Review: Cannibal Corpse’s Chaos Horrific is Disgustingly Good


Two years after they released their 2021 album Violence Unimagined, the pioneering death metal outfit Cannibal Corpse prepares to unleash their sixteenth studio album, Chaos Horrific on September 22. And with a slate of new tracks that will leave you feeling like the victim of the worst acts of psychopathy, Cannibal Corpse proves that they remain the top of the death metal food chain after 35 years.

Of course, Cannibal Corpse is fronted by the exceptional father and claw-machine champion George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher and as always, his vocals are absolutely spot-on. From beginning to end, his performance is flawless, combining the mastery of a seasoned veteran with the hunger of an emerging artist. For a band that has achieved as much commercial success as Cannibal Corpse, you wouldn’t necessarily expect this level of uncompromising energy. However, Cannibal Corpse has always stayed true to their mission.

Alex Webster and Paul Mazurkiewicz — a couple of Cannibal Corpse’s co-founders — have remained with the group since its inception in 1988. And despite all that time, Webster delivers a killer performance on bass and Paul’s drums are just as strong. Rob Barrett and the group’s newest member, ex-Morbid Angel’s Erik Rutan, both slay on guitars, as they rip through killer solos that aren’t at all overdone. Yes, the compositions are tight and heavy, with some songs feeling more technical than others. The result is a sort of variety that keeps the listener engaged.

The production suits this album perfectly, with a perfect level of grit and grime while still managing to maintain a level of professionalism in the mix, with each member cutting their way through the band’s unique wall of sound. All of this makes sense, considering Erik Rutan did everything but mastering, which he left to the band’s long-time collaborator, the Grammy-winning engineer Alan Douches.

Thematically, Chaos Horrific dishes up all the bloodthirsty violence that fans are conditioned to expect: “Seas of gore as far as the eye can see…” The lyrics are visceral and appalling, even though the brutality and darkness do seem relatively superficial.

At just under 40 minutes, Chaos Horrific feels a bit short, but it leaves enough dead bodies in its wake for us to feel more than satisfied. Can mere mortals really withstand any more “Pitchfork Impalement” than this?! Compared to the band’s more iconic work, time may find that Chaos Horrific to be not all that innovative, but it still effectively pricks you in the right places.

Given the familiarity that the majority of listeners have with Cannibal Corpse, it is easy to forget just how extreme their music is in reality. Then I remember the time in 2014 when I showed up to a concert of theirs in Moscow, only to have it shut down by religious protestors. Although that was nearly a decade ago, it still serves as a reminder that Cannibal Corpse has the power to provoke indignation and horror.

Thus, we recommend that fans try to witness Cannibal Corpse’s upcoming co-headlining tour with The True Mayhem — the definitive black metal band. It begins the same day as Chaos Horrific’s release. Of course, the record’s songs will be highly conducive to live shows. Chaos Horrific will provide great fuel for energetic crowds ready to mosh and headbang.

Cannibal Corpse’s Chaos Horrific comes out on September 22 via Metal Blade Records. Pre-order your copy here.

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