April 16, 2021 Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined (Album Review)
What is more annoying than constantly having to censor your own music and artwork? Perhaps not being able to play in front of a live audience for over a year when it is part of your band’s life blood. Either way, Florida based Death Metal gurus Cannibal Corpse have felt the brunt of it all in the most brutal way throughout their entire career. They have also come a very long way with a steady progression that is seen once again with their new album Violence Unimagined due out on Friday, April 16th, 2021 through Metal Blade.
Quickly looking back, it has been 4 long years since Cannibal Corpse’s released Red Before Black back in 2017 and it has been 31 years since their 1990 debut, Eaten Back To Life. Now, anyone familiar with the band are well aware of their brutal music and imagery depicted. Thankfully Violence Unimagined has some very tasty artwork by Vince Locke featuring a mother eating her own baby, but the baby is not featured in the PC version that most will see because that version was banned from the mainstream. Still, it gets the message across, and the tunes in general on this album live up to the brutal death metal legacy that encompasses Cannibal Corpse.
Now with new member, Erik Rutan, on lead guitar and production, fans can expect a welcoming hellish joy ride to the finish line. He joins original Bassist Alex Webster, as well as Drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, along with Rob Barrett on rhythm guitar, and George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher on main vocals. Side note, anyone who has not seen the hair windmills created on stage in a live setting by Corpsegrinder as he sings, there is no envy for that loss.
Moving into the effects of the opening tune “Murderous Rampage,” it is almost as if the drums and guitars are heavily racing to attack the next victim that gets in their way spawning the ultimate murder chase scene. Allowing the mind to freely visualize what the music entails is a creative key to enjoying all that Cannibal Corpse has to offer. As many different Horror inspired bands do such as Mortician and Goblin, Cannibal Corpse also creates strong graphic visuals, only in one’s mind, with the music just as much as the lyrics which most people don’t even fully comprehend through the guttural vocal styling.
Moving forward in the murderous race is “Necrogenic Resurrection.” This mixes in some classic Death Metal with many generous spurts of technical brutality in a devouring way. Then, get ready for a catchy mosh worthy track “Inhumane Harvest.” In fact, all eleven tracks of impending death carry the weight of a well-established Death Metal band with no shortage of creative accentuating moments.
The thunderous drumming of “Condemnation Contagion” is an inspiring delight which seems to be enhanced by the well established guitar foundations. These bases seem to be carried straight into the next mass consumption of the tune “Surround, Kill, Devour.” One of the strengths of this band is that they can mix at least three different subgenres of Death Metal into their albums without letting one overpower the other. In this album most specially they do not shy away from some of the more technical guitar stylings, yet they just constantly blow that all up with their brutal and classic based blends. It works marvelously as intended creating that unique brand of Death Metal only Cannibal Corpse can provide.
It must also be said that as a band that has undergone quite a few line up changes including the vocalist, all eras of Cannibal Corpse can be appreciated for what they are. Chris Barnes for example can’t really be compared to Corpsegrinder, because they were just very different. However, both have had positive impacts on the band’s music and style as a whole. For example, in the tune “Ritual Annihilation,” Corpsegrinder really exemplifies his strengths as a very powerfully intimidating vocalist.
As most tunes on Violence Unimagined, each is kept within the 3-4 minute mark, and “Bound And Burned” is no different. There is something to be said for those who can face their fears, and feel release from it because they ultimately are able to let it go. That is what this accomplishes with its sheer heaviness and lack of boundaries. Be free or die. Moving into the latter part of the album “Slowly Sawn” breaks the mold with its timely tension and chaos while “Overtorture” blasts away with some of the best short, but brutal drumming on the album. Which leads us to the finale of this well-produced new classic, “Cerements of the Flayed.” A near flawless closer, at just over four minutes of tempo manipulation, carried chaos, and vocal embellishments… you are actually left craving more.
Overall, it seems quite obvious that Rutan has successfully and deservingly found a killer home for himself within the writings and stylings of Cannibal Corpse. A future tour will be most welcomed by fans all over the map. While, some people are busy wasting their time banning Horror-inspired music and art rather than helping to put actual criminals in jail, Cannibal Corpse fans will be enjoying a long anticipated hell of a good album for years to come. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Violence Unimagined 5 out of 5 stars.