CANNIBAL CORPSE
"Evisceration Plague"

(Metal Blade)

01. Priests of Sodom
02. Scalding Hail
03. To Decompose
04. A Cauldron of Hate
05. Beheading and Burning
06. Evidence in the Furnace
07. Carnivorous Swarm
08. Evisceration Plague
09. Shatter Their Bones
10. Carrion Sculpted Entity
11. Unnatural
12. Skewered From Ear to Eye

RATING: 7.5/10

Well, the short answer is that "Evisceration Plague", CANNIBAL CORPSE's 11th studio album, will easily satisfy the group's legion of fans. It is another reliable death metal release from one of the most consistent bands of the genre. What made this assessment of "Evisceration Plague" more difficult in a sense is that "Kill" was such a watershed album for the band. The combination of technicality, murderous aggression, and memorable songwriting, along with Rutan's richly sickening production made it one of the best death metal albums of 2007, as well as one of the best in the CORPSE catalogue. As such, the odds of "Evisceration Plague" topping "Kill" were slim to none. As it turns out, "Evisceration Plague" is another strong CANNIBAL CORPSE album; it's just not as good as "Kill".

Unless you are one of those hardcore fans that choose to dive into the musical granularity of CANNIBAL CORPSE, you will find that on the whole not a great deal has changed. And that's not a bad thing. The music is still relatively complex without detracting from the fundamental song structures — i.e. it's not dizzyingly complex or technical or the sake of technicality. The chords do seem to get weirder and sicker with every album though, as do those terrifyingly dark tones, for which Erik Rutan should once again get high praise. I've always thought his engineering treatments were better suited to the band's sound than those of Neil Kernon.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the albums is that "Evisceration Plague" does not boast the same number of tracks that really stick to the ribs. That isn't to say that every track isn't a good, only that you don't get the same number of grand slam tunes that were featured on album number 10 ("Necrosadistic Warning", "Make Them Suffer", "Murder Worship", "Five Nails Through the Neck", "Purification by Fire" — there were a ton!). "Evisceration Plague" does have its highlights, including the slow grind of the catchy title track, the savagely intense opener "Priests of Sodom" (also notable for the sinister high-end vocal accents on the verse) and a prototypical CORPSE track called "Evidence in the Furnace".

"Evisceration Plague" may actually be a heavier album than "Kill", which did not previously seem possible. Some of that has to do with those forearm burning riffs, some of it the morose tones and some of it the pacing. At 39 minutes and 12 tracks, many of the songs are quicker and more pointed. Most notably, "Scalding Hail" attacks with speed and force; the whole thing over in 1:46. Even at these speeds, the band still stops on a dime, changes pace briefly and starts sprinting again. Just check out "Unnatural" and the frantic "Carnivorous Swarm"; the latter boasts another of one of those Pat O'Brien solos that seems to spiral into the netherworld.

Finally, the subtle bits and pieces in the arrangements don't necessarily stand out until after the first few listens, so spend some time with this one. Corpsegrinder's uniquely staccato vocal patterns on an epileptic seizure of a song called "Beheading and Burning" is just one of those cool little touches. It kind of depends on your level of worship, but a 7.5 is probably best representative of another solid CANNIBAL CORPSE album.

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