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Kill mark 2? - 85%

webbtje, February 8th, 2009

Everyone knows Cannibal Corpse. My girlfriend. My parents. My cat would probably recognize them. They're the top selling band in death metal... well, I could go off on a massive kvltist rant, but meh; I'd say they deserve it.

Kill was my favourite album by Cannibal Corpse. There, I said it. Yes, more so than the oldest recordings, Tomb, Vile, everything; sorry to anyone that offends (I've met a few). It was heavy, it was groovy,the riffs were sick. It was all there. The pressure's been on to top it, and while I'm not sure they have, the liddle Corpsies have definitely come close. The down-tuned yet clear and polished sound of the Wretched Spawn and Kill is back, with Erik Rutan at the helm once again - let's face it, innovation was never going to happen. The formula's pretty damn effective.

The individual performances are great, as usual, and a special mention goes to Webster for yet again managing to have his basslines cut through the gigantic wall of guitars. However, one big exception: the drumming. Quite simply, it's boring. Paul Mazurkiewicz has had nigh on twenty years in Cannibal Corpse, yet whaddaya know, he keeps playing the same fucking beats over and over again, to the point of monotony. If you watch the making-of DVD, he complains about having to blast at 200 bpm, something which would make most death metal drummers stare at him oddly. Corpsegrinder is on top of his game, as ever, with some interesting use of layering now and again. Check out Priests of Sodom - it sounds like a little crowd of cookie monsters. Aaw.

A few little things are different to the usual Cannibal fare; every now and again, through the usual, pounding riffs, something will make you prick up your ears: check out the strange, high notes in To Decompose, for example. And there's why this album is ultimately a winner: though Cannibal have found their path and are happily sticking to it, they keep throwing in a few little new things, to keep it interesting. If you listen closely, they crop up throughout the album (listen closely to Carnivorous Swarm).

So is it a Kill-topper? Well, no. Not quite. It lacks something of the catchiness of Kill, although it makes up for it by cutting some of Kill's flab. No filler tracks on here, no sir-ee (though the title track does drag a little). It remains a seriously good album; nothing new, but crushing, brutal, and chock-full of what we've come to expect from these titans of death metal.