The band that helped mold brutal death metal, Cannibal Corpse, has just put out their 12th studio album entitled “Torture“. Corpsegrinder and the gang are back to their usual thing, making heavy death metal while keeping that Cannibal groove about it. Ultra heavy and quite homicidal, Torture keeps this tradition going. If you liked The Wretched Spawn & Kill then you’ll love Torture, I feel like those two albums are the most similar to this newest installment. There are fast thrash metal parts, slow slamming groove sections and plenty of mosh starting, headbanging moments as well. Some of the riff work on the album is refreshing and fun, the bass guitar is (finally) more audible and the drums are back with that Cannibal thirst for blood.
I could just say “It’s a Cannibal Corpse album, either you already like them or you don’t. Check it out” and let that do the talking. Not much has changed since The Wretched Spawn. The sound is the same, the brutality is there, the tones/drums/vocals sound pretty much the same. Nothing has really changed. Honestly, that is a good thing because I have fully enjoyed what Camp Corpse has been doing for the last 2 decades. Torture is just another chapter of damn good songs in the book of death metal. It’s a neck breaker of an album and hearing the guys perform them live will be a great experience. Another thing that is consistent with Cannibal Corpse records: Listen to it loud and you’ll get a ring in your ears. This album is violently loud just like Kill and Evisceration Plague was so warn your girlfriend ahead of time. She’ll appreciate it.
“Demented Aggression” kicks off the album and to me it’s just “Skull Full of Maggots“, the 2012 version. It is fast and thrashy compared to their usual song writing, it’s for sure a great way to start off the album though. People give Paul Mazurkiewicz a lot of shit for not really changing up his drumming really but I couldn’t imagine anyone else in his spot. He does a fine job holding down the percussion duties and honestly his style still fits in perfectly with the current song writing. Not to mention he contributes to the song writing for the band. “Sarcophagic Frenzy” has a bad ass groove to it and it kicks up a notch for the chorus. The song just slays, continuing the slaughter is is the slow yet monstrous song “Scourge of Iron“. It begins with a fast whirlwind headbanger of an intro but dramatically slowing down for the remainder of the song. The result is a crushing track that does not lose any power due to it’s speed. People’s spine will be severed to this song when they perform it live. It’s a nice breather track with a sinister guitar solo in it.
Next up is the track “Encased In Concrete” and I just fucking love this song. It’s just intense and you get a nasty guitar solo before the vocals even kick in, I love those kind of tracks. Encased In Concrete also features a bad ass verse riff that is unlike anything Cannibal Corpse has ever done before. Barrett & Mazurkiewicz wrote the song so give them credit for that. It’s one of the most memorable parts on the entire album, it gets stuck in your head for days. Corpsegrinder’s vocal patterns are very fast and the song just fucking rules. Straight into “As Deep As The Knife Will Go” the music wastes no time fueling the fire and bringing out the hatred and ultimately just down right heavy metal riffing and blasting. The chorus is fun to sing along to as well, and if you’re perverted like me, you’ll change the lyrics around and amuse yourself.
Intestinal Crank’s intro sounds familiar to another Cannibal Corpse song, it just has that unique riff that only they would think of. It’s weird but it works. The song itself is pretty good, the flow of the verse riffs is better than the chorus. The breakdown riffs after the second chorus is pretty rad, simple yet heavy. Followed Home Then Killed has a fucking sweet intro; it’s scary and creepy. It’s something you’d hear in a horror film just before the half naked chick gets butchered. The riffing and drums once again provide a great tempo/groove and the hammer on/off riffs are so fucking killer. The Strangulation Chair’s music is closer to something you would have heard on some older Cannibal Corpse, around the Gallery of Suicide and Bloodthirst era. Alex Webster’s fine bass work shines prominently on this track, even shutting everyone else up for a second and letting him rip up his own fretboard for a little bit. Lyrically, the songs theme is pretty cool in itself as well.
Caged…Contorted is a slower maniacal song. Nothing much stands out really, the entire song is just well written. You can hear Alex tearing away at the bass again too (I fucking love that). Crucifier Avenged is one of the tracks I actually have no care for. I don’t know what it is about it, I just think it’s a “meh” song. Rabid is kind of like that for me as well, it just never grew with me. I don’t like the first half of the song. It’s too all over the place and the timing on the chorus, which is one fucking word, always throws me off. It’s just this weird timing thing and I can’t wrap my head around it, and I listen to technical death metal too! It’s just weird and not even catchy. The speed of the vocals is fun to listen to though. Lastly, we have a great closing track entitled “Torn Through” which lyrically and musically is just incredibly crushing.
They have done it. They have released another solid album. Some songs better than others and some I don’t necessarily care for but I know they will grow on me, that’s usually the case when I first listen to a new Cannibal Corpse album. Production is the best yet, I absolutely love the inclusion of Alex Webster into the music now. He is usually low on the albums unless he has his dedicated part. His bass can be heard loud and clear throughout the entire album. Corpsegrinder’s vocals are his usual mid range growl, with his higher registered screams really not being too much of the focus at all on this album. It’s a decent balance though. I was expecting one massive roar though on at least one song, so that is kind of a downer.
Paul’s drum work fits in well, it’s nothing truly impressive but his ability to maintain and continuously do this shit after 20 years is respected. Plus, his style IS Cannibal Corpse. I couldn’t imagine anyone else throwing in their own fills and patterns. Pat/Rob and Alex’s fretboard work is some of the best work I’ve heard since The Wretched Spawn. Their style seems to be a little more technical this time around, creating some gnarly riffs while keeping that traditional Corpse groove in the mix. Torture does not disappoint and it may bring over some newer fans who were previously on the fence about whether or not they liked them. For us old school fans, this is just what we needed. Turn this shit up, scream along and headbang.
Pros: Classic Cannibal Corpse, Alex Webster joins the band on this album, Excellent sound, Songs are ruthless
Cons: A couple of throw away songs