CD Review: CANNIBAL CORPSE Torture
When Cannibal Corpse released Evisceration Plague back in 2009, I couldn’t find myself really falling for it. Yes, Priests of Sodom and Scalding Hail were awesome tracks, but the album as a whole didn’t quite measure up to 2006’s Kill. But from the buzz coming from the metal world in anticipation of this album, Torture is looking to become an essential release for 2012. For some reason, brutal death metal puts me in a great mood. This new release from the genre’s kings has me striking a huge beaming smile.
Torture starts out like a great death metal album should, with the right-to-the-point assault of Demented Aggression. The dissonant riffs and pounding drums should provide the perfect setting for Corpsegrinder to show off his famous windmill head spin. Immediately on first listen, the song became a new favorite of mine, especially with the unrelenting volley of screaming in the chorus. On the whole, the album has a very crunchy feel, with some riffs and solos thrown in. As expected, the band’s signature sound is fully intact- when you hear it, you know who it is. And as expected, there are some priceless song titles: As Deep as the Knife Will Go, Intestinal Crank, and the rather straightforward Followed Home then Killed. Along with the brilliant opener, I was very impressed with the thundering and strangely catchy Encased in Concrete. The song flows seamlessly between a mid-range head bang pace and a ferociously fast chorus.
Cannibal Corpse has included some slower, dirge-like numbers here, which I’ve always found to be their weakest hand. However, the faster songs build up so much momentum and power, that any drag goes with little notice. I should also say that one of the real standouts for me was Caged…Contorted, a song that gives the entire band a chance to show off some variation in tempo and each member a change to show off their individual musical skills. The entire band is in fine form here. Corpsegrinder gives a flawless performance which I can’t wait to see replicated live once again. And even in his early 40’s Paul Mazurkiewicz is still a monster on the drums (though not without some difficulty as can be seen in the studio videos).
Fans of the band should be very satisfied with Torture, as the band has remained who they are even 12 albums in. What’s important is that they manage to achieve this without sounding tired and stale. They’ve come close to that dangerous point with some albums, but with Torture, Cannibal Corpse blasts any doubts about the band into dismembered, bloody smithereens.
Favorite songs: Demented Aggression, Encased in Concrete, As Deep as the Knife Will Go, Followed Home then Killed, Caged…Contorted