Cannibal Corpse – Chaos Horrific (Metal Blade Records)Friday, 22nd September 2023
One of the premiere acts in the death metal genre, Cannibal Corpse didn’t neglect the time away from the stage when locked away working on their previous record Violence Unimagined from 2021. Instead, they got down to business writing and recording Chaos Horrific – their sixteenth studio album as the band celebrates thirty-five years as a unit. Most people should respect the work ethic and commitment to the cause, and as such these ten tracks of pounding brutality contain the right balance as far as memorable riffs, neck whipping grooves, devastating growls/screams, as well as killer musicianship passages when it comes to specific lead breaks / bass lines that keep listeners attentive for more.
The steady double kick, slow marching tempo that penetrates first single “Blood Blind” signals nothing astray in the CC style – the low-tuned guitars swirling comfortably next to the venomous bark of George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher. Bassist Alex Webster lays down his progressive bottom end duties as professionally as they come – his work within songs such as opener “Overlords of Violence” and “Fracture and Refracture” sure to gather plenty of deep dives for schooled musicians. The quintet knows how to assault your senses like a persistent jackhammer – only allowing brief reprieves before the next heavy, crushing segment tears you limb from limb. Favorites change in and out by the day – it’s hard to not resist the roller coaster mid-tempo to doom/groove monster “Drain You Empty” or the Slayer-esque overdrive “Frenzied Feeding” after numerous passes, the lead breaks in the latter from Rob Barrett and Erik Rutan occasionally reminiscent of the dive bomb, whammy-bar enhanced proclivities of the King/Hanneman team. Fortunate to also place trust in the production/mixing/mastering duties within the seasoned, capable hands of Mr. Rutan ensures these gentlemen can put the focus on sinister songwriting and powerhouse performances – which they deliver in spades here.
Establishing their lane early with gore/horror-influenced subject matter to match up to deadly death metal music, Cannibal Corpse continue to be leaders in a movement that’s received a lot of attention as the younger brigade of bands put their own spin on things. Chaos Horrific is a more than adequate sequel to the previous outing – and should be exciting to add more material to an already legendary, mandatory set list when they tour for this effort.