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Just the way we like it! - 85%

grimwinter13, November 20th, 2017

Ahhh...good ol' Cannibal Corpse. If there's one thing about Cannibal Corpse that we love, it's that they've never really budged on their sound or lyrics. For many bands, that may be a bad thing. But Cannibal Corpse, a pioneer in the field of gory, blood-drenched, entrail-entangled death metal (and also a pioneer of brutal death) have been churning out the same skull-crushing shit since the early 90s, and it's worked in their favor. We know what to expect from Cannibal Corpse - they've very rarely disappointed and yet with each album, they still leave room for discussion. "Is it heavier? Is it faster? Are the lyrics gorier?" At this point, the only band who can possibly outdo Cannibal Corpse in this sense is...well, Cannibal Corpse. So really, here's the question we're asking: did Cannibal Corpse achieve yet another level of classic death metal insanity on their fourteenth go-around?

Right off the bat: the album art is FANTASTIC. It's unique in regards to Cannibal Corpse because usually we see the visual carnage from a third-person perspective. But here we have something different: we're seeing the carnage as if we're the victim of a maniac's rampage. 'Staring through the eyes of the dead'. (Haha, pun intended.) In fact, I think this style of album art is even scarier than their old albums. With this new perspective on blood and guts and murder, we get a new perspective of the music. Makes you feel more immersed in the carnage. Love it.

Like any Cannibal album, the first track "Only One Will Die" takes no time to set up. The raging, molten-hot guitar riffs and Mazurkeweicz's blast beats hit right away, shooting off right into the Cannibal Corpse we all know and love. Just from the first track alone, it's obvious that Cannibal Corpse has held nothing back in the brutality department, and this ends up being one of their heaviest albums yet since Kill. But we also get introduced to something fairly new (or fairly infrequent) for Cannibal Corpse: small hints of melody. Many off the riffs are a bit melodic, but not in the sense of a Swedish melodeath band. Think back to many of the choruses on Tomb of the Mutilated - that's exactly what it is! Dark and ominous melodic phrases keep the music brutal while still keeping the listener hooked.

The first two tracks are styled very similarly, and then "Code of the Slashers" kicks in with a slower intro. One thing I've liked about Cannibal Corpse in their Corpsegrinder era is the many influences from slower, sludgier death metal such as Obituary (think "Festering in the Crypt" back in 2004 on The Wretched Spawn). But "Code of the Slashers" doesn't stay this way for too long, because it eventually builds up into another rocket-fast blast beat which takes up most of the rest of the song until it calms down a little again and ends with that same, slow intro riff.

If there's any previous Cannibal album this is really comparable to, it's Kill. As I mentioned before, it's similar in guitar tone and heaviness, but also in the complexity of the riffs. Most of the guitar and bass riffs hold down the same technical-ness of "The Time to KIll Is Now" or "Make Them Suffer". They never stay in one place too long, always moving forward and maintaining a sense of unpredictability.

Corpsegrinder is amazing here as always. Lyrically, he seems to be writing things less specifically gore-based and more concept-based, but still fueled by rage and violence and all that other brutal shit. That's not a complaint though.

So, we got our faces smashed once again! It's awesome, 29 years later and they're still one of the heaviest fucking bands on the planet. They continue to show that they're the kings of death metal, and refuse to back down, slow down, or sell out.