Choose Your Own Review: Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined
It’s a day of the week ending in y, which means Cannibal Corpse is still [playing their inspiring and consistent brand of death metal/farting out the same album every few years until the eventual heat death of the universe]. It’s been over three years since the release of Red Before Black [an eternity to wait for such quality death metal/nowhere near long enough for what’s been offered], and the long-running Florida institution have returned with Violence Unimagined.
Everyone who’s likely to read this is no doubt familiar with Cannibal Corpse by now and [loves/is bored to death by] their [chunky and vicious/meandering and rehashed] brand of death metal. As with every [new album/release of the same 10 songs under different titles] for Cannibal Corpse, the operative question is whether Corpsegrinder et al. can maintain the level of [consistent quality/bland sameness] that has made them a death metal institution over the last 30 years.
The answer, [thankfully/unfortunately], is yes.
On Violence Unimagined, Cannibal Corpse sounds like a band that is [rediscovering the elements that made them great in the first place/going through the motions on our collective grim march toward the inevitability of death]. “Surround, Kill, Devour,” “Cerements of the Flayed,” and the title track will no doubt become [treasured parts of the band’s setlist/more filler between the Barnes-era songs we’re really there to see], and I can’t wait to [see them tear up the local sticky-floored venue/catch part of their set after seeing the obscure opener I’m really interested in].
Having unfortunately lost guitarist Pat O’Brien to weapons charges in 2018, Hate Eternal guitarist Erik Rutan has stepped in to [up the melodic quotient with tasty lead work/churn out more meandering death metal Slayer solos]. As the band’s longtime producer going back to 2006’s Kill, Rutan has proved integral to the modern era of Cannibal Corpse, giving the music its [murderous, viscous sheen/occasional coat of fresh paint] for the last 15 years. His long-term involvement in Cannibal Corpse’s music means his leads [slot in perfectly amidst the musical mayhem around him/sound exactly the same as if you’d hired somebody playing sweeps at a Guitar Center].
It can be hard for a band with a concrete style to remain a viable creative force as the decades march on without becoming stale or, even worse, a pure nostalgia act. Thankfully, [Cannibal Corpse hasn’t gotten stale/nobody is nostalgic for the mid-90s]. [Cannibal Corpse releasing an album this good after 30 years is like AC/DC releasing Let There Be Rock in 2006 instead of Black Ice/Neither Black Ice nor Violence Unimagined needed to exist in the first place and we should discourage this as much as possible].
When it comes to remaining relevant as part of a long-running death metal band, [consistency/innovation] is the key. Cannibal Corpse has [succeeded/utterly failed] in that regard. This is the style of music they play, that’s never going to change, and you’d be foolish to [want/expect] anything else.
When you’ve got a discography as loaded with [greats/filler] as Cannibal Corpse does, it can be hard for a new album to measure up to previous output. While only time will tell, I have a hunch that we’ll all [find ourselves listening to Violence Unleashed for years to come/only dusting it off for the sake of comparison when the next record comes out]. If Violence Unimagined is any indication, the metal community at large can be thankful that [these dedicated musicians keep creating music we can dissect for years to come/at least they aren’t making black metal].
Violence Unimagined is out today through Metal Blade Records.
Note: 666 infernal hails to A Spooky Mansion, who came up with this idea.