords from the rhythm section. The aforementioned section is the intro to Zero The Hero
another cover, this time courtesy of Black Sabbath
. It's to be expected that Cannibal Corpse made the song noticeably heavier, but as a Black Sabbath fan I can sincerely say that 'Corpse did a good job on this one. The vocals are night and day, but if you like Chris Barnes you'll appreciate this.
That leads us to Meat Hook Sodomy
. Second to Hammer Smashed Face
, this song features the most infamous Cannibal Corpse lyrics. Although far from insightful, these lyrics are, to be honest, superb. The song is about a serial killer that experiences gruesome murder and gore as a kind of introspective therapy.
Obscene feelings deep inside me
Condemned to life of obscurity
Dismal dimensions of my being, I explore my thoughts through murder
Devoting my life to mutilation
Disgusting to the world
Beauty to my eyes
Invigorating while I kill, intoxicating
Invoking suffering on human beings
Grinding orifices my only therapy
Mounds of flesh, deformation
Skulls of victims stacked like trophies
The final track, Shredded Humans
, is probably my all-time favorite Cannibal Corpse song. Of course this one wouldn't be complete without a gruesome storyline. This is about a family that goes on a road trip but is instead made the unfortunate victim of a murderous maniac.
Early hours, open road, family of five, on their way home
Having enjoyed a day in the sun, their encounter with gore has just begun
A homicidal fool not knowing left from right, now has the family in his sight
Trying to perceive if he's blind or insane, he steers his car into the other lane
This track yields two chaotic and of course amelodic solos courtesy of Bob Rusay and Rob Barrett. Both of these leads sustain the energy level and greatly add to the flow of the song. The vocals are top-notch, and the riffs are catchy and relentless.
Don't expect stunning technicality from this EP. It has one purpose, and that is brutal delivery, plain and simple.
Clean production, perfect for this EP
Great cover art
Lack of solos