- Review by Scott Emery
REVIEWED: Cannibal Corpse - 'Violence Unimagined'
It’s near impossible to talk about the history of death metal without mentioning Cannibal Corpse. The American behemoth of brutality are synonymous with heavy music and have been spewing forth pure audio violence for over 30 years without ever compromising their extremity.
It’s been four years since their last outing ‘Red Before Black’ though and things have changed for the band. Former guitarist Pat O’Brien has left and with that brings undoubted questions. O’Brien brought a certain level of complexity to the band when he joined in 1997 that helped totally refine and enhance their sound without ever compromising on brutality. He was always going to be a big miss to the band and it would be fair to wonder if they would ever have the same bite again after his departure. Fortunately, the band have filled those huge shoes with death metal royalty in Erik Rutan. Rutan has been working with the band as a producer as far back as 2006’s ‘Kill’ album so has a unique insight and working relationship with the band and it shows on ‘Violence Unimagined’.
Anyone familiar with Rutan’s own band Hate Eternal will be fully aware just how good a guitarist he is (and fans of that band, fear not, he has said that Hate Eternal will continue!) and because of this the band doesn’t even miss a beat. Everything you want from a Cannibal Corpse album is here: Paul Mazurkiewicz’s unique patterns and style is as sharp as ever, Corpsegrinder sounds as pissed off as ever and Alex Webster’s bass lines are as twisted and frantic as ever.
There are a few nit-picking moments here and there; Webster’s bass could serve to be a little more prominent in the mix for example, but the quality we have come to expect is here in spades. ‘Ritual Annihilation’ is a visceral knife to the throat with jarring time shifts and opener ‘Murderous Rampage’ is a disgustingly catchy future pit anthem.
The band won’t change your opinion on them with this album; the critics that say they haven’t experimented or changed will aim the same criticism here, but they’re really missing the point. Anyone who loves Cannibal Corpse doesn’t want them to try and dabble with industrial or symphonics, they want an album full of murderous head-banging fuel that never compromises, has over-the-top, gore laden artwork and this album delivers that by the boatload. All hail the kings of the depraved, long may they reign!
'Violence Unimagined' is out 16th April via Metal Blade