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Chris Barnes - vocals (Founding member, left in 1995)
Jack Owen - guitar (Founding member, left in 2004)
Bob Rusay - guitar (Founding member, left in 1993)
Alex Webster - bass (Founding member)
Paul Mazurkiewicz - drums (Founding member)
Glen Benton - guest vocals on Vomit The Soul (session member)
Cannibal Corpse is an American old-school death metal band founded in 1988 who went on to become one of the most successful death metal groups not only in the US but in Music History. A lot of bands would have commercially suffered from a lack of proper exposure, radio airplay and music being banned from countries like Australia and Germany. They made up for it by doing the best they could to promote themselves and the fanbase remained faithful and dedicated.
Controversy quickly followed them for the brutally violent nature in the lyrics and album artwork. Which was the main reason why their music was banned and considered offensive. The band never intends to offend anyone and just like offering over-the-top entertainment that explores the inner monster of humankind.
A lot of their music has been influenced by thrash metal bands like Slayer, Kreator, and Sodom, along with death metal bands such as Morbid Angel and Death. They also credit influences from various horror movies but the band have always tried to expand their horizons.
I first heard about the band by watching Ace Ventura: Pet Detective where they had a brief cameo, one of their biggest to date. Jim Carey who stared in the film was a huge supporter of the band and it was he who invited them to do the film.
~Butchered At Birth~
Butchered At Birth is the second album from the group. It was released in 1991 by the label Metal Blade and produced by Scott Burns. All the lyrics were written by the vocalist at the time, Chris Barnes. The album defined their sound and their music. It has a lot of things people expect from a death metal album; thunderous growling, extreme lyrics, fast drums and hard hitting guitar riffs.The album is currently available at Amazon for £11.99. You may see it on HMV with a lot of censoring. I've seen a lot of different album covers for this.
The album is certainly not suitable for sensitive listeners or general family listening as it mentions a lot of fetishes involving violence and include coprophagia and necrophilia. And straight away I know people would be put off by the album based solely on the album cover. It's an eye-catching image of two zombies butchering a woman with hanging young corpses around them. The track list and album title doesn't sound very pleasant on first sight. You could certainly see why the album had been banned for fifteen years in Germany.
Cannibal Corpse really let themselves out. The lyrics are aggressively ridiculous and the music is insane and sick. I like the insane nature in this album, but sometimes I feel like I'm not really suppose to like it. The concept of killing babies before they even get the chance to live greatly hindered my enjoyment of the album.
Looking past the violent concepts it's a good album, but it doesn't completely satisfy me. Something feels missing about the album. The album is far too short and I think it's somewhat under-produced. The album is around Thirty-six and a half minutes long. It's still a classic, but I think they've done better songs in different albums.
The opening track starts with a dangerous track called Meat Hook Sodomy. I can't say the track is my cup of tea but it's just as insane as the rest of the tracks. It sets the flow of the album well, but it sounds like an utter mess.
For me the stand out track is Vomit My Soul by a close margin. The title reminds me of a singer around in the charts that goes by the name of Ke$ha. I am fond of the screeching guitars and the overall Halloween vibes. Because of this It had much more impact for me than the rest of the tracks. Quite fast paced and thunderous and I liked it. The rest of the tracks don't really have that much for me as I think they're more of a shock value over quality style.
My least favourite track of the album was Butchered At Birth. The song gave me a bit of a headache and I wasn't very fond of the lyrics. Far too demented for my liking, but I still found it a very interesting track.
It's a very catchy album. Not catchy as in annoying, catchy as if it's clinging on to you. However, I would only recommend it if you're a fan of metal, everyone else might not be able to enjoy it. It's not really something I would listen to again as I'm quite neutral to the album, but I admire Cannibal Corpse for their creative and for some of their demonic music.
~Track-list, quotes and rating~
1. Meat Hook Sodomy "Deterioration of grated genitals." 3/5
2. Gutted "The child lying dead, just another gutted infant." 3/5
3. Living Dissection "Face is smashed to pulp drooling from an empty socket." 3/5
4. Under the Rotted Flesh "Coprophagia, consuming feces of the dying." 3/5
5. Covered with Sores "I love to watch the blood ooz down the bodies stump." 3/5
6. Vomit the Soul "The end a beginning to a new life in hell." 5/5
7. Butchered at Birth "Bladder spurting urine." 1/5
8. Rancid Amputation "Eyes removed, cranium smashed." 3/5
9. Innards Decay "Devoted to evil." 3/5
With its harsh sound, vile lyrics and gruesome artwork by Vincent Locke, Cannibal Corpse's second album is undoubtedly the beginning of the New York band's continued obsession with shock value over quality content, a habit they would only break momentarily with their subsequent release 'Tomb of the Mutilated.'
When I describe this as "harsh," I don't mean that it's particularly extreme, at least not compared to other death metal, but that the sound quality is almost arrogantly poor to the point that the listening experience is painful for the wrong reasons, as the listener struggles to actually make out what's going on. Never mind that Chris Barnes' lyrics could never be deciphered through his low gurgle even if he was putting in a more dynamic performance, but Jack Owen and Bob Rusay's guitars are reduced to nothing more than a tedious hiss as they play the same style of riff over and over again. Perhaps worst of all are Paul Mazurkiewicz's drums, which hammer away ad nauseam before executing predictable speed changes that have none of the excitement of the previous album.
This is an album best avoided by music fans from any background, but young teenagers might get a brief kick out of the lyric booklet, before convincing themselves that it's the greatest CD ever recorded in a misguided attempt to appear cool. There are far more extreme albums out there if that's all you're after.
1. Meat Hook Sodomy
3. Living Dissection
4. Under the Rotted Flesh
5. Covered With Sores
6. Vomit the Soul
7. Butchered at Birth
8. Rancid Amputation
9. Innards Decay
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Meat Hook Sodomy
3 Living Dissection
4 Under The Rotted Flesh
5 Covered With Sores
6 Vomit The Soul
7 Butchered At Birth
8 Rancid Amputation
9 Innards Decay