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Underrated - 84%

6CORPSE6GRINDER6, October 19th, 2012

Cannibal Corpse music has always gone in the same direction: straightforward death metal. Their earlier albums featured a conventional use of song structures and riffs weren’t especially technical but their punch and aggressiveness made everyone’s day. Album after album they managed to become more and more adventurous musically. This album, the second release after Chris Barnes being kicked out and the addition of Corpsegrinder, even if it’s not their best is not bad at all either, and it’s criminally underrated. There is not one good reason to hate this if you are into death metal, that's for sure.

The use of more drastic tempo changes as in the instrumental “From Skin to Liquid”, some relaxed chord/arpeggio section (as in the beginning of the title track, “Gallery Of Suicide”) are some of the few but still memorable new elements incorporated by the band to this album. Some really awkward high pitched riffing, like the break down before the end of “Blood Drenched Execution”, very uncommon in death metal –always close to the low end, with saturated distortions and bass oriented equalizations- set a different tense and dissonant mood that breaks with the overall brutal and dark atmosphere Cannibal Corpse use to display, adding more textures to the music. Gallery of Suicide is not a revolution in the band’s sound, but the riffing without being highly innovative is fresh, even more than in their preceding effort I would dare to say. It’s undeniable that they stepped up to a whole new level of complexity too, riffing is more syncopated and attractive than it was before. All of this happens without compromising the evil and accelerated climate that governs their music. The use of 7 string guitars is another variation to their classic era sound, lower tones in guitars may not be a synonym of heaviness but it darkens enormously songs. They used them on Vile too, but I think they finally figured out how to use them better on this album. Fast paced tremolo riffs can get blurred by the extremely low tuning making them illegible, this little issue was corrected on this album.

Production is way more polished that it was on Vile, guitar distortion is not so raw but is still sharp and mindblowing. Bass guitar sounds louder, not as loud and crunchy as on the classic albums but it still adds some extra heaviness to the guitar riffs, which slay as always. Drums can be fully heard and appreciated, the hi-hat has too much treble for my taste but that’s my only complaint, the recording sounds amazing anyway. The last thing I want to point out is Paul Mazurkiewicz evolution behind the drum kit. On “Eaten Back to Life” for example, you can hear him delivering a demolishing performance but it isn’t exact. There are some fast drum beats were the bass drum and the snare are totally coordinated and even but if you listen closely you will notice cymbals go along with them in another tempo and at the end of the riff he tries to hide the mistakes, getting to next riff in the correct time. As time have passed he have corrected this, and even if he isn’t the most talented and creative drummer in death metal at least he is a machine now, nailing every note where it goes.