Today marks the U.S. release of the twelfth Cannibal Corpse album, “Torture.” I’ve been looking forward to this album for several months. I started listening to Cannibal Corpse about the time Chris Barnes left and George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher came aboard. I picked up “The Bleeding”, which was the last Barnes album, but did not quite get into the band until the release of “Vile.” I prefer George’s vocal style to that of Chris, and “Vile” became the gold standard by which I came to judge Cannibal Corpse albums (and honestly all other death metal albums for a time, as well.)
I’m not terribly squeamish when it comes to song titles and lyrics, but the uninitiated can sometimes be quite shocked by the graphic and savage tales the band tells. Knowing full well that these guys do not condone any of the violent acts portrayed in their songs, I’m simply amused by both the creative ways to end people and at the same time the bluntness of many of the titles. For example, “Mummified in Barbed Wire” is not something I would probably have thought of on my own. However, when I say the titles are blunt I mean that many of the song titles read like a coroner’s short-hand list for causes of death: “Skewered from Ear to Eye”, “Bent Backward and Broken”, “Hatchet to the Head”, and “Stabbed in the Throat” to name a few. Let’s not forget moving Barnes-era classics like “Hammer Smashed Face” and “Force Fed Broken Glass.”
Cannibal Corpse may not be the most diverse sounding metal band; they do not branch out or change up their style much from album to album. Cannibal Corpse does one thing exceptionally well, and I have never been disappointed by a new release. I’m always confident that a new Cannibal Corpse album will be brutal and suitable for venting anger and frustration (especially when stuck in traffic.) In this way, their latest album is no exception – “Torture” um, kills.
The signature CC brutality is per usual front and center on “Torture”, but I cannot help feeling they spent some extra time working on song-writing this time around too. One can only squeeze so much into brutal death metal songs, and their songs have always been loaded with lots of guitar-riffing madness, but it just feels like the music is a bit more complex and refined this time around. The production is pretty slick too.
Whether one is a Cannibal Corpse fan, or just looking for some music to aggravate others, “Torture” is a worthy addition to any metal collection. I know for a fact that it will be getting a lot of play-time on my iPhone in the coming months. Check it out.