Review Summary: Perfectly familiar
What band has one of the strongest vocalists, some of the best rhythm guitarists, arguably the best bassist, and one of the most hugely innovative and influential drummers in all of their genre? If you said Iron Maiden then, well you wouldn’t really be wrong, but in this case we’re talking about the colossal and top-of-the-human-food-chain death metal band, Cannibal Corpse. They really need no introduction. They’ve been one of the best, most consistent, and well known bands in the death metal scene for nearly the last 30 years. They’re honestly one of the few big bands who remains doing death metal the way that it was when it started. While to some, that’s the biggest turn off musically, to many others this is all they could possible ask for. So have Cannibal Corpse delivered the bloody, gruesome, meaty slab of metal that their fans crave oh so much?
This album isn’t much different than anything that anyone would expect from the band. George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher sounds just as monstrous and in your face as he ever has. He’s simply one of the greatest, and most consistent vocalists in all of death metal and even metal as a whole. The only real complaint in the vocal department would be that some of the vocal patterns feel a little awkward, which is a bit disappointing. Some of the biggest selling points of Cannibal Corpse bangers - many times - are the catchy vocal patterns. Though this isn’t George’s fault whatsoever, as the rest of the band writes lyrics and vocal patterns. There are plenty of fun catchy lines to sing along to as well, though (the outro to “Heads Shoveled Off” comes to mind). One small vocal tidbit worth mentioning comes from the song “Remaimed”. In the second verse, Corpsegrinder throws in a line where he growls lower than his usual mid to low range, going into the Ross Dolan (Immolation) territory. But otherwise, if you were expecting anything but the gnarliest vocals in death metal, than look elsewhere.
In the instrumental departments, the band is as tight as they’ve ever been. Guitarists and bassist Rob Barrett, Pat O’Brien, and Alex Webster (respectively) haven’t burnt out from writing chuggy, de-tuned and frantic riffs/lines. A few standouts lie in the verse to the [typically] crushing album opener, “Only One Will Die”, the intro to “Shedding My Human Skin”, the chorus/bridge to “In the Midst of Ruin” and the entirety of slamming track “Corpus Delicti”. All of this is, naturally, complimented by the apocalyptic drumming of Paul Mazurkiewicz. There isn’t anything particularly that stands out in the drum department, by Paul’s standards of course. You can’t go wrong with the father of the bomb blast. He’s a phenomenal drummer, with some of the most consistently blistering speed, but we have come to expect this from Mr. Mazurkiewicz, so nothing jumps out at the listener as being surprising or unprecedented.
So what have Cannibal Corpse done this time around to really prove that they are worth the hype? They wrote a Cannibal Corpse record, and it ***ing rules. It’s that simple. Yeah, it gets monotonous towards the end, no it’s not complex lyrically. The songs are about cutting people’s heads off with shovels and slashing people up to sell for meat and all of that fun stuff. But that’s what these guys have done best since 1988. There are nice little touches here and there; like backup vocals from long-time producer/Hate Eternal vocalist Erik Rutan. Do we really want anything else but Cannibal Corpse from Cannibal Corpse? It might be standard, it might be simple on the surface, but the truth is these guys do death metal better than almost anyone in the game; now and since 1990 (or arguably ‘91). So shut up, sit down, and sink your teeth into this bloody, gruesome, and meaty slab of metal that you couldn’t ask for any other way, served un-cooked to perfection.