Ru-tan clan ain’t nuthing ta fuck wit
I won’t squander your time by belaboring the obvious point that Cannibal Corpse are gonna Cannibal Corpse. You know exactly what they’re peddling just as surely as you know what to expect from an issue of Hustler. There’s going to be grinding galore and body parts strewn everywhere. Even the recent loss of Pat O’Brien (which could be reasonably interpreted as an earth-sundering development) is ameliorated in the most predictable fashion by insinuating longtime producer and aide-de-camp Erik Rutan into the slot. What should be an impassable dilemma becomes more akin to Indiana Jones versus that swordsman in Raiders of the Lost Ark: easily resolved, barely an inconvenience.
There is subtle, prudent progression here from 2017’s Red Before Black. The slight tectonic drifts in rhythm guitar, drum patterns and melodic counterpoint drive the album forward in a weird corkscrewing gait. Notably, some of the record’s most interesting passages lie in those motifs established just beneath the solos and/or primary riffs. Unfortunately, a few slipshod arrangements create a bit of unwanted drag, and I strongly feel that the album is roughly one track too long. However, when Corpsegrinder howls the word “contagion” on “Condemnation Contagion,” it sounds an awful lot like “po-ta-to!!!” So, there’s your silver lining.
The overall richness of this release is stunning, be it the staircasing whorl of “Slowly Sawn,” the weird spatial patterns of what should’ve been the album closer, “Overtorture,” the thematic red herring of “Follow the Blood” or the fact that the latter’s lead at 3:03 evokes—against all fucking odds—Crimson Glory’s Transcendence. Hell, the sadistic luster of “Necrogenic Resurrection” alone is enough to bump this record up to a 7, easy.
No need to leave that violence unimagined, perverts. Put on some rubber gloves and dig in.
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