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A Pit of the Familiar - 85%

low_tone1, June 20th, 2013

I once heard someone compare Cannibal Corpse to the Saw movies. Personally, I do not find this to be accurate. If anything, cannibal corpse is more akin to Faces of Death. Their lyrics shamelessly depict images of gore, violence, mutilation, murder, rape, and a plethora of other horrible atrocities found in the darker half of the human condition. With Gore Obsessed, the band continues their tradition of shockingly obscene lyrical content, fast/heavy riffing, and machine gun drumming. This is not a stand out album; although, it is a good addition to the band’s catalogue and does bear some (two) unique tracks. Overall, this is a good middle of the road album that stays fully in the familiar.

One song of particular note is “Pit of Zombies,” one of the album’s faster songs. With the monotony of the current zombie craze, this song should be far more popular. The lyrics depict a hoard of zombies in a pit dismembering and devouring a live victim…and that’s pretty much it. Of course, considering the theme, there doesn’t really need to be any more. The “story” is told from the perspective of the victim who elaborately describes the images and feelings of being eaten alive. Descriptions range from images of ripping flesh to total disembowelment. This is a scenario of a man watching himself being eaten. Enough said! The music is fast paced with thrash style drumming that compels the frantic nature of the song’s content beautifully. The guitar work is pretty standard Cannibal Corpse fare but fitting for the subject matter. As with most of their songs, the theme is what makes the song interesting.

Another notable track is “Hatchet to the Head,” yet another song in which the title speaks for itself. What makes this song stand out is the fact that it is one of the rare Cannibal Corpse songs with decipherable lyrics. Corpsegrinder provides his usual guttural vocals, but oddly enough, the detailed accounts of taking a hatchet to someone’s head (splintered skull fragments flying through the air are referenced early on) are strikingly clear. This may be on account of the vocal quality. The guttural sound is there, but the singer’s voice sounds tired as though this were one of the last tracks recorded for the album. Interestingly, this does not detract from the overall quality of the song. While the guttural depth is lacking, the intensity remains both in the vocals and in the instrumentation. The content works well for fans of the slasher genre but does not have the unique qualities of “Pit of Zombies.” Once again, the music is pretty standard and does not provide any new techniques in guitar work or drumming. Ever familiar, it’s still good when played loud.

But for these two examples, there is not much in the way of development. The remainder of the album follows the same pattern of fast paced thrash riffing and speed drumming heard on previous albums while the lyrical content is, by this time, quite predictable. The value of the album is that it is a middle of the road album. The songs are not unique and the musical style is the same, so for those who like this particular sound/style, there isn’t much to offer disappointment. It’s Cannibal Corpse quality at it’s most familiar.