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Evisceration Plague

Metal Blade (2009)
Rating: 8.5/10

Since 1988 the members of Cannibal Corpse (no matter who they were at any given time) have only one thing on their minds. Violence. To their credit, and the chagrin of many critics worldwide, they have never strayed from their goals. Cannibal Corpse is, at the very least, the most consistent band in all of music. Their albums are always brutal, always sinister, and always entirely over-the-top lyrically and artistically. Evisceration Plague is no different and if you are a fan of Cannibal Corpse those words will likely bring an emaciated smile to your blood smeared face.

Evisceration Plague had a little work to do in this reviewer’s opinion. The extremely raw and often lackadaisical sound of 2006’s Kill was one of the weaker moments in the band’s career and after a 20-year run, you had to wonder if this band had finally landed on its last leg. Evisceration Plague answers that question with a big “Fuck You”. As soon as the groovy and semi-understandable sound of ‘Priests Of Sodom’ opens, your ears perk up and you quickly begin to wonder what might come next. ‘Priests Of Sodom’ is one of the best songs Cannibal Corpse have penned to date and the anthemic feel is a vein they haven’t tapped of late.

‘To Decompose’ is another standout moment, particularly the ripping solo about a third of the way through the song. For a genre of music that receives nothing but disrespect, few guitarists can touch what Pat O’Brien and Rob Barrett do here. It’s surprisingly musical and leads perfectly into the pummeling ‘A Cauldron of Hate’. The grinding title track is another highlight and, again, the word ‘sinister’ comes to mind from the first note to the last. There is something about the down-tuned, bent sound of the guitars as they spiral out of control, while the rhythm section holds the song together, that is entirely addictive. It’s like watching a train wreck; you just can’t pull yourself away from it. The rest of the album is simply more pure brutality set to complex guitar work and groove-heavy rhythms, it’s formulaic at its core but it sets itself apart from the pack by the masterful musicianship of all involved.

Despite the fact that I enjoy almost all of this band’s work, I always find it extremely hard to review a Cannibal Corpse album. What is there really to say that hasn’t been said? Cannibal Corpse has sold over a million records, and for a band that caters to no one and ranks among the bloodiest, most violent you’ll ever hear, that speaks volumes. They have been banned from more countries than I have fingers for one reason or another and still they triumph. They are the ultimate underdog and they come out on top yet again with Evisceration Plague. If you like Cannibal Corpse, then you’ll love this album.

Mark Fisher

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