Wednesday 8 November 2023

ALBUM REVIEW: Cannibal Corpse, "Chaos Horrific"

By: Richard Maw
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 22/09/2023
Label: Metal Blade Records

“Chaos Horrific” track listing:
1 Overlords Of Violence
2 Frenzied Feeding
3 Summoned For Sacrifice
4 Blood Blind
5 Vengeful Invasion
6 Chaos Horrific 
7 Fracture and Refracture
8 Pitchfork Impalement
9 Pestilential Rictus
10 Drain You Empty
The Review:

The most reliable of all the death metal institutions, Cannibal Corpse, are back- not that they went away- with their sixteenth (!) studio record. Thirty three years in, this represents a very impressive work ethic indeed. It’s all the more remarkable for the fact that, much like thrash veterans Overkill, there are no bad Cannibal Corpse records.
While there are no bad records, I wouldn’t deny that some are better or more significant than others. For instance, The four Chris Barnes helmed early records are often held up as classics, but I have always preferred the Corpsegrinder years; “The Bleeding” IS a classic, but so is “Torture”, or “A Skeletal Domain”, or “Red Before Black” and so on; it’s just that “The Bleeding” has that zeitgeist-right-place-right-time vibe/nostalgia. “Violence Unimagined” from a couple of years back was one of the best- possibly THE best CC records of any era. Was it as significant as “Tomb of the Mutilated” or “The Bleeding”? Probably not. Was it better? I think so,
Fortunately, the band are very much switched on here. “Chaos Horrific” picks up where “Violence Unimagined” left off. It’s brutal, chaotic, horrific, aggressive and crushingly good. “Overlords of Violence” is a fresh and frenetic opener; busy bass and full tilt aggression in place.  “Frenzied Feeding” manages to keep the vibe and quality going before an album stand out: “Summoned For Sacrifice”- which combines crushing slow tempos, breakneck pace, memorable hooks and incredible vocals. Erik Rutan is firmly assimilated into the band’s sound now; his lead work is exceptional throughout, and he works really well with Rob Barratt. The rhythm section remains pretty much peerless, while George Corpsegrinder Fisher reminds us all why he viewed as the best DM vocalist on the planet by many.
I really like the varied tempos on this record “Blood Blind” might be slow by CC standards, but this is as heavy as they come. The band avoid the “Gallery of Suicide” trap (having too many tracks on one record) and instead have offered up ten tracks of three and a half to four and a half minutes each, Perfect, really, as a little of this goes a LONG way.
There is complex riffage on “Vengeful Invasion” and just unrelenting brutality abounds. At the half way mark this is a candidate for one of the best CC records. The material is strong, the sound and production is superb, the playing incredibly tight. From there, there is no dip in quality or energy. The title track thrashes very convincingly with lots of changes used effectively.
I’m not as keen on “Fracture and Refracture”- for reasons I don’t really even understand, but “Pitchfork Impalement”, “Pestilential Rictus” and “Drain You Empty” all impale and disembowel the listener extremely effectively; they are all memorable, frenzied and ferocious in their approach.
Cannibal Corpse have brought their A-game here; no wasted tracks, no wasted riffs, beats or solos. Everything counts; there are nifty changes, some really technical playing, incredible vocals and an overall sense that the band are utilising every year of their experience to create a death metal tour de force. Death metal simply doesn’t get any better than this. Imperious. 

Band info: bandcamp || facebook