Album Review: Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined

Cannibal Corpse

Album Review: Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined
Reviewed by Dan Barnes

Who remembers back in the day when Death Metal first reared its head? Morbid Angel seemed intent on invocating Lovecratian entities; Obituary forewent discernible lyrics for much of their debut and Deicide was led by a lunatic who had branded an inverted cross into his forehead. But no other band quite had the moral majority clutching their pearls and needing smelling salts more than Cannibal Corpse as, even without hearing the music, a cursory glance down their song titles was enough to cause hysterical swooning.

Yet, all of those bands – and more – are still active to this day and all have released new albums relatively recently. The most prolific of the Death Metal deities always has been Cannibal Corpse and this year sees the release of album number fifteen.

Coming four years after Red Before Black and thirty-one years on from Eaten Back to Life, Violence Unimagined’s title and artwork does not lead one to reasonably believe the band have mellowed to any great degree. Rather, it’s very much business as usual for Cannibal Corpse as they deliver eleven slices of pristine Death Metal as only they can.

Album Review: Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined

To say Violence Unimagined is just what you would expect from the band make it sound that Cannibal Corpse are going through the motions here, whereas album #15 steps into the ring without a single ounce of fat on show. From song-writing to performance to production, Violence Unimagined is a near-flawless record by a band who are masters of their craft.

There’s plenty available for all extreme tastes. Those old-school fans of the Florida-sound can have their thirsts slaked by Surrender, Kill, Devour and Bound and Burned; or if you’re one of those people who think Cannibal Corpse would benefit from more extremity, then look no further than Overtorture or Ritual Annihilation where the massive opening salvo gives way to a riff that sails close to grinding. The addition of Erik Rutan as a full-time member of the band only serves to further enhance an already unrivalled reputation.

Cannibal Corpse supplement this extremity moments of relative calm: sitting low in the mix of Condemnation Contagion and Slowly Sawn an unmistakable Nu element alongside the groove; and Follow the Blood is constructed around slow, doom-laden guitar and dissonant and discordant musicality.

It is very mush to their credit that Cannibal Corpse keep knocking it out of the park with their new releases. A bit like Napalm Death last year, Violence Unimagined is the sound of a band with bags of milage under their collective belts and still with loads to give.

From start to finish, there is nothing here that shouldn’t have the young pretenders quaking in their boots. This is an object lesson in brutality and class and proof that you don’t need shitty production to still sound terrifying.

ICYMI - Check out our in depth interview with Alex Webster about the new Cannibal Corpse album here.

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