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90s Metal Fuck-Ups IV: Those Who Created It To Kill It - 25%

Lord_Of_Diamonds, May 2nd, 2019
Written based on this version: 2018, 12" vinyl, Metal Blade Records (6 colors)

I begin, once again, by stating the obvious: Cannibal Corpse arguably invented death metal as we know it. They helped to put the "deathrash" era behind and turn death metal into this wild, chaotic, blastbeat-punctuated music that we're all familiar with. As one of the pioneers, and one of the first bands to allow the death metal genre to find mainstream success, they were quite outstanding and influential in their field. Emphasis on "influential" here. Every now and then there's that band that creates a signature sound that becomes endlessly imitated, because lesser bands want to ride on the coat-tails of that bigger band's fame. Most of the time, this situation creates a flood of "underground sludge" bands who take too much influences from their idols and don't bother to create a unique sound. Cases like these have resulted in some awful music scenes being formed (see Rings of Saturn and their peers). Cannibal Corpse is no exception when it comes to this phenomenon. Ultimately, and unfortunately, death metal would have to pay the price for having Cannibal Corpse at its front.

We saw the beginnings of the "new" Cannibal Corpse on "Gallery of Suicide", and "Bloodthirst" really brings those elements into focus. I like to blame two people in particular for the downfall of Cannibal Corpse: Pat O'Brien and George Fisher. (I refuse to refer to him by his horribly cringy, trying-oh-so-hard-to-be-edgy nickname.) Before Pat came along, guitars were left to the talents of Jack Owen and Bob Rusay (and later, Rob Barrett). Both were limited somewhat as far as technical skill goes, which resulted in both of them writing riffs that weren't over-the-top technical. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing, though. Think of all the great catchy riffs that Owen and Rusay came up with: the doom-like intros of "Born in a Casket" and "Covered with Sores", the infamous staccato opening for "Hammer Smashed Face", the memorable four-note wonder that was "I Cum Blood"... Every Corpse fan will remember those songs well. They grabbed you by the balls when you first heard them and they made you remember them. After O'Brien joined and brought his superior guitar skills with him, he started writing more technical riffs (and lowering the tuning to drop B and below). As a result of these technical riffs that were harder to listen to, Corpse's songs became less memorable. I ask you: can you remember listening to any Cannibal Corpse song from any album past "Vile" for the first time and that riff just got wedged into your head? (Don't say Make Them Suffer.) Were there ANY riffs AT ALL from those subsequent albums that were truly catchy in the way that stuff from the Barnes era was? Heh. I thought not. That's because O'Brien's riffs aren't about being catchy. They're about showing off technical skill. They don't stick in your head. Riffs from the Barnes era were pounded into your skull with a sledgehammer and the dent stayed there. With O'Brien's riffs, it's more like you still got smashed with the sledgehammer, but it didn't hurt at all. Of course the riffs are like that on this album. Too technical, not catchy enough, and - to top it off - the drop A tuning and the horrible, but very influential mids-cranked guitar tone sometimes make it hard to even tell what notes the guitars are playing. It's all just vague chugging that feels very forced. I really wish I could give you some musical examples of what I'm talking about, but that's just it. I can't. Every single guitar part goes in one ear and out the other. You'd have to listen to the songs a hundred times before you finally could tell a song from this album by its riff.

So, of course, all the lesser death metal bands had to jump on the bandwagon. They started playing technical, unmemorable riffs and downtuning entirely too much as well, without realizing that you don't have to be in drop A to be "brutal". So much did the downtuning aspect influence death metal as a whole, that downtuned, un-catchy guitars were written into the dictionary definition of death metal. How do you like that? Now, bands have to play the downtuned riffs that aren't memorable, or else they'll risk being not considered death metal by "dictionary".

George "Insert immature edgy name here" Fisher, like I've mentioned before, is the other thing that brought Cannibal Corpse down. The tone of his vocals is the major problem here. On this album, you can hear it very clearly. At the start of the song, he'll sound decent, but then, towards the end, his voice will gradually develop more of a whiny overtone, and it'll sound like he's crying very loudly instead of growling. Sometimes it's like this the whole way through the song. And then, of course, there are his high screams. Words cannot even begin to describe how abhorrent to the human ear Fisher's high screams are. They're even worse than Chris Barnes' pig squeals. It sort of sounds like he's crying in a low register when he growls; when he screams, it sounds like he's just crying. People would make the argument that this style of vocals sounds more aggressive than Barnes' style, but the aggressiveness is traded for quality of vocal tone along the way. The thing is, you see, Fisher's more aggressive cry-baby style of death metal vocals is easier to master than Chris Barnes' vomit-inducing grunts (which sounded much better). As such, death metal vocalists all over, who had been wondering how Barnes got his vocals to be that deep and sickening, suddenly heard Fisher, and they were like, "Aw, man! Their new vocalist sounds as shitty as I do! Well, if the masters of death metal are okay with it, then so am I!" Thus a whole breed of death metal vocalists that sound the same was born.

Lyrical efforts on this album pale in comparison to stuff like "Tomb of the Mutilated" (Corpse's best lyrical effort, IMO). When Chris Barnes left, he took his then-fading lyrical abilities with him. Writing duties now fell to other members of the band, and they were incompetent at it. When you read this album's lyrics, it's like they did the same thing with them as they did with the guitars. They made the lyrics more technical, to fit Fisher's style and speed. It sounds more like semi-morbid poetry than death metal lyrics.

"I want to be one with the dead
Collection of dead humans, dead
I want to be one with the dead
Collection of dead humans, dead
I want to be one of them"

From "Dead Human Collection". At first glance of the title, what is the song about? Someone who kills people and collects their bodies for fun. It's what Barnes would have written about. But what's the song actually about? It's actually about someone who wants to die and join his fellow cadavers in the "dead human collection". How brutal is that? Not very. Sounds more like emo than death metal.

"A beast in the wild with nocturnal dementia
Unearthly revival of clandestine extinction
Reborn creature, malicious being
Resurgence of a gruesome species
With carnal obsession, it lusts copulation
Scent of fresh human blood invades its dominion"

From "Raped by the Beast". The title sounds promising, yes, but are the lyrics promising? NO! Nothing about necrophilia, fucking the remains of the mother, etc.! It seems like they wrote some kind of childish story about a big shaggy dog that violates you, and then used the thesaurus to add some "poetic value" to it. It didn't work. I've heard post-hardcore songs with lyrics that are more shocking and brutal than the lyrics from this album. I'm dead serious. Speaking of shocking, guess what? There is a total of TWO uses of profanity in this ENTIRE ALBUM'S LYRICS!! Politically correct lyrics are not for death metal; what more need I say?

Oh yeah. One more thing about the lyrics. Fisher and everyone else seem to think that, since O'Brien's guitar parts aren't catchy, they can compensate by adding a catchy vocal part. I'll just say this: Incorporating some screamed form of the song title in for a hook is not a good way to make your songs catchy. However, it's the formula that Corpse has adopted, and it doesn't look like they'll be dropping it.

The song structures did the opposite of the riffs post-Barnes. No more surprising, chaotic tempo changes (or even time signature changes). Songs from this album rely extensively on blast beats and thrash beats. I'm sure I can't be the only one who thinks that blast beats get really annoying after you've heard more than sixteen bars of them. It doesn't sound inventive anymore. The blast beat is to drums what a diminished scale sweep is to guitars: something not too hard to play that you can pull out on the fly to make it sound like you have more skill than you actually do. This over-use of blast/thrash beats would be a major influence on later death metal bands, and be yet another thing that was written into the dictionary definition of death metal. So, now what happens when someone starts a death metal band and reads the dictionary definition? Downtuned guitars and blast beats? All right, no problem! I was that person once. The first death metal song I wrote was at least 80 percent blast beat (because I read the dictionary definition). Blast beats are not necessary for something to be considered "death metal". Look at the song "NecroPedoPhile" off Tomb of the Mutilated. That song doesn't have a single blast beat in it, and it's still death metal. I think there's only one song on this entire album that has no blast beats: "Unleashing the Bloodthirsty". Who knows. There might be more, but it's like I said. Each song goes in the ear and out the other.

Another thing: I have to comment on Paul Mazurkiewicz's shortcomings as a drummer. They've been there from the beginning, and they're always there, even when he's playing a steady groove. It especially shows when he's doing the Kreator death/thrash beat (quarter-note snare and kick, quarter-note triplet power hand). It almost seems like he's slowing down the more he does it. More than a few of his fills are sloppy too. I'm not sure if drum triggering technology was evolved enough in 1999 to convert a human's playing to recorded MIDI and then correct timing errors by replacement with a virtual instrument. It definitely was by 2006, though. Paul's sloppiness can be somewhat excused when his drums sound raw, but when they're overproduced, all his mistakes are magnified. The drums are produced professionally; shouldn't they be played professionally? Granted, his timing errors here aren't as severe as earlier efforts or live performances.

This brings me to my favorite part of every review: production discussion. I've mentioned the guitar tone already, but everything else about the production style would go on to be endlessly imitated, too. Perhaps the loss of Scott Burns is another thing that contributed to the downfall of Cannibal Corpse. He produced every album of theirs as raw as possible (remember the toy drums on "The Bleeding"?), and it really added to the music. It sounded authentic. The production on this album has been sterilized ten times over. Guitars full of mids, drums that have been compressed down to a click, and an inaudible bass. Well, mostly inaudible. Webster is not the kind of bassist to let someone mix him out. His choice of tones here, though, is the thing that makes him inaudible. At the beginning of "Coffinfeeder", you can hear his tone for real, and it's lacking in mids. The guitars are full of mids, which basically leaves just the sub frequencies of the bass to be audible. If that's the way it's going to be, why don't you just replace the bass with a sine wave and be done with it? The only time you can hear Webster here is when he doesn't twin the guitars. What about this sounds familiar? Most of it, right? None of it sounds raw. It sounds overproduced; too machine-like. It all sounds overproduced now. And why? What about recording technology has changed that much to where we cannot produce a sound anymore that sounds overproduced? I suppose that, just because producers can make it sound like this, they do. Probably at the request of the band, who handed the producer the Bloodthirst CD and said, "Produce this sound for us. We want to sound like our idols."

It really is sad to reflect on Cannibal Corpse and see how they created death metal as we knew it, only to kill it. While Chris Barnes and his rapidly dying voice wasted away in Six Feet Under, Cannibal Corpse became a prototype for all those underground death metal bands who pump out music that's not exciting or catchy. It just exists as music. It serves no purpose other than to present an opportunity for the musicians to practice their instruments. No effort is put into memorable songwriting, bringing back the cramped Scott Burns style of production, or anything else that made early 90s death metal interesting. This album marked the point of no return for death metal and Cannibal Corpse. It is a tiresome collection of sterile songs that don't stand out from one another and make little effort to do so. Again, I say that it is sad that the biggest band in this area of music is the very same band that ruined it with their own shift in musical direction.

I guarantee that if you played a modern Cannibal Corpse song for someone who had never heard of them or heard their music, and then played them a song by a random underground death metal band, they would not be able to tell the difference between the two.

Bloodthirst; a master craft - 90%

Ovxul, November 9th, 2017
Written based on this version: 1999, 12" vinyl, Metal Blade Records

Well I do love Cannibal Corpse, that's a fact. I've been listening to them since they formed in 1988 and I've only been let down a couple of times by "The Bleeding" and "Tomb of the Mutilated." Not so with this album, however. "Bloodthirst" in and out is a straightforward death metal album, or rather a special brand of death metal. A brand that incorporates melody with brutality very eloquently. From the striking cover art to the sharp music within, I've got a lot to like here.

George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher. He's a singer with a far better range and depth than his predecessor Chris Barnes. I'm a fan of his highs and lows when singing, which are on on display quite well on "Dead Human Collection."

Guitarists Jack Owen and Pat O' Brien provide their money's worth on "Bloodthirst" with some fantastic solos and intuitive and inventive riffs, like on the album's opener "Pounded into Dust." I like the interplay between both guitarists on "Ecstacy in Decay;" I think it fits very well into the heavy and unique style this album has. Alex Webster provides the lyrics and the rumbling bass lines here, most notably on "Coffin Feeder," where Alex fits in between the beating drums and guitars. His lyrics however can leave you confused and perhaps a little bewildered because I don't feel he gets the message that he wants to fully get across on "Bloodthirst" with his lyrical content.

Paul Mazurkiewicz, drummer and co-lyricist is good (and I say good because he does one thing better than anyone else and that's blastbeats) and on point for this entire album and he doesn't falter once. He's a big inspiration for myself as a drummer because I like his approach and the overall way he goes about using his skills as a drummer.

And to close this review off, the reason "Bloodthirst" only gets a ninety and not a hundred percent score is because of the last track: "Condemned to Agony." I'm honest when I say this track shouldn't have made onto the record. It's through no fault of the musicians at hand, it's merely what they choose to do for this song, and that's seemingly nothing for 3 minutes and 44 seconds other than some stale riffing and drumming. Again, it's not the fault of the musicians, it's what they've chosen to create as a song.

"Bloodthirst" is an album I still listen to and I consider it a watershed moment for Cannibal Corpse back when it was released in 1999.

An overlooked masterpiece - 100%

SinCaptor95, July 23rd, 2014

In 1994, Cannibal Corpse released Tomb Of The Mutilated, and despite a ton of controversy regarding the album cover and lyrical content, it was hailed as one of the best death metal albums of all time. Since then, the band hasn't seemed to ever put out a release that would ever receive such acclaim. It's a real shame, because I personally think that Bloodthirst is by far their greatest effort. While Tomb is a solid slice of death metal, Bloodthirst feels more varied and doesn't suffer from some songs sounding "same-y" to each other. Every song on this album is distinguishable and very memorable, and when you have 11 tracks, that's definitely an accomplishment.

One of the most notable things about Bloodthirst is the production. This is one of the best, if not best, sounding albums that the band has ever put out. Aside from the bass sounding a bit quiet compared to everything else in the mix, everything manages to come together and sound absolutely amazing. When the bass is there, it sounds great. This shouldn't really come as much of a surprise knowing that this is Alex Webster we're talking about. The guitars sound very polished as opposed to how muddy they sounded on Vile and Gallery Of Suicide. This might even be my favorite guitar sound out of all of Cannibal's releases. The drum sound has a great punch to it, and the amount of time that was spent on getting the sound right was definitely worth it in the end. As for the vocals by Corpsegrinder, I can't stress enough how good he sounds here. Where he sounded a bit muffled by comparison on the past 2 albums, the production of Bloodthirst makes him sound clearer than ever. When he's barking out 100 words per minute, it sounds fantastic. His screams are also the best that they have ever sounded, and that is an understatement as to how much I love them. Listen to the chorus in Pounded Into Dust and you'll know what I mean.

The musicianship is just as impressive as the production. It's not the most technical playing you'll ever hear, but it's still pretty great. When the band is playing fast in songs like the first track, it's hard to not want to just let loose and headbang for the song's brief 2 minute length. When the band is playing grooves in songs like The Spine Splitter, trying to get those riffs out of your head is damn near impossible. The execution of it all is great, to say the least. Each song feels different and unique, and not just for the album, but for all of Cannibal's discography. Have you ever looked through a band's albums and noticed a song or two that you remember liking but you can't remember anything specific about them? That's not the case with Bloodthirst. Every song is so well executed and so memorable that it begs to be replayed. With a length of 34 and a half minutes, listening to it in it's entirety is a piece of cake and you'll be surprised by how fast it moves by because you're enjoying the music so much. With that being said, I think this is Cannibal Corpse's Reign In Blood as far as production, length, and replay value are concerned.

It's a real shame that this album doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. There's not a single complaint that I have with it other than it ends. Finding a perfect album is a rare occasion for me, but I really do think that Bloodthirst is one of those albums. Amazing production, 11 consistently strong tracks, and endless replay value makes it not only my favorite Cannibal Corpse album, but also one of my favorite albums of all time.

About as plain as they get - 70%

Noktorn, February 20th, 2010

This is a notable Cannibal Corpse album because it's the only one where the censored cover is actually better than the original. I mean, which would you really prefer: another bit of standard Locke gore or the much more haunting and weirdly harrowing depiction of the album's symbolic creature on the censored version? There's no contest in my mind.

Above and beyond that, this is perhaps the most archetypal Corpsegrinder album out there. It pretty accurately sums up the latter part of Cannibal Corpse's career: fairly technical, pummeling death metal that doesn't completely excise its oldschool thrash influences and is in many ways more rocklike than your usual death metal band owing to its verse/chorus song structures. In a lot of ways, Corpsegrinder himself appears to be the leading instrument, his vocal rhythms clashing brutally with the guitars and drums, like he's singing a completely different song than the instrumental track he's over. This isn't a particularly unusual convention in Cannibal Corpse but it's more pronounced here; that's really the only thing that distinguishes this album from the others of the same era, apart from the fact that when you think of Corpsegrinder-era Cannibal Corpse, this is the music you hear in your head.

There's nothing really wrong with this album; the production is good, the songs are very listenable and accessible, it's not a slog like 'Vile' was. At the same time, 'Pounded Into Dust' is about the only song I can really remember after the CD is off, being a traditional pummeling Cannibal Corpse opener on par with most others. It's really as conventional as Cannibal Corpse gets; not really a problem, but certainly this is no match to the follow-up album, 'Gore Obsessed', possibly the band's most underrated release. A lot of dedicated Cannibal Corpse fans suggest that this is a fantastic, underrated album, but I don't really see it: it's as middle-of-the-road as the band gets and doesn't really offer a lot in repeated listens.

Still, if you like Cannibal Corpse's traditional style, there's no reason not to get this. The songs are solid if not particularly memorable and there's a thousand more known album which are worth much less than whatever you'll pay for this.

Plundering the grave, i.e. how to death metal - 100%

autothrall, January 21st, 2010

Bloodthirst is more than just the apex of one band's career, it is also one of the finest death metal recordings yet offered via the human race, or certainly one of the finest I am proud to have heard and own. Since acquiring George Corpsegrinder Fisher for the rather average Vile, they have been making leaps and bounds with each release. First, Gallery of Suicide showed their inevitable promise, a technical and bloodsoaked splatter of great songwriting and atmosphere which straddles both the local morgue and the necropoli of the ancient. What Bloodthirst does is chip away every flake of excess fat from the compositions, leaving behind only a bared skeleton of flawless and brutal execution, which simultaneously honors all the great death metal of yesterday (from the Floridian sect of Death and Morbid Angel to the European greats like Pestilence), and shows that the band can run with just about any of the modern day, come lately jazz trained spastic youth who have invaded death metal with virtuoso intentions and left behind little but unmemorable, arrogant tripe thus far.

Bloodthirst is fast and it is pissed, but most importantly, it's the kind of album you can totally bang your head out to. Now, I'm an older guy, looking forward to such end of life triumphs as Viagra, checkers, more tea than I drink now, and finding my social security depleted thanks to bailouts and government entitlement programs; the kind of guy who might find it a little awkward to just break out headbanging his already strained neck. But even in writing this review, I have probably slipped at least three vertebrae from gyrating my spinal cord and planting my forehead against the nearest solid object (computer desk). The energy here is among the most the Corpse have ever ventured, and it is the listener who reaps the gain. The album features what many will one day come to know as the 'best', if not the 'classic' lineup of the band, with Fisher on vocals, Jack Owen and shredder Pat O'Brien on the guitars, Alex Webster ruling the bottom end, and the veteran skinner Paul Mazurkiewics, and each is at the very top of his career. But this is not some over-indulgent display of axe wankery, it is a force against nature which clearly has designs on the life of every human being breathing our atmosphere.

"Pounded Into Dust" is essentially the best way to describe me upon completion of a Bloodthirst listening, and yet it is presented up front as a dire warning to any who may continue into its curving, hammering depths. As usual, Cannibal Corpse are not ashamed to wear their thrashing influence on their bloodstained sleeves; now I know, yeah, all death metal comes from thrash, but Corpse show a huge love for both the brutal and technical European elements of the Germanic bands to the aggression of US/Bay Area/Canadian speed/thrash ala Slayer, Possessed or Razor. You can hear this in nearly every rhythm in this song, but my favorite would have to be the escalating, bludgeoning guitar passage around :40 that then breaks into a trot. "Dead Human Collection" arrives like the sense of paranoid confusion one might evoke upon the discovery of some hideout or backroom full of bodies piled high, having been massacred in all manner of brutal means. It's a wall of chugging force that constantly evolves into an even more concrete affirmation that your end is due in short order. But even this deathgasm would not prepare me for "Unleashing the Bloodthirsty", which is a likely candidate for my favorite Cannibal Corpse track ever...from the winding, unforgettable pattern of grooving mutes that comprises the verse, to the psychotic bridge which recalls the atmosphere of the classic Consuming Impulse from Pestilence, only a little more busy.

'Vengeance taking form
Endless hatred for the living
Plundering the world
Paroxysm of the damned
Rapture of their rage
Euphoria from butchery
A dark world will eclipse all life'

One would think you could just pen this tune and call it a day, for it is really that good, and yet there are still eight fantastic compositions to come, beginning with the roving, cerebral sledgehammer riffing of "The Spine Splitter", with it's maniacal collapse into blanketing bass and tapping madness. "Ecstasy in Decay" features a riff so fucking menacing that you can't help but feel you have left the world of the living, and suddenly see everything with necrotic humours pumping into your eyes from the entropy of a rotting brain. Acrobatic, tumbling rhythms entertain you like an undead circus act while you wait for that inevitable, domain crushing intro riff to return...and thankfully it does, albeit mutated, progressing into even more grisly gymnastics. "Raped by the Beast" is fun and thrashing hard, with razor rhythms strung as tightly as a garotte around the next victim's neck, while "Coffinfeeder" transforms from a brickhouse bludgeoning bass to a dark, choppy rhythm that could probably put most lumber companies out of business. The frenzy of clinical sounding, operating table mayhem that later erupts is some of the best you've heard post-Carcass.

"Hacksaw Decapitation" opens in distorted feedback, slowly swelling to inglorious capacities before the tunneling rhythm guitar erupts after about 70 seconds, straight into another hack and slash rhythm that almost teases you into thinking it will be boring before the band trades off into a creepy riff that covers you in arterial spray. "Blowtorch Slaughter" is a flippant, ferocious thrash off which grinds more pavement than a fleet of 18-wheelers piloted by zombie truckers. The rhythms transmit a very simple aesthetic: die, and when they get to the four on the floor thrash breakdown and then the seceding chug-a-long, you are in fact, dead. "Sicking Metamorphosis" crawls forward with another of the band's sluggish, mad scientist rhythms, you can simply close your eyes to picture the horrific experimentation the band was dreaming up with the narrative of these riffs, and the later melody builds a brutal and complex pace to the guitars which later morphs into even more vulgar lab results. The final track, "Condemned to Agony", is another island in a see of flawless, painful, violent joy, with freakish melodies that play to the thrashing verse guitar as Fisher's throat opens up, and then waves of psychosis that strike at you like a leeching abomination before Cannibal Corpse decide, for the last time, to pummel your fucking world down about you with an instant pit mayhem type of riff at around 1:30.

More than 10 years may have passed since the arrival of Bloodthirst, but it remains, in my opinion, the crowning achievement of this band, holding all the right cards for the perfect balance of their styles both old and new. It's complex, it's forceful and it is a seriously kick ass way to acclimate yourself to the world about you for 34 minutes. There are hundreds, if not thousands of death metal albums I have enjoyed in my time since the genre was birthed, but few that I will immediately grasp off the shelf for a fast and reliable fix sure to sate my dementia for a crushing, heavy sound that satisfies both in attitude and quality. Bloodthirst is one of them. I don't know what stars aligned in the sick world of the Corpse crew to compose this, but I hope that anomaly happens some time again in my lifetime. Later albums like Kill and Evisceration Plague actually come quite close to this one in terms of their quality, and have arguably more energy and production standards, but this is the true turning point at which a band that had been hyped through the ceiling (and granted, they had some great albums already like Tomb of the Mutilated, The Bleeding or Gallery of Suicide) suddenly was in full control of deserving such praise.

Cannibal Corpse has often been a target of death metal's detractors, because of their willingness to embrace the fantastical gore and murder of their creations as an art form. Ignorami will always single them out because of their higher visibility, and their popularity and success has even forced a segment of the underground who once worshiped them into a bunch of thumbsucking curmudgeons. Guess what? They are all wrong. Here is your lucky number #7, your living...err...undying (?) proof that they are one of the best death metal has to offer. Now bang that fucking head until you go all sleepytime.

Highlights: modern science has advanced enough medical technology that you will probably survive this. That is, if you want to.


I made up the name 'BluesRocker1967' - 61%

Cheeses_Priced, May 3rd, 2009

I pulled this album out for the first time in eons after seeing the video for “Make Them Suffer” (a newer Cannibal Corpse song) on YouTube. It was really the comments that inspired me: folks with handles like BluesRocker1967 confidently asserting Cannibal Corpse have no talent at all, can't play their instruments, etc.; stuff that seems ludicrous when coming from an individual who has the music right in front of them. What are they hearing coming out their speakers, anyway?

It makes you stop and think about the whole notion of accessibility in music. This is about as accessible as straightforward death metal is going to get. The production is good and the riffs are simple enough to be clearly articulated and understood, and the songs are typically centered around choruses. In spite of not having heard the album in years, I could probably identify half the songs on the album by name after a few seconds of listening. I can't keep the names of Deeds of Flesh songs straight, and I like them. It's neither a good thing nor a bad thing, in and of itself.

I am a little like the opposite of BluesRocker1967. Dissonant, warbling guitars and growling vocals and fast drums and all that sound just peachy to me, prima facie. Your typical death metal fan, immunized and desensitized against death metal's harsh aesthetic, will not have much trouble getting what's going on here, perhaps aside from some complaints with Corpsegrinder's distinctive vocals. Supposedly all Corpsegrinder-era Cannibal Corpse sounds pretty similar, which I can't confirm from firsthand experience with any reliability, but as an isolated example of death metal, this does not sound like the product of a group of guys who wanted to rock the boat too much (if they did, their fans would revolt). I can't say anything overly negative about it, and I don't mind listening to it. It's not even really boring: there are just enough little time signature and tempo changes to maintain interest, and it's pretty catchy at points. Still, if I had my money back, I'd spend it on something other than a Cannibal Corpse album.

(Try not to mind BluesRocker1967's attitude much. He also thinks anyone can make electronic music because you don't have to play an instrument, and classical music is “really relaxing.”)

Cannibal Corpse Gives a middle finger to nu-metal - 90%

Emoholocaust, November 19th, 2007

Cannibal Corpse have been experiencing a career revival of sorts recently with their last album "Kill" and rightfully so as that album is clearly the best thing released by a classic death metal act in quite sometime. But I read an interview with bassist Alex Webster recently where he was asked which of the Cannibal Corpse albums had been the most overlooked, his answer was "Bloodthirst". He also said it was a low point in sales for the band as well. I couldn't believe it because as much as I like "Kill", I feel this album is the peak of the albums they've put out with George Fisher.

Lets take a trip back to 1999. Megadeth releases "Risk", Machine Head releases "The Burning Red", and acts like KoRn and Limp Bizkit become the 1st names people think of when they hear the words heavy metal. Not a good time for any real metal releases let alone a Cannibal Corpse album, especially one as brutal as this one.

I think one of the reasons this album sounds so brutal is Colin Richardsons's clear but still heavy production. Most fans were put off by the muddy sound on "Gallery of Suicide" but the band rectify this on "Bloodthirst". Also the album clocks in at under 35 minutes so Cannibal Corpse wastes no time with experimentation here, they just keep it a brutal high paced listen the whole way through.

Finally theres the songwriting, which on this album is top notch. Tracks like "Pounded into Dust","Coffinfeeder","Ecstacy In Decay",and "The Spine Splitter" all will make you want to destroy everything around you, not to mention pound the face of anyone in range.Death metal can get repetitive and stagnant but Cannibal Corpse make sure to hold your attention the whole way through this album.

1999 may have been a dark year for real metal but this release and Testament's "The Gathering" showed there big name acts still making real heavy metal and saying fuck you to the trends at the time.So if your looking for a great death metal album and you really don't want some bullshit like Job For A Cowboy check this one out, I guarantee you'll be satisfied.

One Final, Definitive Eruption of Brutality - 94%

DawnoftheShred, October 12th, 2007

In the year 1999, Cannibal Corpse peaked. Some will claim it was in ’92 with the banal, gore-soaked Butchered at Birth; others that it was in ’96 upon the addition of George Fisher to the microphone. But it was with Bloodthirst in ’99 that they truly went above and beyond their capabilities. The only full album that sounded as good as this was Eaten Back to Life way back in ’90, and that was a very different Corpse than what would develop by the end of the decade. Finally utilizing Fisher to his full potential and cutting the fluff to allow only the tightest, nastiest ideas to survive, Bloodthirst is not only the apex of Corpsegrinder-era CC, but of their entire discography.

Now this statement might seem a bit presumptuous, as Cannibal Corpse are still alive and kicking (plus I haven’t heard the new album yet to judge it), but I can rest easily at night knowing I’ll never have to expect the band to put out an album better than this one. And who knows, they might just surprise me with a brand new classic, just as they surprised me with Bloodthirst, an album that had no right being as destructive as it is when taking in consideration the albums before and after it. No one expected a triumphant comeback after the half-hearted Gallery of Suicide. And after listening to Gore Obsessed or The Wretched Spawn, who would have thought that such marginally interesting albums could have been devised by the same band that unleashed THIS just a few years before. Perhaps these observations are all in hindsight, but let them stand as testament to an album that delivers unbelievably well in spite of a legacy of disappointment.

The first aspect of Bloodthirst that forcibly grabs the listener is the production. Never before has Cannibal Corpse sounded so devastating. Alex Webster’s bass is neither drowned out nor over-highlighted, allowing his basslines to slither between the guitars effortlessly, often creating harmonies that are otherworldly (see: “The Spine-Splitter” at 1:38 or “Ecstasy in Decay” at 2:08, among others). You won’t find riffs like that on a Deicide or Suffocation album, no offense to either of them. Paul Mazurkiewicz also performs at his very best, bludgeoning the listener with his most intense (not to mention best-recorded) drumming to date, but showing even more finesse in the highly variable tempo changes and technical time signature modulations. And Corpsegrinder finally gives a performance worthy of his nickname: his roars on here could indeed grind corpses. Additionally, it is worth noting that since the addition of the talented Pat O’Brien (ex-Nevermore) on second lead guitar, lineup staple Jack Owen has improved his leadwork to match his bandmate’s. Expect lots of crazy solos from both of them. I’d love to give them more credit for riff-writing, but most of the choice cuts on here were penned by Webster. O’Brien and Owen make up for it with flawless performances and a very brutal, but very, very discernable tone, never allowing a single riff to sound muddy or sloppy. Commendable job, gentlemen.

But speaking of songwriting, that’s the other significant difference between this album and the rest of the band’s work. Your average CC album consists of a few standout tracks, but scattered amidst a few too many by-the-book death metal anthems that neither impress nor displease. Not so on here, where every track is guaranteed to deliver at least one moment of exceptional creativity. Sometimes it’s the riffs, sometimes it’s the drums, and often it’s the lyrics. Opener “Pounded Into Dust” would be meritorious enough just from being so damn skull-crushing, but then there’s that chorus. “Blood soaks the ground…in their own….they will DROWN!” A Cannibal Corpse chorus that isn’t just brutal, but catchy? But yeah, lots of memorable riffs for once. From the dizzying verse segment and impossibly heavy chorus of “Dead Human Collection,” to the deceptively down-tempo riffs of Unleash the Bloothirsty” that explode into all-out fury by the bridge, to the crazy harmony riffs, solo exchanges, and all-around badassery that manifest in various other tracks throughout the album, Bloodthirst delivers quality death metal intensity track after track after track. Take special notice of the band’s uncharacteristic subtlety as well. There’s none of the awkward progressions that plagued previous albums; this album is tight and concise. The innovative atmosphere that was botched on Gallery of Suicide returns here, but rather than long tracks designed to showcase it, it’s integrated a little bit at a time, such as in that “Ecstasy in Decay” intro riff or that “Blowtorch Slaughter” interlude breakdown. But the thing I most admire about Cannibal Corpse’s songwriting here occurs during the song “Coffinfeeder.” Listen carefully to that half-time stomp riff immediately after the chorus ends. It is arguably one of the coolest riffs on the entire album and it is played exactly once. They play it again the next two times the chorus rolls back around, but only once at a time. They could’ve used it as a bridge breakdown or a chorus riff itself, expending it ad nauseam as a lesser band would, but instead they chose to play it only once, and not even long enough to mosh to at that. This sort of restraint is nearly unheard of in death metal (outside of say Atheist) and adds an air of mystery to that song that has not yet dispersed for me, even after repeated listening. There’s lesser moments like this in other songs, but they’re valid nonetheless. Don’t expect this degree of subtlety on future albums, but feel free to enjoy it as you listen to this one.

Barring a miraculous return to glory, I will continue to insist that this is Cannibal Corpse’s finest hour. I know I’ve said it before about their pre-Eaten Back to Life demo, but this is truly their definitive work. Top-notch performances, riffs from hell, respectable lyrics, dexterous arrangements, and a wicked ass cover; it’s about all you could ever want from this band. And even as I shit on their other albums I haven’t reviewed yet, for releasing this monstrosity of metal, CC will always be okay in my book.

The Soundtrack to Your Annihilation - 97%

CannibalCorpse, August 9th, 2007

Being released only one year after the hideously underrated „Gallery of Suicide“ many people thought that „Bloodthirst“ might not be able to match their expectations. Furthermore, many fans were still sceptical about Pat O’ Brien’s influence on CCs sound (probably due to the hatred against the rather atypical previous album).

Thankfully, most of the doubters were absolutely crushed by the sheer power of this release. Even I, being a fan of “Gallery of Suicide”, was pleasantly surprised of the might that is “Bloodthirst”. Never has any Cannibal Corpse production job been as great as on this record. Actually, it might be one of the best jobs in all of Death Metal. It’s better than the new Suffocation or Deicide, for example, which is not exactly easy to accomplish - especially when being 7 years older than those two.

The technical aspect in the instrumental work has risen tremendously. While “Gallery of Suicide” has decreased the speed and technicality compared to older post-Barnes work, “Bloodthirst” takes off where “Vile” left and improves the skillful playing in about every aspect of this already impressive album.

Corpsegrinder managed to improve his vocal work as well; some of the various vocal lines on “Gallery…” seemed a bit forced (mainly the slightly overused variation of guttural growls and high-pitched shrieks), but all these minor faults have been successfully eliminated. Fisher does still use various vocal techniques, but damn, are they placed well – not predictable at all, yet perfectly suitable in appearance.

Still, Owen and O’Brien are what make this record what it is. The riffcraft is the best I have heard in ALL of death metal. The combination of technical prowess and extremely catchy songwriting is unparalleled. The frenzy lead work is as potent as the crushing rhythm. Tracks like “Pounded Into Dust”, “Hacksaw Decapitation” and “Raped by the Beast” shove riff after riff down your throat, leaving nothing but sheer excitement behind. The songs are complex and non-formulaic without falling into the “wall of sound” trap – they are memorable and easily distinguishable.

Alex Webster’s bass playing doesn’t differ much from other CC works – it’s still fantastic; so is Paul’s drumming, which simply annihilates everything in its path; both definitely benefit of the amazing production values.

All songs are amazing, so it would be hard to pick distinctive highlights, but “Ecstasy in Decay” sticks out due to it being a bit less excellent than the other tracks.

Conclusion: If you want to call yourself a self-respectable death metal fan, you must check out “Bloodthirst” – one of the best extreme metal albums ever.

The “Best of”-album that never was - 87%

PazuzuZlave, April 10th, 2006

How is it possible that one band changes so vividly over the period of one year? After the hideous release “Gallery of suicide”, Cannibal Corpse unleashed their absolute highpoint of their career, “Bloodthirst”. The most apparent changes from the previous outletting is the production and the overall brutality they’re known to deliver. This is 10 times more vicious than “Gallery…” and twice as fine as “Vile”. How could they go wrong?

There isn’t a single “bad” song on this album. It’s all filled with unrestrained imagery from all aspects which describes good old death metal. Take for instance track nr. 6, “Raped by the Beast”. From the start, it delivers a headbanging frenzy, and succeeds to do so until the last second. “The Spine Splitter” starts off as if you’re thrown into the middle part of a fast Cannibal Corpse song. It’s a brilliant idea, and they pulled it off flawlessly. “Dead Human Collection” features some odd tempo changes and brutal riffs that send shivers down your spine. Opener “Pounded into dust” features very complex guitar- and drum-work which is quite new (at that point of their career) to them. “Sickening Metamorphosis” slows the whole scenario down for a few seconds before blasting into full speed again. The list goes on and on… This album was just bound to receive good feedback.

The whole sonic performance succeeds their previous releases. The production here is really good and suits the overall experience. The mixing is most impressive. The drums even out with the guitars, and the vocals are really pressed forward so none of the lyrics could be misinterpreted. Even the bass (often a major problem with this type of music) is presented grandly, and every technical detail can be heard.
This band never need to release a “best off” album, they’ve already created it with “Bloodthirst”. It’s an absolutely essential album if you’re into brutal death metal.

everythings right - 85%

grindorr, October 25th, 2004

After hestitantly picking up this cd, with bad memories of "gallery of suicide" still etched in my mind, I was pleased upon hearing this.
Everything about this album is different in a better way.This is so unlike any other cannibal corpse album.
Its not like the blaring buzzsaw like brutality of the barnes albums and its not too technical either.This one strikes the right balance.With heaviness, speed, technicality and clarity.
The production is crisp. The guitars sounds blazing as opposed to the wet sound of "gallery" and "gore obsessed".
The drum sound has been finally fixed up right. The rich "thump" is heard in every beat.
The musicmanship is tight, making each song headbang-able to. Just think of this as "gallery of suicide" in fast forward with better vocals,drums and guitar sound.
Even the cd art is different,the artist making it look rather sci-fi rather than the usual gory romps of their other albums.
In every song you can make out the riffs, the bass lines and the vocals clearly.
The blast beats are a tad faster than the other post-bleeding cannibal corpse albums.
Each song is just about 3 minutes long. Cannibal corpse have payed more attention to speed and heaviness rather than just ponder over expendable things like "complexity" or "technicality" of the riffs.
Fisher still screams on this album ,but its more of growls and he times all the high pitched screams right, so I really felt like throating along to the songs.

The highlights of the album in no particular order are :
1.Pounded into dust: Everybodys favourite! Starts off with a very innovative kinda riff. Fisher growls fast spewing out the lyrics. Just 2 minutes in length, its guarenteed to leave you with a sore neck.

2.Blowtorch slaughter: This song is all riffs and shouts/screams/growls. The chorus is really sick and Fishers vocal patterns are really brutal. The mid part of the song with the chorus is total mosh pit material!

3.Spinesplitter: Somewhat remniscent of "sentenced to burn", but only several times faster. Great riffage and guitarwork.Has one of the best drum patterns Ive heard. Though very monotonous with little change in pace, its one of the best songs on the cd and one of my personal favourites. Watch out for a really wicked solo.

4.Hacksaw decapitation: This fucker has the sickest intro since "meat hook sodomy".And some really psychotic guitar work bringing out accurately the gruesome lyrical content of the song. The part where Fisher goes "I cant remember my name, or when the blood of the dead flowed so relentlessly" is the best. Definetely one of their sickest songs.

5.The beast: This song actually feels very black metal when you consider the riffs at the beginning.I thought it was similar to a song by emperor(In a lighter vein, the opening lines are "black forest of evil, a demons possesion"hehe) The riffs and the rhythm in the middle of the song is just downright brutal.Fishers vocals have never been better. Times all his screams well and growls most of the song. One of my all time cannibal favourites. Though somewhat similar to "blowtorch slaughter" in terms of structure.

6.Unleashing the bloodthirsty: This could have been named "the bleeding pt 2" taking into consideration the similarity of the tone of this song. Great vocals and a neat chorus. And some of the best guitar work cannibal have shown us since the bleeding. The song picks up pace in the middle and becomes a flurry of raging guitar work and drums.

7.Dead human collection : This ones got a bad ass bass line and some great shredding riffs. Demonstrating that the band can play technical and make it sound brutal too. Faintly remniscent of "staring through the eyes of the dead".

The other songs are good too but rather unmemorable."Coffinfeeder" and "condemned to agony" are fun to listen to but pales in comarison with "blowtorch slaughter" or "pounded into dust".
"Sickening metamorphosis" could have been a song from "gallery of suicide".Its slow and wet. With some random screaming and ok drums. I just skip this track.

In the end, bloodthirst was well worth my money and I was 100% satisfied. I think these are the standards cannibal corpse should maintain. Would recommend this album to any fan of heavy metal.

Cannibal Corpse's finest hour - 91%

Decepticon, April 1st, 2004

Alot of the Cannibal Corpse fans that I have talked to were worried that this album was gonna be a rushed slab of shit because it was released only one year after Gallery of Suicide. This album put all those worries to rest. Released in 1999 I believe that this is Cannibal Corpse's best album ever for so many reasons. First and most important is that they grew as a band using not only their ability to use their trade mark brutality but also the ability to mix melody and brutality to create a very special album. Second is the technicallity on this album. Both Jack Owen and Pat O'brien create some of the best riffage ever heard in the world of death metal, Pat is the perfect partner for Jack Owen in my opinion. Third is the lenghth of the songs, most of them are under 3 minutes which is great, no messin around get right to the point death metal. Fave song on this one, Pounded into Dust. Another great point on this album is the production handled by Colin Richardson of Carcass and Napalm Death fame. Every Cannibal Corpse fan own this album. A short straight to the point review for an album that gets right to the point with every song. Thank you.

This is the be-all end-all of Cannibal - 90%

speedemon86, May 9th, 2003

There's so much improvement on this Cannibal release. It's their best. the production is clear, the music is varied (even the drums) and it just scorches. They even experiment with groove a little. I've heard most all C.C. and bloodthirst is the total package. Let's break into the tracks, shall we??

1. Pounded Into Dust - This a complete riff-fest of a song. Love the war-laden lyrics. Opens up with a quick four sixteenth-notes alternating with a couple quarter notes, in a very chromatic fashion. Then it just goes into blast mode, very complimentary to the war-inspired lyrics. The riffs here are actually fairly thrashy, descendent from the blueprint that Slayer laid down.

2. Dead Human Collection - My favorite Cannibal Track period. I don't see how this song couldn't grab someone's attention, opening in a very catchy manner by just using minor thirds with varying roots, something Cannibal is well-known for. But here they don't trill them, it's the infamous faux-triplet pattern, with the minor third picked twice, and then the root once. After that it goes into a riff that's parts make some sense, but altogether don't make a lot of sense from a musical standpoint. Still quality though, and the use of a couple different root->sixth not successsions, which you generally don't see, and if you do it's not nearly as effective as this. Then there's the open minor (Bb in this case) semi-chromatic groove part that instead of giving you a break from the frenetic nature of the rest of the song, is even heavier and drives you towards mania even more. All the while this song is incredibly catchy, and I can generally remember the whole tune at any given moment, even without having heard it for months.

3. Unleashing The Bloodthirsty - Essentially the title track. Definite groove domination here, and Fisher's screams are bone-chilling. Great employment of pinch harmonics as well. Don't like the way it ends but that's very minor.

4. The Spine Splitter - Not bad i guess. Good melody, but this song is a little monotonous, especially in comparison to the first three songs. Not filler, but not a hilight. Just sounds a bit uninspired.

5. Ecstacy In Decay - much better than the last track. Back and forth between killer epileptic riffs and equally killer groove. They do this so well.

6. Raped By The Beast - Decent. Sounds alot like The Spine Splitter. Riff that starts at approx 1:40 is Slayer worship.

7. Coffinfeeder - Bass Feature!! A definite must for C.C. Pretty good track. Keeps up the drive and intensity well.

8. Hacksaw Decapitation - I ponder sometimes where they get the names for songs, cuz when I write death lyrics the titles just come to me as do the lyrics. I dunno. Anyways this HD has a feedback laden intro (!!) of sorts, and then it just explodes violently. Lyrics?? i dunno they tell a story of sorts, but enjoyable when you read them. Interesting.

9. Blowtorch Slaughter - I seriously urge not listening to this song while driving, especially if there are cliffs in your area. This song BURNS (no pun intended). I want to learn how to play this dammit, as soon as I get a 7-stringer. Perfection

10. Sickening Metamorphosis - Stomach churning groove once again, followed by more audial insanity. It's almost commendable alone that they use the word "Metamorphosis" whilst maintaining a certain rythm. One of the best solos on the album can be found here.

11. Condemned To Agony - THIS is the last track?? well it works but couldn't Jack and Pat have figured out a way to go out with a bang? you damn right, but instead they do a song that just blends in with the album. C'est le Corpse, n'est-ce pas?? i do like that chromatic riff, very nice. The very end manages to satisfy, though.

Well this is a really neck snapping album with some thought behind it. This ain't nothin pretty, and that's nothing new. Bloodthirst leaves nothing to be desired in my mind. Gets spun alot in my player. If you get one Cannibal Corpse album, forget TOTM and get this instead.

Choice Cuts: Pounded Into Dust, Dead Human Collection, Title track, and Blowtorch Slaughter, and to a lesser extent, Ecstacy In Decay

Worst point : Artwork could be so much better. Meh...