Cannibal Corpse - _Evisceration Plague_
(Metal Blade Records, 2009)
by: Jackie Smit (
There's very little you can say about Cannibal Corpse that hasn't already slithered its way into a music annal of some sort, and as anyone who has had the pleasure of sitting through the exhaustive yet highly entertaining "Centuries of Torment" documentary would attest, the reasons for this are as straightforward as the band themselves. Despite being death metal's de facto first ambassadors -- by virtue of their commercial success -- every member remains both grounded as individuals and firmly resolute in the reasons as to why they choose to continue making music in the first place. Simply put, these guys know what they're good at, and for better or worse are content to explore a level of creativity within what is admittedly a very conservative musical framework.Despite a wealth of opinions to the contrary, creativity is the operative noun here, because it's a testament to Cannibal Corpse's considerable nous as musicians and songwriters that they're still able to deliver an album's worth of distinctive and memorable tunes after a good many years spent with their shoulders held firmly to the grindstone. Consequently, trained ears will quickly identify the nuances that set _Evisceration Plague_ apart from its predecessor. While _Kill_ may have hinted at it, here the boys from Buffalo dive confidently into the vintage doom and thrash elements they merely flirted with in the past. Undoubtedly the result of an increasingly fruitful relationship with producer Eric Rutan, the album's title track is a perfect example of this old dog's willingness to try a few new tricks and come up trumps. "Evisceration Plague" stalks you at a deliberately diminished tempo, snarling its way to a crescendo that would snap a grown man's spine. "Cauldron of Hate" taps a similarly rich vein with its avalanche of punishing staccato riffs, the brooding pace only briefly giving way for George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher's choral confession that "This notion of murder is no longer vague". "Priests of Sodom" and "To Shatter Their Bones" are all-out gattling gun blasting affairs, though by no means detracting from the latter track in particular standing out as one of the catchiest in the Cannibal Corpse canon.Still, despite its subtle gradations, only a fool would deem _Evisceration Plague_ a departure of any kind. Its brand of death metal remains a relentlessly brutal, hyper-technical masterclass of the genre, laced with enough tongue in-cheek lyrical violence to send a member of the PMRC into cardiac arrest. Comfortingly, I'd place a bet on Barrack Obama joining the Aryan Brotherhood before I'd ever expect any less of Cannibal Corpse.
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