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If you’re looking to blow away a few cobwebs after the past year of interminable lockdowns then Cannibal Corpse are indeed a safe bet to do just that. New album Violence Unimagined is textbook Cannibal Corpse. An incessant whirlwind of neck-breaking riffs, dynamic killer percussion delivered with consummate professionalism and of course the smashed glass vocal cuts of the inimitable man-mountain Corpsegrinder completing the horror show.
With archetypal grotesque artwork, you know what’s coming before the opening “Murderous Rampage” lights the touchpaper with typical incendiary fashion. It’s not all speedmetal and when the slower sonic tectonic plates start to grind menacingly on “Inhumane Harvest” it feels like the bludgeoning Buffalo veterans really are back on their game.
When discussing the album recently, bassist and founding member Alex Webster said you can drop the needle at any point and sure as hell know you’re listening to Cannibal Corpse. And he’s right. Despite the proliferation of death metal bands, no doubt the majority inspired by Cannibal Corpse, their precision sound remains indefatigably theirs.
The timely “Condemnation Contagion” is a sledgehammer par excellence, guaranteed to get even the most docile of circle pits spinning their heads off.
Violence Unimagined is their 15th album and when you look back to those early releases Eaten Back to Life and Butchered at Birth – and everything else in between – it would be hard not to make a good case for any of them. This latest work is notable for the official addition of guitarist Erik Rutan – the five-piece completed by founding drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz and guitarist Rob Barrett. Rutan is a giant of the genre already through his fronting of Hate Eternal and that’s before you even factor in his time with Morbid Angel.
Rutan’s recruitment had an air of inevitability about it, he’s already produced four of the band’s albums and has been picking up live duties with the band for well over a year. He’s certainly made his mark on this album, writing three of the 11 tracks.
“Follow the Blood” is textbook Cannibal Corpse, sharp enough to take an eye out while still possessing the suffocating air of impending menace that they spread like jam across so much of their work. The gore detritus that they’ve waded through with such relish over the past three decades remains their natural playground, just check out the disturbingly fearsome “Slowly Sawn”.
Their combination of gore and grind continues to upset all the right people. For that alone Cannibal Corpse meritoriously deserve our thanks.
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