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Cannibal Corpse - "Evisceration Plague" (CD)

Cannibal Corpse - "Evisceration Plague" CD cover image

"Evisceration Plague" track listing:

1. Priests Of Sodom (3:32)
2. Scalding Hail (1:47)
3. To Decompose (3:04)
4. A Cauldron Of Hate (4:59)
5. Beheading And Burning (2:16)
6. Evidence In The Furnace (2:49)
7. Carnivorous Swarm (3:37)
8. Evisceration Plague (4:31)
9. Shatter Their Bones (3:35)
10. Carrion Sculpted Entity (2:33)
11. Unnatural (2:23)
12. Skewered From Ear To Eye (3:49)

Reviewed by on February 5, 2009

"'Evisceration Plague' is still death metal in its purest form; a visceral and relentless animal that tears and rips the flesh from all who are foolish enough to step into its path."

For over two decades, death metal has arguably been ruled by one band: Cannibal Corpse. Each album released by the band has brought about its fair share of controversy; whether it’s the graphic cover art denying the band access to most retail stores or lyrics that have caused entire countries to tremble in fear. “Evisceration Plague,” Cannibal Corpse’s 11th studio album, won’t change the mind of the non-believers. While cleaner-sounding with moments of lumbering, slow melodies, “Evisceration Plague” is still death metal in its purest form; a visceral and relentless animal that tears and rips the flesh from all who are foolish enough to step into its path.

Ever since vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher joined the group in 1995, Cannibal Corpse has produced consistent, quality albums that, while somewhat lacking in originality, always please the band’s hardcore fan base. “Kill” was an album decried by some due to the lack of gory cover art, but the material within was as strong as Cannibal Corpse had ever sounded. With “Evisceration Plague,” Cannibal Corpse continues along the path they headed through with their last album. Hate Eternal guitarist Erik Rutan once again stepped behind the controls as producer and the band experimented with using a click track for the first time in their career.

The click track helps to maintain a tighter sound throughout "Evisceration Plague." Some fans may argue that the slight sloppiness in past Cannibal Corpse albums has its advantages, but “Evisceration Plague” comes out better in the end because of the click track. With a cleaner and more coherent sound, the band makes sure that the listener hears every word, every little detail that in the earlier days was hard to make out. Fisher really stepped it up on the vocals, annunciating every word and doing his best to make sure that every coarse lyric is recognizable, making “Evisceration Plague” one of the best performances of his career.

The other band members are as solid in their respected positions. In their second album as a pair, guitarists Pat O’Brien and Rob Barrett seem to have found a certain chemistry that was lacking on “Kill.” They even take an opportunity to work together on “Shatter Their Bones,” providing an excellent lead section that includes a note-worthy, if brief, duel solo section. Drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz is steady and in-command of his kit, with his moment in the spotlight being a technically-proficient drum solo at the end of “Carnivorous Swarm.” Alex Webster’s bass is audible, but, unlike the astonishing bass solo on “The Discipline Of Revenge," doesn’t get any opportunities to show off his technical chops.

The song themselves are the usual suspects; the aggressive, unrelenting tracks (“Scalding Hail,” “Beheading and Burning,” “Carrion Sculpted Entity”) mixed with the mid-paced, slow-burning epics (“A Cauldron Of Hate,” “Skewered From Ear To Eye”). There are a few tracks that fans will flock towards and the band will probably keep on their set-list for years to come. The title track is an instant highlight. With a memorable chorus, a great O’Brien solo, and a solid performance from Fisher, the track effectively leaves the listener with a feeling of dread and disillusion. Opener “Priests Of Sodom” is a intense experience, a revealing tale of an ancient ritual of sex and blood; classic Cannibal Corpse, with a modern twist.

“Evisceration Plague” is another solid album that shows Cannibal Corpse on a steady route, continuing to churn out quality material. There aren’t any innovative ideas, and few surprises along the way, but at this point in the band’s career, most fans aren’t expecting ten-minute epics or crazy bouts of experimentation. Honestly, the metal community would hold it against the band if they tried anything like that. “Evisceration Plague” is another great album in the ongoing streak Cannibal Corpse has crafted for themselves and is worthy enough to stand along with the best of the Corpsegrinder-era albums.

Highs: Great songwriting, solid mix of fast and slow material, band members at the top of their game

Lows: No big surprises or real forward creativity.

Bottom line: "Evisceration Plague" is another superb Cannibal Corpse album, one that is guaranteed to be a huge hit with death metal fans.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)