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With the coming of the mid 90s, extreme metal bands were either softening their sound, making it more commercial and catchy, or some combination of both. Unlike many extreme metal bands, which got softer, Cannibal Corpse remained just as brutal throughout their career. The Bleeding is simply a more catchy, accessible album than any of Cannibal Corpse's earlier work. It is definitely not a "sellout album" in any respect, though.
Catchy riffing has always been a part of Cannibal Corpse's music. It is emphasized greatly on The Bleeding, though. There is definitely some groove metal influence to be found, especially on the brutal, insanely catchy "Stripped Raped and Strangled". There is less of the "evil riffing" here, which is a bit refreshing in a way. While everything is catchy, there aren't any songs like "Hammer Smashed Face" from the previous album, Tomb of the Mutilated. The closest thing is "Pulverized" which contains a riff that tries very hard to be Hammer Smashed Face. It dosen't quite cut it, but it is definitely a very fun song.
While the band's first three albums were complete gorefests, the gore is actually toned down a bit on The Bleeding. There is definitely some gore here, especially in songs such as "Fucked With a Knife" and "Forced Fed Broken Glass", but most of the album is less descriptive. Much of the detailed gore has been replaced with the broader concept of extreme and brutal violence. Lines in "Stripped Raped and Strangled" are violent, but in a very fun way. The band lost interest in provoking and shocking audience, and traded it for writing more fun lines to please fans. This is not to say that their earlier stuff is not fun, though. There is just an elevated focus on making the music sound fun here.
Technically, The Bleeding is more refined than any of Cannibal Corpse album before it. I find every Cannibal Corpse album to have excellent bass work done by Alex Webster. Like on Tomb of the Mutilated, there is a bass solo, found on "Fucked With a Knife". It is more refined than the solo on the previous album, meaning it is a lot less messy in sound. The guitar and drum parts are much tighter in sound, making the music sound more controlled. Chris Barnes has actually not improved much in the vocal area. Many seem to say this vocals here. I think that he sounded the best on Tomb of the Mutilated. He still sounds quite brutal here, but he doesn't sound as "inhuman" as he used to. The whole inhuman sound made his vocals great on the first three albums. He is easier to understand, which, again ties in with accessibility. On "Stripped, Raped, and Strangled", he provides both his trademark ultra-low growling, as well as the use of almost clean vocals with some sort of effect on them. His high screams sound a bit less intimidating here, which is the main drawback.
While this is just a side note, and does not effect the rating, I must say that the album cover sucks. Eaten Back to Life, and especially Butchered at Birth and Tomb of the Mutilated have cover art that is truly intimidating, disgusting, and gory. On The Bleeding, however, the art is very simple, and does not have that trademark look that Butchered at Birth and Tomb of the Mutilated had.
Overall, The Bleeding is a great album. It has some catchy riffing, and it is on of the best death metal albums to headbang away to! If you are looking for a better representation of the band, in their "truest" form, I would suggest buying Butchered at Birth, the ultimate Cannibal Corpse album. The Bleeding is a good second or third purchase, but still an excellent album.
When one thinks of Death Metal numerous bands will instantly come to the tongue and one of the absolute first to be rolled out of ones mouth should be Cannibal Corpse. The band are an absolute titan of the genre having consistently released solid material since their inception despite going through so many lineup changes that only two of the original members of the band remain. They have racked up the highest sales figures for a single band in all of the genre and have influenced nearly every death metal band that came after them. Their sound has very rarely strayed away from the path they beat for themselves with their sophomore album Butchered At Birth with it being based around playing the fastest and heaviest style of music the band can without ever really aspiring to do anything truly fresh with the genre. To date there has been but one exception and it might be coincidence that that solitary album is perhaps their finest album.
The Bleeding is the band's fourth outing and marks their shift away from the thrash-influenced riffing and towards a more technical death metal approach to the guitar work whilst pushing for a more groove-oriented sound that incorporates a lot more melody into the frenzy of technically accomplished guitar lines. The Bleeding was Chris Barnes' final album with the band as well as serving as the introduction of Rob Barrett to their ranks and stands as the fifth highest selling Death Metal album in the United States with over 98,000 copies sold and was the first album by Cannibal Corpse to break into the Billboard charts. For much of The Bleeding the tempo sticks to a more mid-tempo and shies away from relying on blast beats and tremolo picked riffs as was the main course on Tomb Of The Mutilated and Butchered At Birth. These changes to the band's style made for one of the most incredible doses of pure gore-ridden Death Metal brutality in history and this is rightfully considered one of the essential albums in the genre.
The Bleeding carries an extremely melodic approach without ever really compromising the flat out heavy sound that Cannibal Corpse are renowned from, and this is in no small part down to the addition of Rob Barrett to the band's lineup. Many of the songs with Barrett's song writing credit on are both classic Corpse songs and groove-ridden masterpieces in their own rights, with She Was Asking For It and Stripped, Raped And Strangled being among these songs. The former opens with a fantastic riff that alternates from low-end chords to one guitarist rapidly playing the same notes that the other guitarist is playing as a trill and this creates one of the most memorable riffs in all of the genre. Stripped Raped And Strangled is rightfully ranked among the finest creations to come from the band's warped minds with some truly haunting lyrics detailing a serial rapist and murdered calling the police and challenging them to "find me before another is found". This song opens up with some groove-laden riffing before diving into a frenzy of mayhem with the band playing chords as fast as they possibly can and Paul Mazurkiewicz pummeling away on his drum kit with as much conviction as he possibly can. Stripped Raped And Strangled is perceived as one of the best Cannibal Corpse songs ever and who can really argue with a riff set like what is found in that song.
The title track to the album is one of the more interesting numbers that has some surprisingly simple riffing with some guitar tones that sound completely odd and loosely fitting with the rest of the album but somehow this does not disrupt the flow of it. Instead what it does is make the song stand out the most with its creative riffing and mindlessly bloodthirsty lyrics from Barnes that for once takes its foot off the technical pedal and instead relies solely on being as groovy and enjoyable to listen to as the band could make it. The same can not be said for all the songs on this album with songs like F*cked With A Knife and Pulverized being technical workouts for guitarists of all skill that thunder along as fast as humanly possible whilst the choruses to both are still extremely infectious. F*cked With A Knife is proof for those that needed it that Chris Barnes, the man who inspired countless bands to compete to create the most sickening songs of all time, had not lost his ability to create truly shocking lyrics by this point without ever sounding remotely fake. In fact this may well be the perfect swan song for Chris Barnes as he really does put in a fantastic performance on this release aside from a couple of hiccoughs here and there.
For The Bleeding Barnes decided to take a much more decipherable style of growling and this really works within the context of the album as he is constantly painting gruesome pictures over the top of some of the most controlled chaos ever put to record. His lows on this album are nowhere near as muffled as they were on Tomb Of The Mutilated and every gore-soaked song is completely decipherable, whilst his shrieks are brilliant to provide a sense of variety in the vocals even though at times they become slightly grating on your ears. The worst vocal moment on this release comes in The Pick-Axe Murders where he declares "You thought it was over, It's not over" in his higher snarling voice but it feels slightly weak and devoid of energy which is so uncharacteristic of a Chris Barnes performance. For the most part however Barnes is at his absolute peak on The Bleeding and it was a great note to go out on. The other members of the band are also on top form with the riff work to this being some of the tightest Death Metal riffing in existence. Later albums may have taken the technical aspect to new heights and earlier albums may have been more focused on speed-oriented riffs but The Bleeding captures Jack Owen and Rob Barrett at both of their peak with some of the most crushing riffs the band has ever created. The guitar work on this album is a mass of trills and sliding power chord with a few tremolo picked riffs scattered throughout which leads to this being a record for any aspiring guitar player out there to attempt to play along to and marvel at the technical wizardry on display. The drumming is a usual solid performance for Paul who is not a drummer known for variety nor playing anything particularly awe-inspiring but rather resigns himself to thundering along as fast as he can and he really does put on a great show. Alex Webster is the final member of the band and he puts in the bass performance of a life time on this album with quick little fills and bass solos being scattered all throughout this album and some incredibly complex lines thudding along behind the guitars.
The Bleeding is an absolutely essential Death Metal album and could be considered as an entry point for anyone who is unfamiliar with the genre to sink their teeth into. This is a fast and furious display of aggression that is packed full of great songs such as Stripped Raped And Strangled and the trill-infested madness that is Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead. As part of a genre not renowned for being catchy The Bleeding could be considered as somewhat of an anomaly but it is a good form of anomaly and finds the band at their peak of creativity.
The Bleeding gets a lot of flak for not being "true" to the Cannibal Corpse formula. What people detect is atmosphere, albeit a gory and disturbing one. Each song is like a soundtrack to a brutal triple homicide rape arson. The real horror, though, here, is the realism. Unlike their cartoonish efforts of the past that they quickly resumed after the induction of Corpsegrinder, these songs have a habit of sounding like real life fucked up shit. The music is twisted and delusional, claustrophobic and violent, much like the brutal crimes depicted in these songs.
There is nothing remotely approaching beautiful genius here. The music is ugly, and the vocals of Chris Barnes shed the unintelligible grunts of Tomb of the Mutilated for a more forceful and discernable growl. The upshot of this is that the horrifying content of the lyrics is brutally broadcast into your head, raping your synapses. The lyrics are often written from the point of the various monsters societies have created, such as serial killers, serial rapists, and serial immolation. Barnes does a good job of portraying these people, much like a skilled actor.
Fear not, though, for while there are a few slower songs, most of the songs are rapid, headbangable, and, if we're talking about Force Fed Broken Glass, pure fucking awesome. This goes to show how single minded Cannibal Corpse fans are, because even though The Bleeding goes into a lot of uncharted territory, it is still pretty much the same ol' corpse; like a pair of pants that have fit you for years, or the family BBQ ribs recipe, it's a formula that works, so Cannibal Corpse aren't gonna fuck with it. Plus, Return To Flesh is one of quite a few songs with truly sick guitar solos. It's probably the most convincing of all Corpse albums in the whole "70's grindhouse slasher" vibe, and unfortunately, the newer Corpse is a "safer", more politically correct version. (Now, I know that they did songs such as Hacksaw Decapitation, Sanded Faceless, or Dismembered and Molested, but compared to songs like "She Was Asking For It", "Force Fed Broken Glass", or "Fucked With A Knife", their newer stuff just comes off sounding "safer".
So, if you like Cannibal Corpse you probably already know about them. If you are new to Cannibal Corpse, I would probably recommend not this but Bloodthirst or Eaten Back To Life. You'll like those in the beginning because they're your basic mindless headbanging music. However, every Corpse fan I know eventually gravitated towards The Bleeding, and that's because it's a brutal album, just in a different way. The brutality here is simply more savage, more atavistic, and more realistic.
The evolution of death metal has been something of a double edged sword, and much blood is on the ground for it. It has gotten to the point where many bands associated with some variant sub-genre under its still expanding umbrella are all but forgetting their roots, save perhaps in the general idea of having non-melodic grunts at least present, though often sharing the stage with something cleaner. But for Cannibal Corpse, the band that is all but the absolute enemy of the concept of evolution, the closest they would get to taking their established sound some place different is this, their 4th studio release almost as many years.
While there had been some changes going on from one Chris Barnes album to the next, "The Bleeding" is the first example of them making a change and coming out with very superior results. Between the ante being upped in the riff and technique department, Barnes making a more versatile affair of shredding his vocal chords, and the overall production being given a good deal more depth, there is a clear and precise picture being painted here, and its one of violence with a clear purpose. The provocative levels of gore-informed lyrics and dissonant violence in the guitars is not quite as arbitrary, resulting in something that is quite easy to follow, and still pretty heavily informed by the band's Slayer thrash roots.
This is an album that could perhaps be described as mechanical and formulaic, particularly when dealing with Paul Mazurkiewicz's strictly structured drumming, but the energy level wants for nothing and a few surprises manage to work their way into the mix. The brutal brilliance of "Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead", "Pulverized" and the wildly thrashing nod to Sodom in "Force Fed Broken Glass" feature a fancy riff set that all but points to an emerging technical death scene, almost to the same extent as the early Suffocation albums, though with less of an overt grind influence. The soloing is the only area where things remain conservative and continually emulate the fluttering chaos of the King/Hanneman duels rather than the slightly more adventurous ones heard on "Effigy Of The Forgotten.
Chris Barnes generally tends to get dumped on a lot because of his lackluster output with his current project Six Feet Under, but on here he makes a solid showing and all but seems to be pointing to the inhuman phenomenon that would be Lord Worm. Throughout the entire album, but more particularly on the auspiciously memorable title song "The Bleeding", he manages to push his otherwise deep and dreary bark into the higher shriek register that was beginning to be popular with the emerging 2nd wave scene in Norway, particularly that of Gorgoroth circa "Pentagram". This would later be exaggerated to the point of near ridiculous on "None So Vile", but here it is presented in a symmetrical, measured way to maximize the build up in drama.
While I will always be preferential to the conservative thrash tendencies of "Eaten Back To Life", this is very easily Cannibal Corpse's 2nd best offering, and probably the most recommended amongst younger death metal fans who know the band through their current line up. It's varied and technical enough to placate the rabid fervor for more notes jammed into every single second of sonic mayhem, yet still very much in the consistent grain that the band is known for. But more so than anything else, it knows when to keep things brief and to the point.
After the masterpiece that was “Tomb of the Mutilated”, Cannibal Corpse released “The Bleeding”. After listening to it, I thought, wow what happened? It’s average at best when it comes to their previous releases. And after watching “Centuries of Torment” I find out that they have many problems with Chris at this point in their career. And it really shows on this release.
Some of the old style riffs are there, the speed it mostly there, the bass is still excellent, but the vocals are kind of bleh, and the songs just aren’t that good with a few exceptions. “Stripped, Raped, and Strangled” and “Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead” are among these exceptions. These two songs have the old Cannibal influences that I have come to love. They are catchy, they are heavy, and they are fast. Now with the rest of the album; there seems to be a lot of fillers. A lot of the songs fall short and just don’t do anything for me. I think the major issue if the songwriting. The songs just aren’t the same. Sure the lyrics are gross, and they have some pretty good riffs. But I find that a lot of the songs are just blast beats and sub-par vocals. I’ve thought of Chris as one of the best vocalists for death metal but what the hell happened on here? He is not even close to as deep as on “Tomb” and his highs are just obnoxious.
A lot of negatives so far, but I’ll talk about some of the positives. The speed that Cannibal does so well is still here. A lot of the songs are really fast. The riffs are good, probably because Rob Barrett joined. The bass is as usual flawless. Alex Webster is a master and deserves more praise. The drums are the usual Cannibal Corpse style and I say that being a very good thing because I personally love his style. “Stripped, Raped, and Strangled” is probably the best thing about this album. It is just amazing. It also seems like they ran out of ideas for songs so this album ends up having a lot of fillers. Only 3 or 4 songs are actually memorable and the rest just fall flat.
The production is a huge step down from their previous album. I’m not saying it sounds bad by any means but it just doesn’t sound very heavy. They seemed to lose a lot of the toughness they had in previous albums. The guitars are probably the thinnest they’ve ever been. One thing I can’t get over is the vocals. They are just lame when you look at their other work. Not nearly as guttural and just take away from the album.
I’m not saying this is a horrible album, but when you stack it against their other albums, it just doesn’t keep up. Oh yeah, and the cover blows. Regular and the alternate.
Best tracks – “Stripped, Raped, and Strangled”, “Fucked with a Knife”, and Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead”
The Bleeding was the 4th album from Cannibal Corpse, and a rather pivotal point in their career, as their cover art and lyrics were creating controversy around the band. In fact, most people would not even recognize the real cover art for this album, since it was censored and Metal Blade was forced to release an extremely dull alternative. This was also a time for change in the cannibal camp, as guitarist Rob Barrett (Solstice, Malevolent Creation) took over the spot left open by Bob Rusay. It is the last album for Chris Barnes, who would soon be booted from the band, causing a foolish rift between stubborn fans who somehow believed that, because they hired a superior vocalist and (eventually) wrote better music, were no longer their precious little antisocial house band.
But for The Bleeding itself, one will be satisfied that the band have not relapsed into the boring efforts of their first few years, but have continued the path of quality brutality that began with its predecessor Tomb of the Mutilated. There are riffs on this album that are pure gold, and then there are those in between which do little but propel you forward into their betters. The mix does not feel so razor fine as the previous album, there is a much more weighted, bludgeoning tone, like the band decided to shift from the chainsaw to the ballpeen hammer as their choice weapon for clobbering fans and foes alike. Barrett and Owen are as tight as a pair of testicles in a vice, and this album is the best yet in terms of its guitar output, with busy, technical rhythms simmering over the low end hammering of Alex Webster, who is arguably the best bass player in death metal.
"Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead" is a solid tune which exhibits the guitars' flair for wavering patterns that create a tremolo-like effect, a low end trilling morass that always stands out among the palm muting corpsescape. Cannibal were certainly not the first band to practice such a technique, but their constant use of it to craft catchy moments into their songs would translate into a million impersonator bands, who are even today trying to come up with the perfect re-write to this very album. "Fucked With a Knife", now one of the band's live staples, is like a thrashing outbreak of cholera, passing form one unkempt metal freak to the next with the symptoms of gastrointestinal unrest and headbanging frenzy. It is customary for George to dedicate this one 'to the ladies' at live performances, and I'll never forget the time he was pointing at my own (ex) from the stage, terrifying her. Ditto for "Stripped, Raped and Strangled", which opens like an axe felling a tree and warps into another of the band's excellent guitar trills, this time followed by Webster's bass. This song serves as something akin to an anthem, because the verse is hard rocking and defiant and the payoff is like having concrete poured into your chest cavity and then battered into the pavement.
"Pulverized" is frenetic and fun, though it may not leave quite the impression of its fellows, whereas the creeping horror of "Return to Flesh" offers a more memorable distinction. The ability to plod forward while the guitars emit streams of paranoid horror is one of the true core strengths of Cannibal Corpse, one they would carry forward onto their superb albums like Bloodthirst. The full band commits on this track, include Barnes in one of his better performances. The way it plays with your instincts, ranging from barbaric to almost clinical, creates a grisly narrative within its borders, and "Return to Flesh" is indeed one of the band's best and most underrated songs. "The Pick-Axe Murders" follows with a dense, thrashing rhythm, and when it unleashes into blinding speed over the extended bridge, Barnes alternates between his decent grunt voice and rather annoying snarls. "She Was Asking for It" uses a pair of percussive guitar rhythms, one of chords and the other of screaming higher notes, to build a velocity over Webster's pumping, excellent bass line, before the whole track twists into a brickhouse groove in the verse. This is yet another of those great C.C. tracks that you don't hear much about, in particular the excellent breakdown at about 3:00.
'Black, the blood of the dead
I wrapped my hands around her neck
Squeezing out her breath
Eyes rolled back in her head'
So, Cannibal Corpse were definitely not out to make nice with any friends of the finer sex, much less any feminist organization. But as usual with death metal, you need to take the lyrics with a grain of salt, since they are purely fictional representations of violent impulses that mirror the nihilism and extremity of the music, a poetry of the dispossessed and fallen. "The Bleeding" offers charnel grooves and a woven mystique through the subtle lead melodies that hang at the edge of perception, until it explodes with surgical mass genocide through its bridge, a series of curving and eerie palpitations that were sure to please the tech death fan of the day. "Force Fed Broken Glass" is likewise incredibly, with an intense battery of guitar riffs and basslines that rise above and beyond the call of duty for the average death metal band. The breakdown into the verse loses a little steam, but it is recaptured through the spooked old school death rhythm of the bridge. "An Experiment in Homicide" is another qualified slaughter, with more mesmerizing bass that recalls a sped-up Pestilence when it races below the disturbing chords at around :30. No surprise that this, too, is one of the best tracks of the Barnes years.
The Bleeding was the end of an era, and although it was the swan song for Barnes, he left us with a positive impression here (though the snarls could be weak at times). It is a credit to this album that, despite its age, it still sounds fresh and inventive even by 2010 standards, and that's having been copied a countless number of times. The formula worked, and it's the same formula Cannibal Corpse is still using today: tight, technical songs that balance a mosh pit aesthetic with blistering spurts of jugular blood, delivered through a near endless reservoir of memorable riffs. I actually enjoy this album more today than I did when it released, though there are 2-3 songs here that I could live without and so it's a ways from perfect. As the best Chris Barnes fronted death metal album in history, it deserves a listen and a spot on the meat rack of any young masochist.
Chris Barnes went out with something that was more whimper than bang on this one: you can definitely hear that his voice was starting to get strained and slip towards the hoarse, distasteful style he would ejaculate on later Six Feet Under and Torture Killer releases. Occasionally it works, typically (and unsurprisingly) primarily on the tracks that sound closest to Six Feet Under; 'Stripped, Raped And Strangled' is a standout not only for being the best track on the album, but sounding so profoundly unlike Cannibal Corpse with its very clear emphasis on groove over atonal riffs and neck-snapping pacing. The divisions in the band are very clear on this release, and even without knowing that the band would break up after its release, the careful listener can probably see the spiderweb crack extending further outward with every track.
Unfortunately, apart from a handful of tracks such as the aforementioned 'Stripped, Raped And Strangled' or 'The Pick-Axe Murders', 'The Bleeding' is a generally unsatisfying album. This is a release that seems to be decidedly pulled in multiple directions: in one aspect, you have a more technical riffing style which would really come into bloom on 'Vile', in another you have the greater emphasis on groove (which unintentionally results in the better tracks on the album), and on still another a greater thrash influence than would be found on the previous two Cannibal Corpse LPs. The overall feel of the album is weirdly regressive and tame, considering how much of it wouldn't seem entirely bizarre on 'Eaten Back To Life'. While it is superficially more death metal than that album, even the most intense sections tend to lack bite due in no small part to the overly flat production job, mediocre vocals of Barnes, and generally uninspired and unmemorable riffing.
While all the performances are capable (vocals notwithstanding), this is a weirdly passionless album, a very far cry from the ultra-brutal and intensely evil compositions that defined works like 'Butchered At Birth'. Without the feeling of urgency that was present on earlier albums, a lot elements such as the atonal riffing are rendered rather meaningless. It's sort of distressing that the best songs are those which resemble Cannibal Corpse the least; 'Stripped, Raped And Strangled' is an Obituary throwback through-and-through, which is a fine thing, but more than a little disconcerting when found on the album of a band who outright rejected such a style for most of their career. But really, the overreaching problem of the album is simply that the songs are boring: the riffs are bland and the songwriting is underdeveloped apart from a couple glaring exceptions.
'The Bleeding' is revered as a classic in a lot of death metal circles, and while it does have its flickers of excellence, it's for the most part a very mediocre release a fitting epitaph for Barnes' meaningful career. This is a necessary album for Cannibal Corpse completists or death metal historians, but from a pure listening perspective, there's not much to keep one's attention here.
Wow, I didn’t expect this from Cannibal Corpse losing their brutality like this. The first problem on this album is that of Mr. Barnes’s vocals they suck!
He has lost the guttural roaring that we all came to recognize as the epitome of death metal vocalization, but here he use’s a mix of low pitched growls which are okay ,but also really shit for Cannibal Corpse standards . Also he does a very weird little Cradle of Filth style shriek. He sounds as if he’s choking on how gay he really is, I mean their interesting and all, but when you’re in the mood for guttural as fuck vocals this is not what you get here.
But one thing that has made me give such a high rating for this release was because of how good the music was being played. Musically this album is amazing. The Jack Owen and Rob Barret rifting was incredible especially during “Return To Flesh”. This was Rob Barret’s first “Cannibal” album and Jesus what a debut! Alex Webster and Paul Mazurkiewicz are both brutal as always.
Another thing that has let this album down is the shocking job that has been done with the mixing. They have almost completely mixed out the bass guitar. Webster has a bit of a solo in “Fucked With A Knife” but compared to “Butchered” and “Tomb” where the bass is actually audible. Also they’ve made Chris’s vocals very dominant over the rest of the band who are doing a much better job than he is.
Next thing is the lyrics, I don’t much care that Barnes has gone a bit pussy on us as I knew that would happen, but when he starts coming up with this crap something is wrong . For example on the song “Pulverized” he says “I wont sustain these injuries pick up the piece’s of me” now to me that sound’s weak. So the magnitude of the change is huge from, “Eternally I smash your face facial bones collapse as I crack your skull in half” from “Hammer Smashed Face” and “The kitchen becomes a makeshift slaughterhouse every nine months she butchers one more child” from “Spilt Wide Open”.
The best songs on this album however are “Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead”, “Stripped Raped And Strangled” and “Return To Flesh”. Overall not a bad effort from the boys but I’m glad that Chris departed because I can only imagine what Cannibal Corpse would be like now if he had stayed.
This album has very memorable rifts, drum blasting, and a whole lot more. So if you’re a hardcore fan buy this album there’s loads of death metal goodness to be found here. But if you’re not really or if you’re just getting into “Cannibal” stay away from “The Bleeding” and go more the direction of “Tomb Of The Mutilated”.
What we have here is a collection of mainly good songs, songs that predominately sit above the usual death metal standard, all ruined by under-par production and a horribly untalented vocalist. I mean, Chris Barnes puts as much effort into his growls as he does sleeping. Chris Barnes is the fault in Cannibal Corpse's otherwise incredible music.
When my friend let me borrow this album, I had previously heard the first three songs: "Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead", "Fucked With A Knife" and "Stripped, Raped, Strangled". I was disappointed to find that these were three of the only songs on the album that I actually like. "Pulverized", "She Was Asking For It", the title track, and closer "An Experiment in Homicide" are the other better songs. Then, you have three incredibly flawed songs, "Return to Flesh", "The Pick-Axe Murders" and "Force Fed Broken Glass". Also, there is a somewhat lacklustre cover of 1980's death metal pioneers Possessed's "The Exorcist", which isn't half as frightening as the original, and very boring.
To begin with, the first four songs are really enjoyable, and jsut about flawless, apart from the chorus of "Fucked With A Knife", where Barnes' attempts at going high are so bad it sounds like he's having a hernia in his bell-end. "Stripped, Raped, Strangled" is definately the best of the bunch here, it's so enjoyable, and has the only good high vocal moment of the album. At the same time, the best lyrics on the album are said: "She was so beautiful/I had to kill her!". But up next is the incredibly boring and drawn out "Return to Flesh". You cannot make a slow song as long as this, especially with those shitehole vocals and guitars that are bassy and sound like they are set to a 'neck' pick-up mode. No way in hell.
Next we have the worst lyrics in the world, contained in the song "The Pick-Axe Murders". Who writes lyrics that say:
You thought it was over
It's not over
I came back
I brought my axe
Again, spoken in terribly under-par standards. When he says it low, it sounds like he's impersonating a mentally disabled teenager. When he says it high, he really sounds like he's taking the piss. But how could a band that writes a song like "Stripped, Raped, Strangled", with such great lyrics and vocal deliverance, produce a song as balls as this, three songs later on the same album? Also I would like to add, in Barnes's other band, Six Feet Under, his vocals are actually really good. Was this an experimental piece, or did he just not really care?
The next few songs I have already mentioned, and are good. On "Force Fed Broken Glass", about halfway through, we have Barnes making the sounds of somebody being, well, force fed broken glass. But it's so shit! For crying out loud, if you are going to do something on a record that is going to be released for public listening, don't mess it up, and definately do not make it as embarassing as Barnes makes it. Closer "An Experiment In Homicide" rounds the album off nicely, however, and makes up for the preceeding pile of bastard.
So how is this album overall? Well, it clearly states in the rules of metal that metal songs must have riffs. And here, we have riffs. Memorable riffs, catchy riffs, fun to play riffs; but also, we have the obligatory boring, forgetful riffs. It seems that this album is somewhat of a weighing scale. For every crap thing that goes off, we have a great riff. For every time Chris sings, we have the rest of the band putting effort in. For every lesser song, though, we have two good songs, which unbalances the scales - for the better. Yes, this album is definately on the good side of average, no matter how much Chris Barnes ruins things with his apathetic efforts behind the microphone.
This is an album I will listen to occasionally - it's nothing special, but does have it's great moments. Barnes really does annoy me on this album, though, and I think it is fair to say that the Corpsegrinder, George Fisher, who picks up vocal duties on the next album (Vile, 1996) is the better Cannibal Corpse frontman. If you want some reasonable Chris Barnes stuff, listen to Six Feet Under. Otherwise, listen to the Corpsegrinder.
Hmm....what to say about Cannibal Corpse. Even though they played a crucial role in establishing the death metal genre, they never really were that great at it. Though much of the band displayed a fair degree of technical prowess, they were constantly hindered by a shitty vocalist, repetitive and monotonous song structures, and the lack of memorable riffs. And then come 1994, they give us The Bleeding. Adopting a more acceptable groove death sound (prefered among the 'modern' death acts of the 90's) as opposed to their earlier, grind-ier material, CC exchanged some of their brutality for a lot of much-needed coherency. This is the style of death metal that the band would prove themselves to be most proficient at and it is during this period that they would release their best work.
First though, I must say that I hate Chris Barnes. His voice sounds different on all four of the Cannibal Corpse releases he's featured on, but he's merely uniquely shitty on each and his presence detracts from all of them. On The Bleeding, he alternates between a traditional death growl and a shrieky high-pitched uh...shriek. Both suck hard; Barnes sounds raspy and unintimidating. But unlike on CC's previous releases, the band's instrumental prowess more than make up for him. The Bleeding is the first album to feature guitarist Rob Barrett, whose appearance is probably one of the reasons that this album sounds as good as it does, instrumentally. He and Jack Owen provide some monster riffwork on here, ranging from mid-paced groove ("The Bleeding") to crawling doom (parts of "Force Fed Broken Glass" and "Return to Flesh") to grind ("Pulverized"). The songs still end up being a bit repetitive in nature, but the riffs are far more memorable than they've been up to this point in the band's career, as are the lead guitar moments (though the latter only appear on occasion). The dynamics of the drumming are also unusually good here, varying the tempo quite frequently and keeping the blast beats in check a bit better.
But the real star of the show here is Alex Webster. This guy has got to be one of the quickest bassists outside of prog. Check out the arpeggios in the fade-out of "Force Fed Broken Glass" as well as pretty much everywhere else on here. It's his playing I've come to appreciate on here the most, even over the Owen/Barrett harmonizing riff tagteam.
It's also notable that their lyrics have been toned back a bit from previous releases. There's still plenty of gore and violence to be found (hell, there's even some choking to be heard in the bridge of "Force Fed Broken Glass"), but even perverted tales like "Fucked with a Knife" are pretty lightweight compared to the depravity depicted in say, "Necropedophile." Even the album cover is toned back, possibly to show this.
With all aspects considered, I'm sure their old-school death and grindcore fans were screaming "Sellout" at about this time. Perhaps CC did sell out, but the new sound was definitely an improvement over their earlier albums. Less noisy, more interesting (albeit less gore-drenched) lyrically, and more proficient technically, The Bleeding still stands as one of their better albums and in light of what Six Feet Under would end up doing, easily the best thing that Chris Barnes will ever attach his name to.
If you were to randomly ask a group of metalheads about their favorite Cannibal Corpse album, you'd probably get mixed opinions. Cannibal Corpse have some great records, but there are always different opinions on which one is their best. Being a gigantic Cannibal Corpse fan myself, I've come to appreciate most of their albums, but only one of their records stands out to me as their best. Before Chris Barnes got the boot from Cannibal Corpse, he and the masters of gore came together and released "The Bleeding," which stands out to me as Cannibal Corpse's best release and the peak of their career.
"The Bleeding" has Cannibal Corpse continuing the harsh death metal assault they began with their debut. Rob Barret and Jack Owen do a phenomenal job shredding on this album. From the opening seconds of "Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead" to the ending slab of "An Experiment In Homicide," Barret and Owen never desert their incredible guitar playing. "Staring Through The Eyes Of Dead" is the best representation of their shredding because of the relentless attack of fast riffing and the cluster of solos. No wonder it's a fan favorite! "Stripped, Raped, And Strangled" is a simple, yet brilliant display of guitar work. Owen and Barret will continually hit a few notes, stop, repeat, and go into a rapid fire riff. The technical riffs on "Pulverized" and "She Was Asking For It" help Cannibal Corpse maintain new levels of craftsmanship and professionalism. These two tracks shine on "The Bleeding" because they feature a more complex side of what these guys are capable of.
Drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz makes his presence known on "The Bleeding." From the hyperspeed double bass work to the crushing blastbeats, Paul does it all. There is some great bass work on "The Bleeding" as well. The bass lines on "Staring Through The Eyes Of Dead" and "Fucked With A Knife" are short, but they add a vast amount of color to the music.
"The Bleeding" has Chris Barnes experimenting a bit with his growls while still maintaining his incredible vocal ability. Barnes has been notoriously known for his strong vocal performances, and "The Bleeding" is no exception. Just like the first three Cannibal Corpse albums, Chris's growls are still deep and forceful. Beside his proper use of death growls, Barnes shines with his marvelous vocal patterns. Chris's growls flow perfectly with the death metal mayhem during every song. Every time Chris growls, it seems to fit in at the right moment; not once did I find a moment where his vocals didn't fit. Chris Barnes doesn't only adapt his death growls on "The Bleeding," he also uses some awesome vocal effects. Barnes added high pitched growls to his vocal design in "The Bleeding," and they work out in his advantage. Tracks like "Fucked With A Knife" and "The Pick Axe Murders" have Barnes exercising these high pitched growls; this vocal form makes these songs seem more energetic and haunting, which is what Cannibal Corpse is all about. The intro of "Stripped, Raped, And Strangled" has Barnes using some faded vocals effects while "Force Fed Broken Glass" has a vile gagging noise that appropriately fits the title.
Chris Barnes didn't make a name for himself in Cannibal Corpse because of his vocals, it was the lyrics he wrote that pumped the creativity and gory imagine into Cannibal Corpse. The lyrics Barnes wrote on "The Bleeding" continue to correspond with Cannibal Corpe's graphic tales of murder, rape, and torture. Some songs like "Force Fed Broken Glass" and "Stripped, Raped, And Strangled" are pretty self explanatory when it comes to lyrical themes, yet the writing remains clever and original. The lyrics are descriptive, messy, and disturbing, and that's probably what Barnes wanted to do with his listeners.
Regardless of how you view "The Bleeding," I think we can all agree on it's historical significance. This album has been one of Cannibal Corpse's most well known records, and many of the songs on this CD have become fan favorites. Even to this day, "Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead," "Fucked With A Knife," and "Stripped, Raped, And Strangled" are typically part of Cannibal Corpse's live set. "The Bleeding" also was the last album of the Chris Barnes era before he was kicked out and replaced by George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher.
I've listened to "The Bleeding" numerous times and I haven't been bored of it once. This album is defiantly Cannibal Corpe's best record and is one of my favorite albums of all time. From my standpoint, this album is essential for any metal fan.
This review was orginally written for: http://www.Thrashpit.com
Well, after Tomb of the Mutilated, which has precisely two songs that stood out, this one is way more memorable. This one is way more thrashy and the drumming is toned down a lot, which makes this way more enjoyable than the previous album. Production is nice, and thanks fully the drums are turned down a bit. This makes the riffs a lot more effective. Combine with awesome audible bass lines from Alex Webster, and we've got some killer stuff. Oh yeah.....there's Barnes. He's not quite as monotone, and he attempts these high pitched shrills. He's still lame though, and the weakest link of the band.
"Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead" is an awesome slab of Death/Thrash, overall more memorable, and a great way to start of the album. "Fucked with a Knife" (woah b00tal) has some nice riffs until we get Barnes screeching like a woman and some lame typical blastbeats. "Stripped, Raped, and Strangled" is a slower song for the most part with some nice trade offs from the guitar. Overall a more memorable song. "Pulverized" is pretty average. "Return to Flesh" is practically a thash song with bad vocals, and is one of the better songs on here. "The Pick Axe Murders" is pretty weak, and sounds like it was done nine times already on the last album. "She Was Asking for It" suffers from the same problem. "The Bleeding" is awesome, lots of great thrashy riffs and some wierd stuff played in 6/4, but done tastefully. "Force Fed Broken Glass" is pretty cool. Lots of nice riffs and is very atmospheric. We have Barnes "eating broken glass" in it, but it really just sounds like he's choking on a dick. "An Experiment in Homicide" has a few nice riffs, for only being a 2 and 1/2 minute song. Decent end.
I'd say the highlights include "Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead, "The Bleeding" and "Return to Flesh". This album is a lot more memorable as previously stated. The riffs are just better and aren't over powered by stupid drumming. This is Barnes's last album, he is then replaced by Corpsegrinder who....well....he sucks too, but that's another review. I'd recommend this, because it has a bit more variety, and even Thrash fans that aren't too much into Death metal (like myself) will probably enjoy it. RECOMMENDED
This has been in constant rotation in my CD player (well, it's in there more than most other CDs) since I got it at Christmas. This is criminally under-rated and hailed by many as the worst Cannibal Corpse album-LIES!!! This is easily one of the best, showing brutality, variation, and a general willingness to experiment with the sound Cannibal Corpse had set for themselves throughout the course of their first 3 albums.
The opening track, Staring through the Eyes of the Dead is instantly recognizable as a classic with some memorable riffing, great drumming and soloing, all completed with awesome vocals which you just can’t help but growl along to-keep an eye out for some of the awesome riffing which will have you head banging like there’s no end. Every track on the CD is memorable, so I’ll just point out some great bits for y’all: Stripped, Raped and Strangled is my favourite song on the album-the most commercial, but the most badass-great riffs, vocals and it’s fucking evil. The soloing on Return to the Flesh is awesome, She Was Asking for it has some great vocal parts “Come to me…” and Experiment in Homicide ends the album with a bang-a gory bang, at that.
Overall I highly recommend this album, regardless of what others might say-it’s the best death metal album I’ve heard in a long time and different enough to appeal to those who might not generally enjoy Cannibal Corpse. Get it, NOW!!!
I don't care for this CD. Most of the songs on here are total shit, while some others are some pretty good songs. Not much else to say except after this album Chris Barnes was kicked out. The reason? Probably this album.
"Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead". This song is easily the best song on the album. Some nice riffs and nice bass playing. Lyrics are....ehh shitty. The guitaring makes up for it. This has some very catchy guitar, especially when you see this song played live. This is one of Cannibal Corpse's classics.
"Fucked With a Knife". Egh...Chris Barnes shows the world his new more high-pitched vocals. They sound all right, I guess, but they just seem misplaced. This song makes me want to hit him and tell him to stop. Some more interesting riffs and more shitty lyrics. All right song.
"Stripped, Raped and Strangled". Where do I start? This is the worst Cannibal Corpse song EVER. It doesn't get any worse than this. I almost avoid the play of this CD just so I don't have to waste my time skipping this song. Shitty song title too, when I read the title I have to look twice because it looks like it says "Star Spangled Banner" by Cannibal Corpse. The guitar is terrible, this song is basically just Chris Barnes. If you watch the Live Cannibalism video of this song, I don't know how Corpsegrinder doesn't break out laughing while singing it and the guitarists look bored to play it.
"Pulverised". Oh thank god...this is a great song to play after that shithole before it. It picks up with and awesomely fast riff. I don't know what they did then, but then this song gets old and repetitive quick. The lyrics really suck, I thought it was a mistake and they put the lyrics from a previous song on this song. But no, they didn't. This song...in between shitty and mediocre.
"Return to Flesh". Nice beginning riff, kind of slow. But then it picks up, and again, I don't know where it goes....am I allowed to say repetitive twice? I was just going to assume you knew the lyrics sucked, but they really, really show on this song. I mean, god damnit, I KNOW 14 YEAR OLD GOTHIC CHICKS WHO WRITE BETTER SHIT THAN THIS!
"The Pick-Axe Murders". If you've made it through this far in the CD without turning it off, then you might as well listen to the rest of it right? There might be some better songs on it right? Cannibal Corpse was just warming up...right? Nope, another boring ass song. Chris Barnes tries some more high-pitched shit at 1:04. I didn't read the lyrics.
"She Was Asking For It". Um....I'm gonna rename this song, "Staring Through the Eyes of the Stripped, Raped and Strangled." The guitar riffs are just riffs taken from those two songs. Lyrics...guitar...nuff said.
"The Bleeding". All right! YES! Okay, this is better...much better, some okay riffs, but 1,000 times better than pretty much everything before. I wouldn't say this is one of Cannibal Corpse's best songs, but on this album I'll go for anything. Lyric. Bad. Ugh.
"Force Fed Broken Glass". Decent song, I guess. Nothing too special about it, but it's all right.
"An Experiment in Homicide." Decent. Some okay guitar riffs. Not much else to say about it.
It made me sad to write this review, because Cannibal Corpse is one of my favorite groups. But I had to be honest, and this album just sucks. I don't even know why I still own this. At the beginning of this review I was going to give it a 50, but I realized as I went over each song, this isn't worth a 50. God damnit Chris Barnes sucks. Read these fucking lyrics, it's the same shit, over and over again. I'm pretty sure he uses the word 'dead' in every song on here. Don't buy this album, ever. Instead, just download the songs, "Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead", "Fucked With a Knife", and "The Bleeding".
This is the greatest Cannibal Corpse album out of all of their releases (my opinion). They have songs that range from something evil happening to him (Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead), getting revenge (She Was Asking For It) and just plain murder and gore ( The Pick-Axe Murders). I shall now, for your pure enjoyment, go down the list of tracks and give my thoughts on each.
1) Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead- My personnal favorite song of theirs. It's about a man who is legally dead, but can still feel and see.... and the coroners are starting the austopsy. Awesome stuff, he sings that they continue cutting him until they see his tears coming from his dead eyes. Haunting. Best song on the album.
2) Fucked With A Knife- Very gory with disturbing (in a good way) lyrics. He basically rapes a random woman while killing her with a knife. Oh, and he's stabbing her in the crotch. Fun times. Best line in the song is "Killing as I.... cum."
3) Stripped, Raped and Strangled- Another Gem. He's actually calling in to someone ( we can safely assume it's either some one in law enforcement or news broadcasting) that he is the one commiting murder on young women and leaving their bodies out in the open for people to find. He's basically telling them to find and stop him before he kills another. What a brilliant idea for a song. Hurray for them.
4) Pulverized- Best guitar solo on the entire album. In case you can't tell from the name of the song, he's a murderer that pulverizes his victims. He says he can't resist the temptation of killing people from behind, very slowly..... they don't have a support group for that.
5) Return To Flesh- Talking about people being damned to being spirits after they die. It's a good song but nothing really stands out in it. That's doesn't make it bad, though.
6) The Pick-Axe Murders- I'm going to make this one short. Any song that's about killing some one with a pick-axe and has a heavy riff rules.
7) She Was Asking For It- He's being haunted by a woman he killed. He's basically gone insane from doing it and has convinced himself that she was asking for it. He also hears her voice from beyond the grave. He does a haunting whisper for her voice and the intro to the song is bad ass.
8) The Bleeding- The title track is much like Return to Flesh. It's good but nothing really stands out either.
9) Force Fed Broken Glass- Woo! This song kicks ass. I really like the line "Oral sex with broken glass". Also, the gagging/choking/strangling sound he does during it adds to the element of the song.
10) An Experiment in Homicide- Basically about an insane doctor of some type who kills some one and then just explores and plays with the dead body..... "I don't want to hurt you, I just want to kill you."
So all and all, this is their best and if you don't own this and call yourself a Cannibal Corpse fan, you're a liar and a whore. If you are a fan of death metal or want to see if you will enjoy death metal, this is an album you'll want.
If you have never heard death metal or thrash, then this (or any other Cannibal Corpse release) will be the most intense thing to grace your cd player ever. However, if you know anything at all about metal, it becomes painfully clear that every song sounds the same. Nothing special about this cd, or any C.C. release.
The vocals are the widely accepted (READ: copied) semi-brutal style that infrequently breaks into a crappy scream. The scream itself sounds like a chipmunk getting thoroughly booted in the nads. For those C.C. fans out there, try mimicking Devourment or Disgorge vocals, they're infinitely more brutal.
The drums are monotonous. Everything is played either as a double-bass semi-blast beat, or a steady single bass beat with simultaneous snare strokes (a "skill" that any drummer who's ever taken a lesson learns on the first day).
The guitars are also condemned to the infamy of being monotonous. There is a main riff that seems to be in every single damn Cannibal Corpse song in existance. Granted, there are small sub-riffs, but they last moments and aren't exentuated.
For my final gripe, take a look at the lyric sheet. Despite the fact that every song has the vocabulary akin to a 6th grader, notice that there is an ABAB rhyme scheme in every damn song. No variety whatsoever.
I will admit that C.C. is fun to watch live. With that said, if you love Cannibal Corpse, do yourself a favor and buy one of their cd's. One cd is pretty much buying all the albums together anyways. Do yourself a favor and buy an Impaled cd for crying out loud.