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Embodies everything good about CC - 89%

psychosisholocausto, February 13th, 2013

As widely debated as they are, it is a rarity to find anyone that will dispute the fact that Cannibal Corpse have always been true to death metal. From their humble inception with the release of their debut Eaten Back To Life, right through to their most recent album, Torture, they have kept the core death metal sound that made them popular within the scene to begin with, no matter where this has taken them. Their career now spans more than twenty years, and they have definitely had their highs and lows, with albums such as Tomb Of The Mutilated and The Bleeding frequently being elevated as the best they have ever put out. However, there was one album that is often overlooked, 2004's The Wretched Spawn.

Following their weakest point, Gore Obsessed, this was a major step up from that album, whilst taking the technical elements first added to their sound on The Bleeding to even more extreme territory. Commonly considered to be one of the band's weakest releases, this is definitely not the case, as the band shows right from the off. Severed Head Stoning is the track that introduces the listener to this album, and right away shows off one of the best aspects of the band-George Fisher's vocals. Delivered at a thousand miles an hour, George manages to add a huge amount of intensity to this song that would otherwise be rather bland, with a main riff that feels slightly boring and underwhelming. However, the growls take this above mediocrity, being spat out faster than many death metal vocalists could ever claim, and once again cement George's position as the better of the two Cannibal Corpse vocalists.

Other highlights of this album include Decency Defied, the title track, Festering In The Crypt and Frantic Disembowelment. Decency Defied is rather slow when stacked up against much of what Cannibal Corpse has allowed the listeners to become accustomed to, but manages to drill itself into the listeners head, being exceedingly catchy. This is a trend that is continued with Festering In The Crypt, which is the slowest song Cannibal Corpse have ever released, but contains some extremely well written lyrics, is massively catchy, and the solo absolutely shreds. The main riffs to the title track are the catchiest in Cannibal Corpse's entire discography, and when coupled with the sudden speed change towards the end of the song, this becomes one of the band's finest pieces. Frantic Disembowelment fills the spot of the obligatory fret board workout, being highly technical and played at insane speeds, to the point that the video accompanying it looks sped up from the sheer speed Pat O'Brien's fingers are moving at. This is one of the most technical tracks in the bands catalogue, behind only Purification By Fire and sections of Carrion Sculpted Entity, and is a credit to the band's name. If there was ever a rhythm guitarist worthy of mention in extreme metal circles, this is the man who deserves it, writing some very catchy but also crazily difficult riffs to play, showing off a dimension that CC has become known throughout the metal community for.

The real drawback of this release is that at times it feels as though the band is slacking off a little bit in the song writing department. In particular, the drum work from Paul does not seem to have developed very much from the previous albums. He can play fast, with a fair amount of talent behind it, but there are so many better and faster drummers that could have done a lot better on this release. My other criticism is the album art, when compared to past albums, feels too forced. Kill proved that an album cover does not need to be exceedingly gory to be effective, and this just looked a little too childish, being a sick perversion of the alien chest burster from the alien films, with what looks like the villains from Amnesia:The Dark Descent surrounding the victim.

This stands out as being one of the best in the band's catalogue, as it avoids over-utilizing ideas to the point of stagnancy. There is a little variation to the usually one-dimensional song writing the band are known for, and a surprising level of technical ability throughout. The stand out tracks make this one hell of a ride for the uninitiated in the CC discography, making this the perfect starting point for one of the most infamous bands in the genre.

Doesn't Feel Like Cannibal Corpse - 59%

grain_silo, October 18th, 2011

Cannibal Corpse seems to be on a decline ever since Chris Barnes left the band. George was a great replacement but what the hell happened to the rest of the band? Songwriting has declined so much to boring, uninspired, repetitive death metal. “The Bleeding” to me, marked the first album that was running out of ideas. So a few albums later, “The Wretched Spawn” unsurprisingly failed to impress me at all.

Production is pretty average. Their later albums all seem to have the same production or pretty damn close.
The guitars are average, not very heavy. I mean, they sound good but I want that death metal sound like Gorguts or Autopsy. The bass is there but could be louder because Alex Webster is amazing. The drums sound good; everything is loud and easily recognizable. George’s vocals are the usual; good death metal vocals. He never really sounds any different from album to album. Pretty much always the same “Corpsegrinder” which is a compliment by the way.

Well the songs are exactly what I expected. “Severed Head Stoning” is just flat out boring. This is what Cannibal Corpse has been reduced to. Yes, it’s fast, chaotic death metal but come on! I want some awesome riffs that grab my attention and keep me engrossed. This is what they came to lack on their later albums, those attention grabbing moments. “Fran tic Disembowelment” is mighty frantic, but then again most of the songs on here are. Just fast, repetitive, boring death metal songs. The riff is insane but I’m not sure why it gets put above the rest of their riffs because it seems like all they write now are all over the place crazy riffs that get OLD after a while. “Psychotic Precision” has some pretty cool drum parts but is pretty forgettable. “The Wretched Spawn” has a signature ‘heavy’ slow riff that sounds like every other slowed down heavy riff by Cannibal Corpse. I don’t wanna go to my “Vile” review with the 2 variation formula but I feel like this formula can be applied to this album too. The heavy slow riff and the all over the place insane riff are the most common and honestly, the only 2 riffs on this album. Some sound better than others but still seem to run into each other quite a bit. The riff in the middle of the title track stands out a bit more than most of the other riffs on this album; the thrash part is pretty cool too. “Cyanide Assassin” is pretty complex but is completely forgettable and pretty much useless. “Festering in the Crypt” is a pretty good song that relies more on a slower pace and an extremely heavy riff that reminds me of the old CC that I love.

The song names and lyrics are exactly what you would expect from Cannibal Corpse. Gory disgusting lyrics with an equally disgusting album cover. One of the few things I still enjoy about Cannibal Corpse is their undying commitment to the gore look and they still do it so well.

Overall, yet another boring album from Cannibal Corpse. Most of the songs run together and are just plain boring. I wouldn’t really recommend this except for a few songs; check out their first three albums for that attention grabbing death metal I was talking about.

Best tracks – “Psychotic Precision”, “Festering in the Crypt”, and “The Wretched Spawn”

Run of the mill gory goodness - 80%

matt85210, April 5th, 2010

You know where you stand with Cannibal Corpse. Possibly the most consistent band in death metal, they have never wavered from the traditions that they were one of the proprietors of: gore, death, zombie-obsessed technicality that manages to be groovy and catchy as well, which is actually a rarity in death metal especially as they have been doing it for so long. Does this album do anything to reverse the trend and start afresh? Of course not. It’s violent and it’s aggressive, and it exhibits fine musicianship and songwriting that keeps things interesting without compromising the core values of the music.

The opener, ‘Severed Head Stoning’, was actually the first death metal song I had ever listened to, some 7 odd years ago, but I didn’t realize this until I had bought and listened to the album. Back then, this song would have been the fastest and most aggressive thing I had ever heard, and I remember being so intrigued by its odd chord choices and ferocious vocals. Hearing it now, it sounds like typical ‘Corpse. It’s fast and technical but with an ever present, underlying focus on rhythm, all rounded off by Corpsegrinder’s serrated-edged growls hurtling around like a demented Rottweiler. A great opener, and an unexpected trip down memory lane.

And luckily things don’t really change from here on in. Songs like ‘Festering in the Crypt’ and ‘Nothing Left to Mutilate’ are a bit slower and groovier, while ‘Cyanide Assassin’ and ‘Frantic Disembowelment’, as the name might suggest, represent the frenzied fret workouts we all know the band are capable of, but the point is it all feels like it’s on a Cannibal Corpse record. Perhaps the way they express their values is slightly different (as a whole, the album feels a bit more sludgy with a deeper, heavier guitar and bass production, and there is no doubting that they have grown as musicians as their career has progressed judging by the songwriting on display here) but as an ideology, Cannibal Corpse hasn’t changed since ‘Eaten Back to Life’.

Some might argue that such an approach stagnates after a little while, and it is a fair point to make. By the time ‘Bent Backwards and Broken’ thunders around you are very aware that there are going to be precious few surprises left an album whose intentions were laid out long before it was even written. Others might also accuse Cannibal Corpse of being too linear and one dimensional with their approach to death metal, and again begrudgingly, this is a valid concern. As mentioned, ‘The Wretched Spawn’ could just be ‘Vile’ with better delivery and musicianship. Indeed, arguments such as this beg the question of how far the band has come since the likes of ‘Butchered at Birth’ and ‘Tomb of the Mutilated’, because you could easily listen to one of those albums and point out the similarities between them and ‘The Wretched Spawn’ (disregarding the fact that Barnes was infinitely inferior to Corpsegrinder as far as vocals were concerned).

But these things are precisely what we all look for in such a band. To state the obvious, no one buys Cannibal Corpse because of the forward thinking progression. It is their ability to reinvent themselves with exactly the same material release after release that has earned them such a fan base, and ‘The Wretched Spawn’ exemplifies that tradition down to the letter. No unexpected twists, no progressive influences, not a melodic passage in sight…not a problem, and long may it continue.

From birth, an urge - 70%

autothrall, January 20th, 2010

After the somewhat average debut of George Corpsegrinder in the vocal chair on Vile, Cannibal Corpse had been on a tear through the next 7-8 years, producing the excellent albums like Gallery of Suicide, Gore Obsessed and the mindblowing awesome that was Bloodthirst. The Wretched Spawn is their 9th full-length, and though it doesn't really live up to the previous three albums in terms of quality, one can forgive on grounds that it would be simply too much to string together another joyous maggotpile so soon. No, The Wretched Spawn is not the best of the last crop of Cannibal Corpse records, but it's speed and brutality are notable for carrying forward the tech style of the post-Barnes era and almost trying to one-up the prior albums in sheer speed and aggression.

Yes, The Wretched Spawn moves along at about 100mph as it bludgeons through the opening numbers "Severed Head Stoning" (one of the most forgettable pieces on the album) and then the mute fest gone squealing "Psychotic Precision", which at least offers a few flighty brain hammering rhythms before it erodes into an all too familiar groove which we feel like we've heard from the band a half dozen times before. "Decency Defied" is a solid tune with meatgrinder thrashing rhythms, but it never goes over the top where it needs to be; and "Frantic Disembowlment", while quite true to its energetic evisceration implicit to its title, likewise feels as if it were another exercise in frivolity. "The Wretched Spawn" has a certain lopsided groove to its churn and chugging, with a slower palm mute/squeal verse that gathers speed like a skull rolling down a heap of dead, but it never quite delivers. On the flipside, “Cyanide Assassin” is a rousing frenzy mostly remarkable for its loopy bridge tapping (and the excellent bass accompaniment).

'Shocking news traveled fast
But I have traveled faster
The only clue that’s left behind
Poison in the cadaver'

“Festering in the Crypt” is coiled about a churning groove which creeps like decay across the skin of a corpse, stiffening and then dissoluting as the worms spew forth from its sockets. It doesn’t develop into anything interesting, but at least provides a nice shift in pace from the prior tracks. “Nothing Left to Mutilate” stands out slightly for its insanely hammered drumming, like an automated butcher block, and “Blunt Force Castration” offers us a mental image which is far from pleasant…though some of the acrobatic riffing here did graze my attention span. I did enjoy the rolling force that inaugurated “Rotted Body Landslide”, as once again Webster proves he is worth his weight in the fingernails of other death metal bassists…and that is a LOT of fingernails. “Slain” is good old Cannibal Corpse ala The Bleeding style rhythms, and ditto for the more chaotic “Bent Backwards and Broken”. Closer “They Deserve to Die” is another bludgeon which batters you over the head senselessly but really doesn’t conceive anything to make your beating the more memorable.

The Wretched Spawn certainly does not lack for effort, but I would consider the wealth of tracking here (13 in all) very much worth trading for 7-8 more interesting songs. As it stands, this is an album that falls under the descriptor ‘good’ without really granting the high replay value of a Gallery of Suicide or Bloodthirst. But the style is no shock, its prime Corpsegrinder era Corpse and at least a slight leg up on Vile. If you could care less for the nuance or subtlety of careful songwriting and just want another 45 minute sheer wall of death, with technicality and riffs galore (though few with any lasting hooks), then The Wretched Spawn still remains superior to many of the band’s impersonators, but I’d favor any of their other 21st century albums to this.

Highlights: Cyanide Assassin, Blunt Force Castration, Rotted Body Landslide


Whoa, They Can Play! - 85%

corviderrant, April 6th, 2009

I confess readily to downing CC something terrible for years and years, growling about their crappy musicanship, their idiotic lyrics, Chris Barnes' weak, monotonous vocals that relied on cupping the mic far too much--there was always something to keep me from getting into them. Then I heard this album...whoa. It shut me up and stopped me in my tracks, and the first thing I spluttered out was "Damn, they finally learned how to play their instruments!" Or more accurately, they caught up with Alex Webster, whose bass prowess is still one of the highlights of this album.

Once I realized this, I was able to listen to this album and realized further that CC had evolved into a really good, strong band with musical prowess, and the lyrics weren't as stupid as I'd thought they were--maybe Barnes with his serial killer obsession ruined it for me?--not to mention they had a proper vocalist in the form of George Fisher. His evil growls and gut-wrenching screams are in fine form on this album, worthy of his days in Monstrosity. You can even understand him more than the average death metal vocalist, which lends more credibility and fierceness to his performance. Pat O'Brien is an excellent lead player, with his snaky soloing and shredding fills really enhancing the feel of the music, and Jack Owen's more simple, noisy style provides a nice contrast to him. Another thing I like about CC is the fact that they don't play anywhere near as fast as most death metal bands insist upon playing these days, which makes this album easier to latch onto; even the blast parts aren't so inhumanly fast they seem slow. There is an extra sense of urgency when Paul takes off blasting since he's not as fast as, say, Inferno or Hellhammer, I really get the feeling he's striving hard to drive the band along, in a good way.

"Severed Head Stoning" kicks things off with a healthy kick in the 'nads, a short and not so sweet blast of aggression to get things rolling. "Cyanide Assassin" is another good one that features some nice unison guitar and bass tapping parts, and then we have the title track, a slower and more deliberate number that speeds up a little on the choruses and gets a good headbanging feel going when they get the double kick going. "They Deserve to Die" is one of my favorite songs on the album lyrically--how can I not like a song that advocates killing stupid people to keep them from breeding?--and George lets out the most hair-raising scream he's ever emitted at the end of this one, holding it for a good long time for maximum effect and terror.

In short, this was the album that made me understand that CC were worth taking seriously. I enjoy it still and it still gets regular play time in my CD player, which tells you something. Definitely one of their stronger efforts!

One of their better albums - 69%

NocturneFreeze, May 14th, 2008

Although Cannibal Corpse already has released about 10 albums, their sound hasn't changed much. As a result, all those albums sound incredibly similar. Of the 120 song they've written there are only a few songs who jump out of all the fuzz.. Those are the songs which either are just the quality songs they've written or the more original tracks, which are very rare in the Cannibal Corpse cataloque.

This album has three of those songs, of which one is from both cate"gore"ies. All the other songs, although there are some decent song in, are pretty much skipable. They are no different than the songs on the album before this one. They have the punky drum beat, the 16th note guitar, the thick bass and fast grunted vocals.

Of all those songs the best are Decency Defied, Cyanide Assasin and Festering in the Crypt. Decency Defied isn't one of their faster songs but has a cool rhythm section and the riffs sections are tight. Cyanide Assasin is a step down but still has the quality Corpse work found in songs such as Hammer Smashed Face or She was Asking for it.

The highlight of the album Fester in the Crypt. Of both of the categories, it possesses great quality but is also a great change. Fester in the Crypt is much slower than the rest of the album and feels more like a deat/doom song than a brutal death song. It's a welcome change in the otherwise repetive album.

I would recommend to only listen to those certain songs. Although there are some other decent songs between it, songs such as Slain or Severed Head Stoning really bring the quality down.

Best Cannibal Corpse Album - 100%

sacrificial_curse, April 22nd, 2008

Cannibal Corpse is my favorite band, so doing a review for one of their CDs is a pleasure. Everything from the artwork of this album, to the bass lines is perfect. The drums on the wretched spawn are pretty much the same as their previous release. There is nothing new there. They are still good, but Paul tries to hit every high hat beat, even when he can't, it doesn’t mess him up, but you can hear it in the background.

The guitars are insane. The riffs are so complicated. Frantic Disembowelment is most likely the craziest song I’ve even heard. On the DVD, Pat's hand is moving so fast up and down the fret board, it is a blur. When the power chords come in, it just gets even crazier. Both him and Jack are very good guitarists.

The bass can't be grouped with the guitars on this album, because it is much different. A lot of bands just have the bass follow the guitar, but not Cannibal Corpse. Of course there are some times when it is following, but most of the time, he is just doing his own crazy thing. When he writes his songs, it is hard for Pat and Jack to learn it, switching to guitar from bass, but it all works out in the end. The lyrics that come from Alex are the best that come from Cannibal. Most of the songs he writes are the hits.

Corpse Grinder is a very good vocalist, but live, he tries to make them deeper and it isn’t as good as the album. He is "Singing his balls off," but live, he should stay the same. I have always wondered why he doesn’t write any of the lyrics. I don't know why, but he does sing them pretty damn good.

Cannibal Corpse is a legendary band and will always be. This album is my favorite of theirs. I like every song on it. They are all classics to me. This album gets a 100 from me, for obvious reasons.

Violence Is Legitimate in Cases Such As This - 97%

Shogun, December 31st, 2004

If you're reading this, there's a chance you've probably heard of Cannibal Corpse. Frontrunners of the genre, Cannibal Corpse has been marking their turf with the best material available, and their 2004 album 'The Wretched Spawn' is no exception. Before the album was released, fans were raving about the song titles; just the song titles! Having never heard a chord struck, a bass drum beaten, or a lyric growled, fans across the globe were imagining just how terribly gruesome the new songs were going to sound. It's a rare band that can strike up imaginations so quickly and vividly with songs like 'Frantic Disembowelment,' 'Cyanide Assassin,' 'Rotted Body Landslide,' 'Severed Head Stoning,' and let's not forget the ballad of emasculation, 'Blunt Force Castration.' Such a band exists in Cannibal Corpse.

The album kicks off with 'Severed Head Stoning,' violent, as would be expected, and fast as all hell, as if it were the reprisal of Gore Obsessed's 'Savage Butchery.' Surprisingly upbeat despite the material (having heads of one's family members thrown at them), 'Severed Head Stoning' catches your attention with a quick, gritty guitar riff, but more importantly George's vocals, which are clear and precise throughout despite the speed of the song.

'Psychotic Precision' recounts a serial killer's murders, 'killed the same way on the same day,' etc. It's got an eerie groove to it, which is a rarity in death metal nowadays, but in the song, it works perfectly. The highlight of the song (at least for me) is Paul's galloping drum pre-chorus, which gets more and more intimidating with every beat. The guitar solo is nice coupled with the opening riff, and Alex's bass has a nice deep pop to it.

'Decency Defied,' the album's single (which has an ever-elusive video), is a simple song, but is a nice transition from the previous track. The song's topic, which at the very least has to do with the practice of inking and skinning, is an interesting one, and although it isn't explored in great depth lyrically, it doesn't need to be as guitars and drums promote the theme without overwhelming the listener. The vocals are among the best well-understood on the album, as George is given more time to enunciate and growl with a deeper ferocity than many other songs he's performed. All in all, it's a fitting single, and a damn good one at that.

Pat's swan song on the album, 'Frantic Disembowelment' has quickly become a fan favorite through the use of extremely technical guitar work coupled with the brutal imagery of a body's evisceration. Without a doubt the fastest and grittiest track on the album, 'Frantic Disembowelment' is a wonder to behold, both in musical achievement from Pat's expert abilities and in lyrical accomplishment from Paul's penmanship.

The title track, and perhaps the (dare I say) grooviest song on the album, 'The Wretched Spawn' is an audacious trip into the life of a rape victim, bearing the pains of birthing children of the damned. Lyrics in this song are awesome, implying the birth of her children marks the death of mankind. The bridge is the highlight of the song, punching into a frenzy of guitar solos, heavy bass, and a relentless drum.

'Cyanide Assassin' is another 'Frantic Disembowelment'-esque pick-me-up song, upbeat and fast, though I expect not as popular as 'Frantic Disembowelment' because of Fisher's vocal patterns. This is a song I really enjoy, if only because the lyrics are calculating, especially the later part of the song where the target is choking on the fumes. Still, this plays second fiddle to the earlier 'Frantic Disembowelment.'

Comparable to 'Gallery of Suicide,' 'Festering in the Crypt' is an awe-inspiring track, as if fog and smoke were to roll beneath your knees when the track begins to play. This is the darkest track on the album, if darkness could be measured sonically, if only because the slow guitars, bass, and drums are all secondary to George's vocals, performed with a vigor and timbre that many death metal vocalists have yet to achieve. Sure, this last line is brown-nosing to the nth degree, but listen to the song and you'll understand it's well deserved.

Perhaps the most popular of Jack's songs on the album, 'Nothing Left to Mutilate' reminds me of a murder victim in a park. Search me why, but I think I like the song more when I think of it that way. This is a primal song, a no-bullshit ballad about killing and killing again for an insatiable appetite, and I love it. It's dark like the previous song, but a bit faster with an almost gallop-sounding riff between vocals, which adds to the imagery.

All men, cover your nuts: it's 'Blunt Force Castration!' A terribly vile fate awaits the man who suffers the pains this song has to offer, which are in depth to the point where it bothers me how focused Paul had to be with a pen to constructively write about destroying a penis. George claims it's the funny song on the album, and without a doubt it is, but in its own right doesn't lack expected brutality. This is an ass-kicker, and a nice change of pace from the last two tracks.

'Rotted Body Landslide' was the song I desperately wanted to hear when I first heard the title of the track. When I got to track 10, I was a little confused; a song name like that almost demands a speedy, thrashy death metal riff, but instead is done to a slow, grinding guitar and bass sound. The song itself is different; it has a unique pattern that doesn't seem to repeat itself, and guitars add the atmospheric front of corpses rolling down a mountain.

'Slain' is the most unadventurous track on the album, with a straightforward guitar riff, steady drums and the guttural vocals we've all come to enjoy. It's reminiscent of 'Nothing Left to Mutilate' earlier in the album, without the exciting pace or extreme vocal range in the track. Similar themes between the two songs make me wonder if they were written within minutes of each other. The song is good, don't get me wrong, but one must admit there are better tracks on the album.

The bass pulses right in on 'Bent Backwards and Broken,' which for some odd reason reminds me of several older tracks, not because of the subject matter, but because of the strange song tempo: 'Mummified in Barbed Wire,' 'Stabbed in the Throat,' and 'Drowning in Viscera' are the ones that come to mind when I hear this song. Not that that's a bad thing; this song rocks hard, though initially disorients listeners. Though not as lyrically violent as several other songs on the album, it still packs one hell of a punch, despite its placement in the last two tracks of the album.

'The Wretched Spawn' finishes with what I have come to believe the apex of Cannibal Corpse's career. 'They Deserve to Die' is an immaculate song in its pacing, enunciation, and displays such a great deal of talent from every band member's respective instrument that it makes me proud to be a devout fan of Cannibal Corpse. It's a vengeful song, filled to the brim with hatred and violence that bleeds from the CD deck. Most of the band members have a moment where they are the shining light (save Paul, but we know he's drumming his heart out): Alex has his short but sweet bass solo, Pat and Jack have their respective guitar solos, but the real wonder here is George, with a painfully long 16 second scream that leads into Jack's fade-away solo. This, without a doubt, has taken my vote as the best Cannibal Corpse song to date.

Fortunately, CC decided to stay with Neil Kernon after 2002's 'Gore Obsessed,' and (as would be expected) production values went up immensely. Every (and I mean every) instrument is crystal. There's not a note dropped, a vocal flattened, or a drum head softened on this album. Everything is deliberate and done with such a punch that anyone's got to be impressed with the style this album brings to the table.

Get this album, because it's everything death metal was meant to be. 'Sides, you get a DVD that's packed with in-studio footage and out-studio bullshitting with the band (to include firearms lessons from Pat and Alex as well as a Broncos brat-fest from the Corpsegrinder), so you can't go wrong. This is money well-spent, and we all know that doesn't happen too often. Cannibal Corpse proves, once again, they dominate the field of death metal.

Just another Cannibal Corpse cd - 80%

SlavetoTheparasites, November 9th, 2004

Cannibal Corpse no doubt are death metal legends. For years they have been making impressive releases like "Tomb of the Mutilated" and "Bloodthirst. But The Wretched Spawn is what i would say just another Cannibal Corpse cd. There are positive and negative things about this cd.

Negative: Corpsegrinder is a good singer. We all know he can growl really fast. On severed head stoning its just annoying. Its the first song and its pretty damn annoying because all Corpsegrinder is doing is sing as fast as he can. The second song "Psychotic Precision" starts of with what i found one of the most funniest guitar riffs i have ever heard, later on it gets pretty listenable. Basically the album starts of pretty boring. Another song which i would like to highlight will be "Bent Backwards And Broken". I personally dislike this song for a lot of reasons. It basically what i would say is a song Cannibal Corpse just put in to add another song. Its a really boring songs after a minute i couldnt wait till this song ended.

Positive: "Decency Defied" is the highlight of this cd. Its one of the best songs CC have ever made. Its a perfectly made song and everything just seems to be put at right place in it. Corpsegrinder does an excelent job on the vocals. "Festering in the crypt" is one of the few slow songs CC have ever made. Yet slow it sounds brutal. "They Deserve To Die" is another song that makes this cd good. It has a really long scream in the end which gives the album a pretty impressive end. "Frantic Disembowelment" has some insane guitar and bass work done on it. All instruments blend in good with george's vocals.

The rest of the songs are mediocre. Cannibal Corpse delivered a good release but its nothing amazing that would leave the listener amazed.

Highlight songs - Decency Defied, Festering in the crypt, They deserve to die

Pretty impressive - 86%

stickyshooZ, July 28th, 2004

One of the marks of a good band is songwriting. If you look at Cannibal Corpse's song writing from Eaten Back to Life to the present day, you notice significant advancement in musical composition. When Cannibal Corpse started with Eaten Back To Life, they sounded more like heavy death thrash...but this is a jaw dropping promotion to hellish, brutal, and technical death metal compared to the primitive and gruesome debut album. Instead of setting themselves into a comfort zone, they push harder and harder with each album, which shows in The Wretched Spawn when compared to their previous release - Gore Obsessed. Not only does this package come with the feral and fierce Wretched Spawn album, it also comes with a bonus DVD which contains footage of the making of the album.

I'll say right now that the drumming doesn't really compliment the acrimonious guitars and bass on the equal level. Paul is a decent drummer for being self taught, but let’s face it; the guy has been doing practically the same thing for the last ten years. Mid-paced blast beats and other medial drumming techniques are all he really seems to go for in a world of hasty music. I don't mind a drummer taking an intermediate stance in speed, but when it becomes the only style the drummer uses, it’s pretty much an unspoken connotation that maybe they need to try something new. This isn't bad drumming by any standards; it's just very parallel to previous albums.

Gathering from previous performances, this is George Fisher’s best vocal delivery since he’s been with the band. Instead of trailing off in mid song and going in seemingly random directions, Fisher’s singing goes more with the flow of the music and keeps that tight formation all the way through. This is why Barnes can’t hold a torch to Fisher. Other than the fact that Barnes’ bloated ego helped him gain momentum to being ejected from the band, he had no vocal rhythm in comparison to Corpsegrinder. Barnes, more or less, would wait for the band to conjure some devastating tunes, and then just dump his vocals onto them without any precision or planning.

Let’s face it – Barnes was sloppy and Fisher is not. Undeniable is Fisher’s ability to sing more coherently as well. Take Tomb of the Mutilated for example; that was a great album, but most of the time it was a vein effort to even attempt to understand what Barnes was singing. While vocal comprehension isn’t always priority to most people who listen to death metal, I consider it a pleasure to be able to decipher what it is I’m listening to while it remains brutal and heavy. Little has changed in Fisher’s voice since Gallery of Suicide; it’s still got that mid-tone growl that lies in comparison with death metal singers like Glen Benton and Erik Rutan.

Jack Owen and Pat O’Brien rend flesh into nothing but pulp by creating a razor storm of sharp and succinct structure with their fleet and expeditious playing styles. Jack Owen wrote four songs on this album, some that I enjoy immensely, others that I think are just good. I don’t know what it is about Owen’s writing style, but his songs don’t stick with me the way O’Brien’s or Webster’s do. Jack Owen tends to overuse fast chug riffs, has seemingly synthetic aggression, as well as lack of memorable tunes. Owen just seems to be short of passion in a lot of the songs he writes, as if he couldn’t get into it.

I find Pat O’Brien to be much more of an interesting song writer than Jack Owen on this album, due to the fact that he usually goes for faster and more difficult riffs than Owen. I am not a believer of the whole “complexity equates to splendor” type of mind set, but Pat writes catchy shit and manages to keep pushing the boundaries on difficulty. If you watch the DVD that came with this album, you’ll be able to see Pat playing guitar for one of his songs, “Frantic Disembowelment,” which takes away any doubt that Cannibal Corpse go for simplicity as Pat runs his fingers around the fret board with amazing speed. When Pat plays, he goes for unrelenting aggression and brutality; I notice that Pat tends to favor tremolo harmonization as well. This also gives me the idea that he actually loves what he’s doing, unlike Jack (it’s why he left the band after all).

The entire production is crystal clear, much like Gore Obsessed. This is also the first all digital album that Cannibal Corpse have done. The problem with old Cannibal Corpse albums was that the production usually rendered Alex’s bass sounding almost like a joke. Remember the nice little bass solo on Hammer Smashed Face before the singing started? It sounds like a piece of rubber!

Thankfully, the serene production allows you to hear Alex’s bass as it pummels in the background like a machine gun. I’d love to hear more standout bass activity from Alex, maybe a bass solo or two, but I digress. Production can’t get much better than this. Almost every song on here is built around speed, except for the ever groovy “Festering in the Crypt,” which speaks in more of a “sit down, relax, and enjoy” type of manner. Some thrash elements show themselves in songs like “Severed Head Stoning,” and attack all bones in the listener’s neck by forcing them to head bang until paralysis is achieved.

I can’t say I was really looking forward to this album. I purchased it the day it came out, but I was expecting it to be somewhat of a Gore Obsessed clone, but no...This is even better! I tip my hat to the death metal veterans for spawning this fine creation.

Sounds like a razorblade - 85%

bestial_hero_, July 24th, 2004

Someone once said that if vomit was a movie, Cannibal Corpse would be the soundtrack. I beg to differ.

Old Cannibal Corpse is more of being beaten with blunt object.
This though, this is more of a razorblade parting the skin down to bone.

Everything one would expect to be on a Cannibal Corpse album is on here.
The speed, the heaviness, the brutality, its unrelenting. But this is not just the same old same old from Corpse, as many people say. This is more technical, this is sharper and tighter. More musicianship.

The time changes on this album, arent spastic and random, they actually accent what needs to be accented, making everything seem that much more musical.

The vocals on this album are the other large difference, besides the musicianship. They are understandable! *GASP*
Harsh, throat ripping, but still understandable.
There are some blood curdling screams on here. impressive lung capacity.

I would really like to see Alex Webster play some more solos. His talent was cemented by the contained DVD, multi-fingered, high speed picking, to heavy/funky slap riffs and back. STOP SITTING IN THE BACKGROUND.

Wow... - 87%

Snxke, May 22nd, 2004

This is the brutal death metal comeback that nobody expected. Hands down. With Jack Owen starting a side project, and the trend of CC releasing “brutal” but mostly ummemorable albums it seemed as if this new release would simply be another retread of hammering beats and pointless lyrics. Thankfully, for the death metal community and longtime fans of the band, it seems as if the band has finally awoken from their gore-splattered slumber.

One of the most debated items regarding CC’s recent records, the vocals, have finally fallen into place. The vocals on “The Wrectched Spawn” spit with machine gun fury. The guitars and bass shudder through odd, yet memorable time changes and the production is spot-on to the sound these guys have needed for quite some time. While many praise Corpsegrinder, this may be the first CD in which his vocal styles are actually used to any positive affect. We can debate for years as to why Chris Barnes is better or worse, but on this CD the vocals are front, center and perfectly matching to the music. The songs, the production and the vocals are all here…

Cannibal Corpse are relevant again. (I’m still stunned that I am typing these words, as I never thought I’d have anything of this sort to say about the band post-“The Bleeding”.)

Lyrically, this CD is dumber than a brick. Barnes, despite his brand of strange lyrics, at least had a sense of humor. In the end, this cannot distract from the well constructed riffs that shudder like cannon-balls smashing into your skull. I still wish though, that these guys would try to write something interesting lyrically, as they are the most popular band in the genre, making us all look like a bunch of illiterate morons. Even so, few death metal bands play bigger crowds, sell as many records or have made half the impact on mainstream culture as Cannibal Corpse have. This record, thankfully, will back up the hype and finally prove to the world that they belong in that vaunted position that the media have pushed them towards.

This CD, despite it’s few flaws in the lyrical department (as if anyone was paying attention aide from those three guys in Kansas), this CD is a comeback. I stand humbled.

(Originally printed on Hells Rock and Roll)

Wretchedly Monotonous - 65%

darkandfoul, May 9th, 2004

While Cannibal Corpse’s latest offering is exactly what you would expect from Cannibal Corpse – fast songs, silly song titles, gore, and George Fisher’s deep and guttural vocals, “The Wretched Spawn” is pretty disappointing. By far the greatest disappointment is George Fisher’s vocals. They are monotonous at most times, and lack the melody that he is capable of.

Watching the DVD that came with the CD is almost as boring as listening to the album in entirety. On the DVD they claim to have made the most technical album that they’ve ever done, and claim it’s the best they’ve ever done. This is simply not true. “The Wretched Spawn” is certainly better than their last few efforts, but it fails to meet the standard that we hope Cannibal Corpse is capable of.

All that being said, the album is not entirely terrible. The songs aren’t exactly bad – it’s just that they’re not mind-blowingly great. They follow the tired and true Cannibal Corpse song writing formula, and you can certainly tell that it’s a Cannibal Corpse album. “Decency Defined” manages to have some pretty good moments, as does “Cyanide Assassin”, and “Nothing Left To Mutilate” would be the stand out song on the album for me.

The same....but....different.... - 72%

SculptedCold, April 8th, 2004

I've listened to this album many dozens of times over the past couple of weeks, and almost every time I come to a different conclusion; any one of a)it sucks, b)it's one of their best yet or c)it's somewhere in the middle.

It is classic CC for one thing; if you come to it with no expectations, you'll come away thinking it sounds like all their previous albums. If you come to it with the expectation of it sounding like their previous albums, you could come away very surprised.

What the band and what others here have said is true; this is by a fair distance CC's most technically proficient album yet, but instead of showing it off with catchy and clear fast picked melodic hooks, they've decided to mire their skills within the crushing heaviness of the gore-metal chug they share with fellow bands such as Aborted or Exhumed. The technical highlights from the album include Bent Backwards and Broken, Frantic Disembowlement and Psychotic Precision, and this new concentration doesn't always work. In each of the three, the 'chug', despite being a complicated and lightning fast dance across the fretboards, is still just a chug. If anything, the openings of Bent... and Frantic Disembowlment only become a tiring and sloppy-sounding wank without the hook we'd expect from so much fret action, and yet despite that it is still more refreshing than the stale and boring cuts 'Decency Defied' and 'Slain', both hideously simple and repetetive, and both penned by Jack Own who, ironically, arguably also writes the best song 'Nothing Left to Mutilate' which, although simply constructed, is a genuinely sinister-sounding and effective journey into the true horror of gore metal, and what it should sound like.
So what should CC sound like? The new found technical showmanship is little more than a less catchy throwback to some of the better songs on Bloodthirst (CC's best to these ears), but when used to the extent that they are and intermingled with CC's uncanny ability to write interesting tremolo riffs, we have an album that is uncompromisingly brutal but, on repeated listens, as memorable as Gore Obsessed or Tomb of the Mutilated, without losing its direction by sticking to any one forte. In that sense, The Wretched Spawn is a varied but traditional offering, the only real advance being the technicality which isn't displayed effectively. Despite the unoriginality, the riffs and the songs are good enough to stand against their back catalogue and contemporaries. The deliberately sloppy chops in Severed Head Stoning and Rotted Body Landslide keep CC in heavy deathgrind goodness almost up to the excellence of Sikfuk, the scathing tremolo melodies in Cyanide Assassin and Blunt Force Castration highlight CC's catchy side, the title track and Festering in the Crypt are the slower, brooding offerings on this record which are compositionally the strongest of all the slower songs they've ever written, while the absolutely amazingly thrashy and groovy (yet brutal) closer They Deserve To Die literally blows away any and every song from the last Aborted album.

The only real let-down is Owens' two stinkers, Decency Defiled (a cheap remake of Sentenced to Burn from Gallery of Suicide) and Slain, which is just plain awful, and the lack of forward progression many will likely quickly attribute to CC. But then, they've never been about pushing the boundaries, and that in mind, The Wretched Spawn is a great addition to the CC catalogue, just not quite as good as it could have been.

Best since Vile - 92%

InTenebris, April 7th, 2004

On February 24 th , Cannibal Corpse will unleash upon the world The Wretched Spawn . Cannibal Corpse is the ultimate brutal death metal band, for those sorry individuals not yet aware of this fact. Cannibal Corpse are just as brutal and pummeling as on 2002's Gore Obsessed , but they have stepped up the technical level of the material on this one. This is generally non-melodic, utilizing instead much more complex structures and riffing than melodic death metal. Pat O'Brien and Jack Owen play some of the most elaborate guitar parts I have ever heard, and they play them faster than almost anyone. Alex Webster may be one of the best bass players on the planet, and he certainly shows it here. The intricacy, speed and force he utilizes on these thirteen tracks is simply mind-boggling. Paul Mazurkiewicz drumming, though not as impressive as the work of his bandmates, is quite admirable. The vocals of George "The Corpsegrinder" Fischer are deep, abrasive, throat-tearing death roars. CC's songwriting is an improvement over their last couple offerings. Instead of rehashing their old riffs, they are truly inventive, and, at times, remind of the obscure brilliance of The Bleeding and Vile. The album closer is a great summarization of the album: ferocious and absolutely brilliant.