Cannibal Corpse
Violence Unimagined

Can you believe Violence Unimagined is the 15th album from Cannibal Corpse?  Talk about an achievement in death metal.  Seriously is they wanted to break-up now who could blame them?  They have accomplished more than enough and have given back to the death metal scene an enormous amount.  Of corpse I do not want that to happen, but the band quite honestly have never put out a bad album – sure some are better than others, with 15 frickin’ albums, what does one expect?

The band has handled the departure of longtime guitarist Pat O’Brien with nothing but class and the surrounding his 2018 arrest.  Due to the nature of the case still being active I will not speculate about the charges – I only wish the man a great deal of luck and that he is able to put his life together, in the future.  The band ushered in Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal) as Pat’s replacement.  Erik’s guitar work from his current and past bands really is quite remarkable and he knows death metal and touring.  This was a no-brainer choice as Erik has recorded the band at his Mana Studios in Florida and the new album was also recorded and mixed at Mana-one of the best death metal studios.  Both Pat and Erik are great guitarists, however Erik is a bit more technical, therefore it’s not a surprise when I say some technical aspects as well as melodic tendencies seep into the new album.  But trust and BELIEVE this is not a melodic technical death metal sounding Cannibal Corpse.  This is the same brutal death/thrashing madness we have come to expect from Cannibal Corpse – anything short of that and their loyal fanbase would instantly voice their outspoken opinions.

“Murderous Rampage” opens this 11 song 43 minute album and reminds me of “The Time to Kill Is Now”, the opening song on their 2006 Kill album. There’s a lot of death/thrashiness to this opening song and the opening drum rolls are pretty killer throughout the song.  The band is in top form, all gelling perfectly, like a well-oiled machine.  Alex Webster proves, time and time again why he is one of the genre’s best bassists.  That plucking sound is just awesome.  The 1.25 slower section with the vintage pinch harmonics are awesome and Paul Mazurkiewicz drumming away with a little more vim and vigor on this one.  Rob Barrett and Erik’s guitar work are excellent and nice little solos thrown in towards the end.  George is well – damn the dude always sounds awesome.  Hitting some high notes and his enunciation is more pronounced on this album.  His mid-range, his main vocal style, is spot on excellent.  How he still hits some of those high registers still, is beyond me.  Anyway this is one catchy opening song which “Necrogenic Resurrection” tries to outdo, but it falls a bit short.  Although that slow down at the 1.30 part will have jackhammer pits eventually and this moment is excruciatingly heavy.  JFC, this is awesome.  Nice wacky guitar solo after that moment.

“Inhumane Harvest” is a personal fave of mine on this album.  And finally CC ushers in some blast beats.  The opening guitar riff is furious and catchy.  The band throws in quite a signature time change.  As the opening throws the listener off.  It immediately feels as though the song is going into a blast beat, but goes into a slower part, instead.  This is really cool and unexpected, however soon enough it goes right into the blast, slows down so George can spout out the chorus lines and then nice little phaser effect slide and the song gets into a groovier section.  Heavy AF.  The song eventually ends on that catchy riff, once again, with the blast beat.  Seriously – one of the best songs Cannibal Corpse has written in quite some time.  That main riff has a technical flair to it and is soooooo catchy.

“Slowly Sawn” is another personal fave.  Starting slow and with the slower, heavier, groovier moments this album is side by side with Evisceration Plague from 2009, and my fave Cannibal Corpse album, with George on vocals.  The song has a plodding heaviness like “A Cauldron of Hate” from that album.  This song MUST be in their live set, once touring resumes.  The song has some doomy passages, solos and is amazingly heavy and allows that well-oiled rhythm section to brightly shine.  “Cerements of the Flayed” is an awesome album closer and I had to look up what the F is a cerement?  I was like is it a made up word of combining ceremony and cement?  But no it is a waxed cloth for wrapping a corpse.  How perfectly fitting!  Doomy, slower, heavier and solos and blast beats thrown in.  All the best Cannibal Corpse table fixtures thrown in to crush your chest cavity with a Godzilla sized stomp.  More crushing heaviness to finish off the album.

By now you know what you’re getting into with Cannibal Corpse.  If you were expecting their 15th album, with the addition of Erik Rutan to sound like a different band, you will be disappointed.  Violence Unimagined, though, is extremely catchy and memorable.  This is my favorite CC album, since Evisceration Plague and has just as many catchy parts.  The slower, groovier parts are on full display and this has many great songs, which will sound great, crowbarred, into their new live setlist.  I can see a lot of group participation in terms of slam pits with this album.  The production is top notch, everything sounds excellent.  Is Cannibal Corpse copying their past efforts, on this?  I mean 15 ‘effin albums, can you still create new shit??  Well, as I previously stated, with some technical aspects on this album, increased, the musicianship seems improved and Paul’s drumming in particular, is tighter and more precise.

The censored album cover also harkens back to the good ‘ole days of pissing people off.  The demonic, horrific “motherly” entity tearing a baby in half, bodies decapitated, entrails and blood spatter all over the place.  It’s really a disgusting and gruesome piece of art.  I love it.  But social media sites, with their increased crack down of things they deem obscene, would probably block this review had we included the censored cover.  The alternate cover, displayed in this review, as it shows a profile of that ghastly creature, with it’s gnarly tongue and gross teeth – still cool, but upload that censored cover, for the album – it’s brutal and fits.  Violence Unimagined is a bad ass Cannibal Corpse album, shows the band refuses to compromise their sound for mainstream audiences and is one of their best albums in recent memory.  Buy or be Surrounded, Killed and Devoured!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
April 12th, 2021

Comments

  1. Commented by: Andrew Patterson

    Great review. The new Cannibal has a twist with Rutan playing and producing . This review is spot on . Let’s hope CC hits the road in support of the album soon . ‍♀️


  2. Commented by: nicholas kulczycki

    To me this one sounds like a mix of Vile and Bloodthirst. Rutan can fit in any death metal line up. He has proven that with Ripping Corpse, Morbid Angel and now Cannibal Corpse. Barrett has proven that with Malevolent, Solstice, and Cannibal.

    Its my new thing to put “Overtorture” on when i drink my first cup of coffee of the day. Not that i am trying to race but it does wake me up. World class review Frank. Awesome job as always.


  3. Commented by: J. Mays

    So, this is Cannibal Corpse, so it’s not a surprise that it’s awesome. However, and this is no knock on their recent output because it’s great, but this is quickly becoming one of my favorites of theirs.


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