Has it only been 3 years since ‘Kill
’? Seems like so much longer ago I first spun my opening taste of Cannibal Corpse
, and suffered severe facial melting. You see, ‘Kill
’ was the culmination of all that made Cannibal Corpse
awesome in the first place; speed, brutality, gore and, most importantly, genuine technical chops that showed they were anything but a one trick pony. So how exactly would you follow up such a momentously good album? ‘Evisceration Plague
’ is your answer.
As with all good Cannibal albums, ‘Evisceration Plague
’ opens with a throat wrenching scream from George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher as the blasting ‘Priests of Sodom’ hurtles out of the starting blocks. Fisher’s vocal performance appears to have picked up a little more clarity, which was a highlight of ‘Kill
’ for me; it’s nice to see an attempt to make death metal lyrics actually understandable now and again. It also contains some nice vocal layering, adding to the intensity. Musically, I wasn’t a fan of the blasting to start with; it seemed to be a bit of blast autopilot, but once that chugging riff broke through, all was forgiven. It is the same feeling I got when listening to ‘Five Nails Through
’ from ‘Kill
’, that you were in the company of masters. There is more of the fluid soloing that ‘Kill
’ brought to the fore, but it never detracts from the brutality.
The short sharp shock of ‘Scalding Hail
’ is second, and is possibly the best track on the record, outside the title track. It’s the shortest song the band have written in a while, and the beating your ears receive is relentless. There is no slower section; there’s no space for it amongst the unrelenting growl of Fisher and the speedy blast. If you enjoyed ‘Make Them Suffer
’ from ‘Kill
’, this is going to be a favourite for you. In fact, the album as a whole presents an amalgamation of all the highlights of Cannibal Corpse
’s career, compressed into Erik Rutan’s crisp production and spat out with murderous intent. ‘To Decompose’ opens with a solid chug and then tears off with a howling solo to be brought back down with that awesome opening riff. It then proceeds to destroy the world with a ground shaking breakdown, perfect for the headbang, and then that riff comes back in. It could fit in well on ‘Gallery of Suicide
’, and the spiralling solos that punctuate ‘Carrion
’ and ‘Unnatural
’ are an excellent progression from ‘Kill
There is also a fair share of slower paced material, which exchange relentless pace for measured brutality. The ominous ‘A Cauldron
’, and the deathly rumble of the title track are great examples of this. In fact ‘Evisceration Plague
’ boasts the same type of swaying riff that I enjoyed in ‘Infinite Misery
’ from ‘Kill
’, it comes across as very Immolation
-esque. But it is the faster paced material that is to the fore, and guitarists Pat O’Brien and Rob Barrett seem to have taken it upon themselves to solo the band into oblivion later on. Which of course is fine when it is sandwiched between some of the best death metal riffage this side of Morbid Angel
. There is something truly savage about ‘Evidence in the Furnace’ when it fully takes off, and the aptly entitled ‘Carnivorous Entity
’ sounds, if you’ll pardon the pun, waspish in its intensity.
If you enjoyed ‘Kill
’, you’ll like this. It is as simple as that. But don’t be suckered into thinking that this is merely ‘Kill
’ part 2, or an outtakes from the recording of it, because Cannibal Corpse
possess one of those rare traits in the death metal world: the ability to write consistently familiar sounding and yet totally unique records. Everyone who enjoys extreme music knows their sound, and most of us love them for it. They don’t need to change, and I hope they don’t, because they’ve just consistently got better. For me, it doesn’t quite beat ‘Kill
’, that’s been one of my favourite death metal records ever, but it’s damn sure close. Yet another refined, brutal gem.