Cannibal Corpse (the grand behemoths of death metal) have returned with their 16th slab of merciless auditory brutality (more appropriate than just saying album), Chaos Horrific. What stands Cannibal Corpse apart from the likes of Morbid Angel, Deicide, Obituary and the rest of the “legendary” bands of that ilk, is the level of consistency. Sure Cannibal Corpse may not be the most inventive of bands, but in terms of sheer quality of output, they are unrivalled. Certain things are certain in life, cockroaches will inherit the Earth after a nuclear war, the Sun will one day swallow the Earth and Cannibal Corpse are incapable of writing a bad album.
In terms of the music you should know what to expect from Cannibal Corpse, but if you are a first time unsuspecting victim, then one look at the front cover will show you exactly what to expect. It is full on frenzied chaos. Unshackled violence engulfing society, as the living struggle in the face of their inevitable doom. Musically speaking, at times there is such ferocity that there is a sense that the wheels are going to explode and pure carnage is what will be left when the burning wreck comes to a halt, however, the dried sinew just about holds the wheels together.
So when really drilling into the skull of a Cannibal Corpse album what sets apart the bruisingly good albums from the bloody fantastic is the quality of the songs. Chaos Horrific is definitely on the bloody side. There is an urgency to the songs, they feel familiar yet there is so much to discover within each song. Songs like ‘Overlords Of Violence,’ ‘Feeding Frenzied,’ ‘Pitchfork Impalement’ and ‘Chaos Horrific’ come shredding towards your ears with a vigour not heard from the band in years. Most of the songs are like the four mentioned, they are not just a straightforward blast, each song convulses with creativity. There are tempo drops, fills littering the wasteland, musical and discordant solos, breakdowns denser than a black hole and of course the bulging wall of sound created by the bass. Then there is the song ‘Blood Blind’ which opens with the most devastating riff of the year, a riff so heavy it shatters your vertebra before demanding you continue headbang despite being left a bloody wreck. ‘Blood Blind,’ which is up there with the likes of ‘Kill or Become,’ ‘Hammer Smashed Face,’ ‘Pounded Into Dust & Submerged In Boiling List’ as one of the band’s best songs.
With Chaos Horrific there is a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it heavier than a sledgehammer. Where the last three releases A Skeletal Domain, Red Before Black and Violence Unimagined had a more thrash vibe due to the guitars cutting through like razor blades, Chaos Horrific feels very different. It’s like a return to the filth with the density and ugliness of Kill, Evisceration Plague and Tomb of the Mutilated, however, Chaos Horrific sounds much fuller and grander in scope, which just decimates you. Now this may cause you to gasp, but it is a more human-sounding album.
Chaos Horrific is Cannibal Corpse’s 16th album and in their body of twisted, mutilated musical violence it ranks as one of their best.
Released on the 22nd of September through Metal Blade Records.