I’ll warn you now… Cannibal Corpse has been one of my favorite bands for quite a number of years now so there isn’t much this band could do to make me upset. Basically, if you despise Cannibal Corpse, you will probably have the polar opposite views as I. Anyways, this beast of an album has been spun a number of times now and it is everything you have ever wanted from Cannibal Corpse.
To sum up what this album sounds like, take all the great things they did in Evisceration Plague as well as Kill, throw it in a blender, add even crazier guitar work, ferocious vocals from George, and blend until bloody.
The opening track, “Demented Aggression,” also happened to be the first single released. This was probably the best song to open with since there is nothing like hearing a crazy fast guitar riff with a ticking drum beat to start your morning. After the first few listens, I started catching myself blast beating with Paul. Lets just say we’ll keep the drumming to the Corpse original member. The other thing I loved about this track was the lyrics. Ok ya so some times I get the “ugh I can’t understand what he’s saying.” Well kiddies, I can hear loud and clear the best line in the song: “I don’t think you’ll live!” and its no surprise that I scream it with every play.
I find that every album has that one, sometimes two, songs that really stick out. Not necessarily like sore thumbs and hopefully not that one pearl in a sea of clams. I mean that one song that really sounds different from the rest of the album, but its still good. This album had it but it might very well be my favorite off the album. “Scourge of Iron” is a true homage to death metal. Slow, heavy, “brutal,” chugging guitar riffs. You know how everyone bitched about that Morbid Angel album last year? Well Cannibal Corpse does a quick “Death Metal for Idiots” lesson, get educated! The song does slowly build up so that it is a tad faster but overall it stays at that original ferocity.
So lets skip down a bit to a killer track that literally made me feel like the title, “Intestinal Crank.” Not only do you get your typical Cannibal Corpse feel of heavy and frantic guitar work, thundering drums, and a clear bass sound by none other than Alex Webster, but there is a crazy build up towards the end of the track. This build up got me on the edge of my seat, getting ready for whatever hit me. And it is basically a wall of sounds that probably depict someone screaming as an intestinal crank is being tightened… how fitting!
One last point I want to make about a single track is “Followed Home Then Killed.” Sure the track name is kinda silly sounding at first, but don’t let that make you drop your guard. The song starts out with one of the most experimental guitar intros I have every heard from Cannibal Corpse. Fortunately, these guys know how to experiment with their sound just a bit to offer something new with every album so that they don’t become either cookie cutter or the sound is completely destroyed. That’s called mastery. This track cements that Cannibal Corpse is still at the top of their game with arguably their best line up to date. Yes I said it, sorry Chris but I’m a Corpsegrinder fan. Oh and of course! The guitar solo on this track is face melting. Guitar solos don’t happen often with CC but they always fit and aren’t over the top. This solo may sound over the top, but it really matches well with the main riff of the song.
It was pretty hard to pick favorites for this album as I could really listen from front to back without hitting skip. This, as some may know and even agree with about me, if you can write a killer album front to back, its making my year end list. As for “favorites,” I guess I would pick “Demented Aggression,” “Scourge of Iron,” “Intestinal Crank,” “Followed Home Then Killed,” as well as “The Strangulation Chair,” for what is one of the single craziest moments I have ever heard from a bass guitarist. If you think the bass break in “Hammer Smashed Face” was golden then just wait until your ears are greeted with this masterpiece.
Overall, I’d say this is their best work since Kill without a doubt. Am I saying it doesn’t stand up to it? No way, this album I think matched it… easily. They avoid a safe release with all the same kind of sounding material as previous work, experiment just enough to stay true to their sound but also to showcase their writing as well as technical skills, and of course, keep your head banging, your feet moving, and your hunger for human flesh to grow. Get this album now, don’t be a stooge.