Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined
Released: 16 April 2021
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher // vocals
Alex Webster // bass
Paul Mazurkiewicz – drums
Rob Barrett // guitar
Erik Rutan // guitar
Whatever mood you’re in, whether it be zen, pissed off, fluffy cat or melted ice cream, Cannibal Corpse will boil the blood and elevate the anger in your body to the point where you’re having fake conversations with yourself in your car, where you, whilst pointing and yelling at the windscreen, will tell your ex-wife, boss, mother in law or gym instructor to go fuck themselves.
This isn’t yoga music. Far from it. This is the sort of music you strangle slow drivers to in the fast lane. If you start listening to Violence Unimagined, slumped and sedated on your couch after watching Booka Nile kick arse on MAFS, the very least this music will do is get you up onto your feet long enough for you to grab a beer from the fridge, neck it, smash the can on your head and start yelling at that soft-cock Brett (don’t just shave your moustache dickhead, cut your whole fucking head off). If you start angry and then listen to this, you may just turn green and say dumb shit like “Hulk Smash”. (copyright Marvel – duh!)
Understand, I am a lifelong fan of Cannibal Corpse. Despite being 14 studio albums deep, they continue to push the boundaries of just how much horror and filth they can jam into their music. I have been looking forward to album number 15 since before Covid and any expectations I had going into listening to this album have been exceeded and then some.
Opener ‘Murderous Rampage’ is a circle pit starter for goddamned sure. I’ll be the guy dad-dancing in the middle, air-guitaring my sweet arse off. How George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher didn’t lose a tongue singing ‘Necrogenic Resurrection’ is beyond me. Go on. Say it three times real fast and try not to get whiplash. Also I may have thrown my back out head-banging to this fucking fast bastard of a tune. The slow chug in the guts of it is small relief before Rob Barrett’s thousand mile an hour solo comes at you like the blood from that elevator in the shining. There is no fucking escaping it.
First single off the album ‘Inhumane Harvest’ is a doozy. A fire sale of body parts is always a joy to sing about. This bad boy is more fun than a stroll through an abattoir. Hands up if you’ve seen the video clip for it. Between you and me, it’s probably not the last thing you should lay your eyes on before beddy-bys.
There’s no intro to ‘Condemnation Contagion’. The fellas just go right ahead and throw us in the deep end. As subtle as a boot to the groin, this is the first of three songs written by new(ish) member Erik Rutan and he gets it. After having produced Cannibal Corpse albums on four previous occasions (Violence Unimagined is his fifth CC production), he’s had more insight than any as to what goes into a CC song. He’s no slouch either. His addition to this band only helps cement them at the head of the death metal table.
I piss off outside to barbecue a couple of steaks for my 6 month old son and I’m listening to ‘Surround, Kill, Devour’ with a big shit eating grin on my head. My wife looks at me wanting to know what I’m smiling at whilst listening to something as severe as this entire album. ‘Surround, Kill, Devour’ is a fun, groovy tune that seems like a less technical venture than usual, yet it gives drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz ample opportunity to have a lot of fun with it. There are some great, speedy drum fills in this beaut song and the title lends itself to classic CC. I love this song. I’ll play this one to the normals.
Blast beats. Can you dig it????
‘Ritual Annihialation’ is about as close to a religious song as you’re gunna get from these champions. I mean it’s directed at the god of war and there’s mention of rituals and shit but it’s the “Bodies ripped open while forced to stay alive. From the backbone down to the loins” that makes me wish I’d got lamb chops instead of the steak. ‘Follow The Blood’ is a measured venture that reigns in the lightning pace of the record but is delivered like the bludgeoning those cyclists deserve when they ride three-wide. Wankers. Brilliant song though. Another killer opportunity for Paul to go berserk-o on drums.
If you’re looking for a love song, well ‘Bound and Burned’ isn’t it. Unless if maybe you want it told from Hans Fritz’s point of view. I can handle zombie baby songs but this underground bunker shit makes me cringe. This shit is real horror but listening to Rob and Erik play off of each other on guitars is epic. Two of the best in the game going hard in a true twin-guitar attack, going back and forth with weighted precision. Gave me goosebumps (then I maybe vommed in my mouth a little – honestly, the lyrics…bleugh). ‘Slowly Sawn’ is an ode to pain and the tools used to inflict it. Imagine you’re strapped to a table getting gently cut at with a bone saw whilst being unable to move or scream. Alex Webster is one of the best bass players going in metal for the last 30+ years and while this is probably one of the more tempered songs he’ll ever play, he sets the tone of this song beautifully. His fingers walk a few miles up and down the fretboard in ‘Slowly Sawn’ and it’s easy to see why, along with his impeccable song-writing, he’s one of the most respected and admired bass players in the game.
Time to speed shit back up and they do just that with ‘Overtorture’, a mosh-pit’s delight filled with all the “ated” words we’ve come to know and love in Heavy Metal Land. “Seperated, lacerated, castrated”, amongst others. An insight into the mind of a victim that know’s they’re going to die in the most violent way. True horror.
Well if listening to this album does nothing else, it’s gone and made me smarter. I had to google what a ‘cerement’ actually was and now I know what they’re going on about in the song “Cerements of the Flayed”. Sort of… Doesn’t matter anyways. It’s a grand way to finish off this enormous album that is a modern masterpiece that, at the same time, has so many classic elements that make this release uniquely Cannibal Corpse.
If you’ve never heard of Cannibal Corpse, it’s safe to say you’ve been living under a rock that rolled down a hill filled with diseased necrophile priests onto a field of hammer-wielding zombie babies. If you have heard of them and think you know what is coming, then strap in, because these icons of death metal have once again risen above and delivered a rock solid classic. Buy the vinyl, look at the awesome Vince Locke artwork on the cover, read the lyrics and listen to this monstrous release like your dad did, camped out on a beanbag, next to a lava lamp with your headphones on ya hippie.
The lads at Metal Blade Records said it, and they’re right. Drop the needle anywhere on Violence Unimagined and you’re onto a winner. This album is chock a block violent fun from neck to nuts and if you like your music aggressive, graphic and loud then this one definitely goes in your showbag.
Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined tracklisting:
1. Murderous Rampage
2. Necrogenic Resurrection
3. Inhumane Harvest
4. Condemnation Contagion
5. Surround, Kill, Devour
6. Ritual Annihilation
7. Follow the Blood
8. Bound and Burned
9. Slowly Sawn
11. Cerements of the Flayed
Revisit our chat with drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz chatting all thingsViolence Unimagined here