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Pabst Blue Ribbon - 65%

SweetLeaf95, May 2nd, 2018

Before diving into this, a few biases of mine need to be covered, in order to project the correct understanding. First of all, death metal as a whole is a difficult genre, as it's one that I like, but it needs to really have something stand out about it, and not be overly brutal. Some kind of melody, rhyme, reason, whatever. Secondly, I, for the most part, hate Cannibal Corpse. I've always thought that it all sounded the same, the vocals were incomprehensible, the content was ridiculous, and there was nothing special about them at all. Argue me on that if you want elsewhere, but focusing on the album at stake, Eaten Back To Life is the one and only exception to this entire paragraph.

From cover to cover, this record is a raw and tender slab of death metal, cooked rare and giving off the perfect production for a death metal record of this time period. 1990 was pretty early for this new level of intensity that was brought into the scene, so the "brutal" vocals that give that guttural stench were not present yet. Mixed into the deep, distorted affliction of riffing that was growing on the death scene is a hint of thrash metal. This gives it a similar approach to Beneath The Remains or Deicide, thus having a touch more boost to the rhythms laid down in every track. There's also a punk edge to a lot of the quick tracks, such as "Put Them To Death" or "Bloody Chunks". These tracks contain the attitude that brought metal to a new form in the '80s, and follow through all the way with the crunchiness of this record.

Moments of tremendous grooves and unique blasts of fire are present all throughout this fairly short debut, but there are definitely some gaps of space that can cause the mind to wander. The longer tracks don't display as much variety as the rest of the album, and some of the chugs can seem repetitive, or contain little in variance. To put it simple, this is a fun listen for the right mood, and it's better than anything this band would put forth in the future. Calling it a masterpiece would be far too much, though. Think of it this way; it's like a beer that you enjoy, and can have a lot of, but it's a cheap go-to. Better than a lot of its kind, but not really essential.