Eaten Back to Life
is Cannibal Corpse
’s debut album and it’s the beginning of a long line of albums. This album is one of the earliest death metal full lengths out there and it was albums like these that kick started the new wave of extreme metal that was to be called death metal. I’m not exactly sure when the “Old School
” death metal era was, but Eaten Back to Life
hit the shelves in 1990 and people were already trying to cope with the likes of earlier settlers such as Autopsy
. For many, Cannibal Corpse
’s album Tomb of the Mutilated
was their crowning achievement, but I believe the Eaten Back to Life
reigns supreme in my books when it comes to these guy’s discography. It was essentially what made them so famous.
So how did these guys set themselves apart from the rest of the gang, well, I know I’ll probably receive a lot of hate mail but I think that this album is a lot more brutal than the other “stuff” that was laid out as their competition. Rather than focusing on sheer heaviness, these guys have focused more on speed and well… brutality (obviously). This is exactly what I would have wanted considering that death metal is an extreme metal genre. The music here isn’t slow if you compare it to the likes of Obituary
, not by a long shot. I think it’s this that really sets them apart from the rest because correct me if I’m wrong, these guys were the fastest of their time (in death metal). I don’t really think that there was anything of this calibre back then.
But, obviously these guys have made a contribution to the death metal genre (weather people like it or not, they have) so it’s not like this album is completely different from everything else back in the day. There were some clear similarities and watermarks that basically trademark the whole genre. The first and foremost similarity that these guys have is the recording quality and tuning of the instruments. For some it might suck and for others it’s a stamp of authenticity, as for me, I think that at times it sucks because it makes all the music from that time sound exactly the same (from thrash to death) but, holy shit, when a band comes up with something like this, you cannot even think that this sounds generic, that should be against the law!
Before diving into the different components of their music, I’d just like to point out one thing that I found quite “interesting”. These guys seem to have a little more than just death metal in this album, just saying, I’m not sure if you know where I’m going with this but I have a slight feeling that there are parts that are thrash influenced, it’s just a feeling I get. I also don’t think that Cannibal Corpse
has influenced just death metal bands out there. I can pick out many hardcore and deathcore bands out there that use almost the same riffs and what is found in this album.
The vocals, they sound so primitive. In contrast with their newer albums (dare I say it) Chris Barnes seems so… cute, look at him, practising his vocals, awww. For those who have never experienced this album, it is important to take note that the vocals are completely different from everything else they have created and for some odd reason, this provides a completely different listening experience. The guitars here are almost perfect, they are of the right tuning and distortion to create come excellent classic metal. Out
of all instruments in a band, I think that when it comes to classic music, nothing watermarks it like the guitar tuning and riffling (everything from old school death to classic thrash). There is some awesome guitars tabs that are played and some sick as guitar shredding solos. Ahhh, finally, the drumming. The guitars might have been the emblem for classic metal, but I believe that the drumming is what symbolizes old school death metal. The drumming is quite fast and sounds very “snappy”. Also, the drumming on here is actually quite technical for their time. Which is another thing that makes this album great.
Overall, this was the beginning of Cannibal Corpse
’s reign as being one of the most popular and influential artists today. There are so many bands out there who look up to these guys for guidance because they have so much to offer. This album is more, brutal and technical than anything that was previously seen at the time. Although they might not have had the same “heaviness” to their sound as their old school death metal counterparts, these guys have taken another direction, and I think it was the right direction. I think the track Edible Autopsy
is an old school death metal anthem which symbolizes what this band is all about. This is one album that no metal fan should ever forget and something bands all over the world should be grateful for!