Cannibal Corpse
Torture (2nd Review)

It has been a killer first part of 2012 for metal fans, with the godfathers of grind and death, Napalm Death and Cannibal Corpse respectively, both dropping new albums. The new Napalm Death absolutely slayed, and proved once again who still carries the grindcore crown. The questions when a legend comes out with a new offering tend to be the same: have they changed their sound much? Is it time for them to retire or shuffle the lineup? Does the new album match up to their others? As someone who very much enjoyed Evisceration Plague, I can say that this new slab of butchery from Cannibal Corpse shows they most definitely did not pull a Morbid Angel.

Thankfully foregoing a pointless intro, the album starts out with a nice blast beat to get the mood started, and when George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher muscles in with his unmistakable growl you feel like an old friend has come back to visit. Well… maybe a friend who would like to cut off your limbs and stick your head on a post in their front yard. But I digress. In my opinion, the first two tracks are merely a build up to the third – “Scourge of Iron”. The mid-paced, doomy, massive lurching riff that drives this audible sledgehammer is just glorious. Hands down the best song on Torture and easily one of the catchiest, most headbang-worthy tracks in their lengthy history. Trust me here: if you plan on listening to it more than once, make an appointment with your chiropractor right now.

And that is where I feel this album truly excels: despite an almost 45 minute runtime, it avoids sounding samey or feel like it’s overstaying its welcome. It’s not just mindless chugs and blast beats. You get the thrashy feel of “Rabid”. The gargantuan groove of the aforementioned “Scourge of Iron”. The double bass pounding and shredding solo of “Crucifier Avenged”. If there was one track that I didn’t care much for, it was “Encased in Concrete”. Not a bad song, but if it was left off the album I wouldn’t have missed it. In a bloody, mangled nutshell, it’s all the Corpse you have grown to love over the past few decades.

The album is once again produced by Erik Rutan, so the sound is phenomenal and each instrument is allowed its own space to breathe. It is worth noting that drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz left the triggers at home, and that mixed with Rutan’s skill really helps to give an organic feel to the percussion side of things. Mainstay Alex Webster brings the bass, and Rob Barrett and Pat O’Brien crank out the riffs o’ plenty. Corpsegrinder is fairly decipherable throughout the whole offering, leaving the choruses of “As Deep as the Knife Will Go” and “Followed Home Then Killed” dancing around in that now-scrambled brain of yours long after the final track has faded out.

The album as a whole just feels cohesive, which is an obvious testament to how long these five have been playing together. They definitely still bring the in your face aggression, but also know when to slow down and let a riff or solo take its rightful place in a track; age has led to further evolution. The album is not flawless, and they are obviously not re-inventing the death wheel or mixing in some clean singing to attract the radio crowd. But even if you haven’t liked the last few albums, give Torture an open ear and you just might come away pleased.

 

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Written by Kevin E
March 12th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: krustster

    A way better review than the other one. Like I said before, I generally don’t even like this band but “Torture” is a killer tape. “Scourge of Iron” and “Demented Aggression” and “Crucifier Avenged” sound like they went back and gathered up all their missed opportunities for awesomeness over the years and cashed them all in at once. Utterly badass. “Evisceration Plague” was not bad but this is a big step up.


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