Cannibal Corpse, Torture

Cannibal Corpse: Torture

In the awesomely zombified April issue of Decibel Magazine (#90), there’s an interview with current Cannibal Corpse members. It’s a good read that you should check out if you can. Within that interview, there’s a quote from drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz that describes one of the founding pillars of American death metal thusly: “What has Cannibal Corpse become? A brand, with an amazing fanbase.” Those few words are quite telling.

When something (a consumer product, a band, whatever) becomes so recognizable to be considered a brand, that’s a testament, in this case, to the musicians that have made Cannibal Corpse the top-selling band of all time within the death metal genre. When you’re considered a brand, your fans expect you to sound a certain way, to present yourself a certain way and to live up to those ideals fully. Anything less is unacceptable. A brand has to deliver the goods consistently and, to a degree, in a pre-conceived vision that your fans look forward to with maniacal fervor. What I’m trying to say, is that when a new Corpse album is released, you can pretty much guarantee, with fairly accurate certainty, what it’s going to sound like — vicious death metal, solid production and just as solid musicianship — for better or worse.

Torture isn’t a simple rehashing of concepts past, but it does fit nicely into the formula this band has used to become as successful as they have. From the bludgeoning rhythms of Mazurkiewicz and bassist Alex Webster to the shredding riffs of guitarists O’Brien and Barrett to the distinct growls/screams of George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, Torture is exactly what we want when hitting “play” on a Cannibal Corpse album. Sure the band could have settled into the familiar and just vomited out some generic music that simply sold records, but that would be counter to what their brand is know for. Just check out the unrelenting, ferocious album opener, the appropriately titled “Demented Aggression.”

From that point on, you know what you’re in store for with the remaining eleven songs. “Sarcophagic Frenzy” has a twisted second half that can’t be missed. “Encased in Concrete” has a solid bit of thrash in the mix and a sick solo to kick things off nicely. “As Deep As The Knife Will Go” has a catchy chorus and chugging gallop while the slower paced “Intestinal Crank” sounds like just that, having your innards ripped out through your naughty parts. “Rabid” has it’s throttle pegged to the floorboard the whole time and album closer, “Torn Apart” sums up the whole experience nicely with manic drums and twisting riffs.

All in all, Torture more than lives up to the brand of Cannibal Corpse. It doesn’t push boundaries, but it entertains to the fullest with everything we’ve come to love and expect from these guys.