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After the generally well-received reaction to Kill, Cannibal Corpse slings us another album to chew on after a few years since. It seems Cannibal Corpse have gone to the hurry-up offense for this one. Let me start out by saying Evisceration Plague reminds me a lot of latest Bloodbath but better. The first track Priests of Sodom put this reminder in my head quite quickly. It just rolls right out with quick pounding and straight up death metal riffs of medium to fast pace. George Fisher’s deep growling is raised up a little bit as he spits out the lyrics faster than usual at an even pace. So, the first song does quite well to set the speedy brutal tone of the album. Paul Mazurkiewicz’s drumming is point on top of most of these songs as he seems to be leading the charge through this blaspehmous proceeding. He does a very good job on this album. I think this is the best display of his drums that I’ve heard from the band’s entire catalogue. What disappointed me the most from the album was the pedestrian bass approach from the usually reliable Alex Webster. His playing seems to be noticeably more passive than on the other records. The fact that this time around, Cannibal Corpse is throttling at full speed ahead might explain the cutting back of the more audible bass which makes sense but the production sound seems drained from the absence.
I do like the fact that they brought Rob Barrett back in the fore. Jack Owen was alright but his playing never really shined through to anything original. Barrett and Pat O’Brien sound like they have better chemistry together. They construct a nice source of speed and for the solos to come in. I think this allows Mazurkiewicz greater freedom to showcase the breadth of speed on his pounding which I thought Owen and Bob Rusay’s riffs pushed back. His blasting down on Carnivorous Storm is much livelier while the guitars do well to support them with sharply cut time changes. This type of direction is refreshing from the Gallery of Suicide days. Producer Erik Rutan places good emphasis on letting the rhythm guitar sounds have minimal bleed for the leads to jump out in good time. Often times, your average death metal albums will just go down-tuned with 3/4 patterning and the solos will just sound predictable as hell. It is in mastering that helps Cannibal Corpse establish a distinct new feel.
I’ve also noticed that the band’s song titles are slightly less gory than earlier stuff. The lyrics maybe are less so as well but the writing of them makes more sense somehow. Cannibal Corpse was among the first gore death metal bands. Here, they seem less concerned with lyrical shock value and more concentrated with just sounding as faster and fearsome. It’s old school intent in sound and doesn’t sound over rehearsed at all. Not being much a fan of this band, I never cared to decide which vocalist was better. I am officially now of the opinion that George Fisher is decisively the better man for the job. On this album he is pure guts and gravel. He churns out the lyrics expertly. He adapts naturally to the rush and kill pace of Evisceration Plague. There is no cupped mike growling of his predecessor who sucks so bad he deserves not mentioning.
I liked how this album wraps itself up with intensity and it leaves on a good note with the song Skewered from Ear to Ear. A little bit of everyone gets heard nicely on it. Mazurkiewicz displays veteran rapaciousness. Again, it’s a stop and go attack that sounds really cool. You can almost feel them coming right before the pummeling. Pat O’Brien’s riffs are steady and loud and Rob Barrett creeps in a good solo. Alex Webster sounds a little clearer on here too even if his tone knob is still muted outside the beats. Corpsegrinder’s growling sounds very enunciated. I enjoyed hearing the lyrics sound off to my naked ear with his ferocious growls. The best part about this song is how the vocals and drumming seem to be in tandem with each other as the song plays. It’s like a gruesome dance of attack with violent demise as its M.O. As such, when that song finished the out the album, I found myself pleasantly surprised indeed. I think this is Cannibal Corpse’s best record. I thought they would just be repeating themselves. Evisceration Plague is not a trailblazing approach even for them but what I heard was very satisfying and I like the guitar work much better than anything else they have done as well as the drums which is the best part. I enjoyed the skill set demonstration by this band and I think Cannibal Corpse fans will enjoy it for the same reason.