Metal Blade Records
Cannibal Corpse returns with their new album Violence Unimagined and a new guitar player in the line-up, Erik Rutan. Rutan is no stranger to fans of death metal with his work in Ripping Corpse, Morbid Angel, and Hate Eternal along with becoming one of the most in-demand producers in death metal. He has produced four Cannibal Corpse albums prior to this new one and returns to produce Violence Unimagined along with also contributing music and lyrics for three songs here.
Cannibal Corpse’s last release 2017s Red Before Black was a very strong album and while you could arguably say Cannibal Corpse have never released a bad album, the band’s first album to be produced by Rutan, 2006s Kill was definitely a standout in their catalogue. The albums that have followed it up to this point have all been very good as well so I’m happy to say Violence Unimagined is another strong record. No small feat for a band entering their 32nd year together. Produced again at Rutan’s Mana Studios, the record sounds massive and the band is extremely proficient at crafting songs with a perfect balance of technical prowess, aggressive dynamics, and bloody hooks. Vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher remains a strong point as well with his brutal yet decipherable vocals that suit the music perfectly. Songwriting-wise, Rutan’s material works incredibly well with the compositions by the rest of the band.
There are a few riffs that listeners familiar with Rutan’s work may be able to pick out that have a touch of his work in Hate Eternal, but at the same time, his intimate familiarity with Cannibal Corpse has helped make his entrance into the band a no-brainer. This is a positive for the record as his contributions also add something new to the Cannibal Corpse sound fans know and love. Drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz remains an important ingredient to Cannibal Corpse’s overall sound as well. His drumming is so distinctive, his blasts in particular, are unmistakable and create a heavy, chunky sound that just propels some of the riffs here but maybe his most important contribution musically is that his performance here really adds cohesion to the album. Throughout the eleven tracks here there are hints of the band’s early thrash influences on tracks like “Bound and Burned” and also some mid-paced crushers such as “Slowly Sawn” and album closer “Cerements of the Flayed” which equally grooves and pummels.
Overall this is another solid entry into the Cannibal Corpse discography. If I have any critique at all it’s that I found this album to be slightly less visceral than its predecessor Red Before Black which I believe is one of the best Cannibal Corpse albums of the last 15 years. That being said, fans of the band will find a lot to love about Violence Unimagined.
Order Violence Unimagined by CANNIBAL CORPSE via Metal Blade HERE