Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined: Album Review

Cannibal Corpse return with another devastating, tectonic shifting album. Violence Unimagined is their fifteenth studio effort.

Released: 16th April 2021

Label: Metal Blade Records

Format: CD / Vinyl / Digital

In a time of great upheaval and change, you can always rely on some of things to provide continuity and normality. One of those things is Cannibal Corpse. The death metal pioneers continue to blaze a unique path in their gore laden riffs and abominable lyrics. Violence Unimagined is Cannibal Corpse’s first album in four years; the longest break that they have had between releases.

Cannibal Corpse
Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined cover art by Vincent Locke.

Violence Unimagined wastes no time in bursting into life. Murderous Rampage is an apt opener for a Cannibal Corpse record. Breakneck riffs, drumming of the highest precision, high speed tempos, ripping solos and unequivocally guttural vocals. This has got to be a shoe-in for set opener when the world can eventually return to live music.

The formula that Cannibal Corpse apply to their music has never deviated too far from their decided path. Necrogenic Resurrection continues with breakneck speed but a slower, chugging middle section shows the devastation the band can bring even when the tempo isn’t in overdrive. Their is the slower, doomier middle section, and the solo at the end of the track will have you beaming from ear to ear with its ferocity.

Inhumane Harvest was the lead track from the album. George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher belligerently howls ‘everything must go’ amongst the lyrics; another moment that you have to imagine a live crowd losing their minds headbanging and chanting too. The technicality with which the band deliver the music on Inhumane Harvest shows the skill and prowess that Cannibal Corpse have honed over the years, as well as having Erik Rutan join the ranks of the band on a full time basis.

Paul Mazurkiewicz (drums), along with Alex Webster (bass), are the only two original members of Cannibal Corpse that have been with the band throughout its tenure. Mazurkiewicz’ drumming throughout the album is nothing short of sublime. Condemnation Contagion is a prime example of this. The tempo hits a groove and the fills that appear throughout are spectacular. The production of the album, and in particular this track, allows the drum to shine and when you go back for repeated listens, you will notice just how accomplished this seasoned veteran is behind the kit. It’s clear that after all these years, he is still pushing to better himself.

Webster’s bass shines alongside the rhythms of Mazurkiewicz. Surround, Kill, Devour and the aforementioned Condemnation Contagion are glorious examples with the former being one of the catchiest pieces on the whole album. Follow The Blood is another example of where Alex Webster gets to show off his bass chops a little more. The Rob Barrett composed piece has a maelstrom of traversing guitars on top of bludgeoning drums with plenty of bass licks throughout. Fisher devastates again on vocals.

It changes from day to day, but recently I’ve liked Follow The Blood the most I think. That’s one that Rob (Barrett – guitarist) composed. It’s so heavy but so different. It has slower parts in it but slow parts like we’ve never done in the past. It’s a really different song for us but it’s still 100% us! Plus, Rob let me do a couple of bass solo type parts in that one!

Alex Webster on one of his favourite cuts from Violence Unimagined – from our At The Barrier interview

Slowly Sawn contains one of the best riffs on the album, as well as one of the best vocal. The spiraling guitars are so hypnotic amongst the blood and thunder of the rest of the song. The art of changing tempos is executed perfectly with the guitars serrating the whole song throughout. The pacing of the album works a treat as it rips into one of Erik Rutan’s contributions in Overtorture. You can feel his style in the song whilst firmly retaining the blood soaked DNA of Cannibal Corpse.

Cerements Of The Flayed closes out the album in pounding fashion. Lyrical themes of being buried alive in another persons skin sets the scene grotesquely. This is one of the most terrifying lyrics on the whole album from the pen of Mazurkiewicz. It rounds out the album perfectly in a swirling whirlpool of wailing guitars.

Violence Unimagined is a complete triumph. It’s tight, it’s hard, it’s heavy and it takes absolutely no prisoners; for a band to be so far into an esteemed career and to still be producing music of such high quality is something to be lauded. Cannibal Corpse are still the standard bearer in death metal…long may their slaughterous reign continue.

You can read our full interview with Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse here.

Listen to Murderous Rampage, below.

Cannibal Corpse: Website / Facebook / Twitter

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