I often find myself in a strange place with death metal. I’ll happily listen to fusion genres on a regular basis; Death doom, blackened death, death and roll and progressive death metal. But I’ll rarely go for the genre itself. There have been bands that have held my fascination before and I’m sure there will be again but there are none quite like CANNIBAL CORPSE.
CANNIBAL CORPSE are the masters of malevolent mayhem, the gentlemen of gore and the emperors of evisceration.
And they have returned to our ears with their new album Violence Unimagined. A release that grabs you from the off and doesn’t let go until you are thoroughly beaten and bloodied.
Notably absent from this album is guitarist Pat O’Brien who has had his mighty boots filled by Erik Rutan.
We begin our escapade into this particular nightmare with a Murderous Rampage. This track is interesting in that it’s not the speed you would expect from a band like CANNIBAL CORPSE. Instead, it’s a little slower and sets the general temperament for the rest of the album. Don’t misunderstand me, CANNIBAL CORPSE are not taking it easy here but instead are providing a few more moments for a casual listener to feel comfortable in jumping into the fray.
If you were to compare this song to the opener of Red Before Black, the feel is largely the same but the emphasis is really on the rhythmic dynamics.
Inhuman Harvest is frankly a bizarre track for me. Rather than wanting to bang my head, I was engaged in a very different way. I sat gently swaying swept up in the ebb and flow of the riffs. Verging on groovy this is definitely a side of CANNIBAL CORPSE that I’ve not really seen before. It’s an interesting new flavour that I’d like to see them sample again. The interesting thing about this song is that whilst they chose to make it a single, it only really feels complete to me when it’s paired with the following track Condemnation Contagion. It doesn’t seamlessly lead into but I had to go back and make sure that I was listening to the track I wanted quite a few times. The track itself is a lot more typical of the band, heaps of fast beats and tremolo picking here.
In a funny way Corpsegrinder shows why he is one of the finest in the business here. He doesn’t do anything so amazing that you want to pass out with excitement, nor is he so dull that you want to pass out from boredom. No, here he delivers exactly and precisely what this track needs. He’s amazingly consistent and after so many years his voice shows no sign of failing.
I have to say that the production quality here is amazing. The engineers are really having fun and showing off a little bit. For example take the song Overtorture, which is pretty short but contains a lot of exciting things. Pan hard left! Pan Hard right! Together! Fade in! Without these little touches this song would be fundamentally different so I really hope that when they play this live the audio guys come out and take a bow.
Overall this is a really fantastic release and I think it may be my favourite thing this band has ever released. Obviously if you’re not a death metal fan you probably won’t like it but it’s still worth giving a listen because it seems as though CANNIBAL CORPSE are evolving.
Words: Jacob McCrone
Violence Unimagined is out now.
Find CANNIBAL CORPSE on Facebook.