Florida death metallers CANNIBAL CORPSE will release their 15th studio album, "Violence Unimagined", on April 16 via Metal Blade Records. Erik Rutan, one of the death metal's most acclaimed guitarists who is known for his time as part of MORBID ANGEL throughout the '90s and early 2000s, as well as handling vocals/guitars for HATE ETERNAL, lent his guitar as well as production skills to the effort, which was recorded at his Mana Recording in St. Petersburg, Florida. Rutan previously produced four CANNIBAL CORPSE albums (in addition to "Violence Unimagined"), alongside the likes of GOATWHORE, SOILENT GREEN and BELPHEGOR. Filling in live on guitar since 2019, in 2020 he became a full member, contributing to the writing process.
Speaking to Randy MetalWulf, CANNIBAL CORPSE drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz stated about Rutan's addition to the band (see video below): "It's great having Erik, of course, in the band. And he contributed, of course, right off the bat, wrote three songs on the new record, and actually wrote lyrics as well, which was cool. Obviously, we've worked with him for years — what, this is our fifth CD now, I think, or something, working with him. And we've been friends with him a long time and all that. And he's obviously a staple in the death metal community — well respected, well known, a great guitar player, a great guy, a hard worker; everything. So it was cool to have him working alongside us. Obviously, he's always done the producing, or most of it, or a lot of it, but for him to be a part of the band now and contribute musically and play all the tracks on the album, a lot of the guitar work, solos and what have you, and, like I said, writing songs… So it's been awesome having Erik. It's been huge, and it's been a lot of fun."
Rutan joined CANNIBAL CORPSE as the replacement for longtime guitarist Pat O'Brien, who was arrested in Florida more than two years ago on charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and burglary of an occupied dwelling with assault. Deputies said he burglarized a house and charged at a deputy with a knife.
O'Brien allegedly broke into a Northdale, Florida home on December 10, 2018 and shouted that "the rapture is coming" before pushing a woman to the ground. He ran toward a responding deputy with a knife and was subdued with a stun gun.
Less than half a mile from where O'Brien was arrested, a fire broke out at the house he was renting, sending flames billowing into the night sky from the roof. Fire marshals found a large cache of weapon, locked safes and potential explosive devices inside O'Brien's home.
The owner of the home where O'Brien was arrested wouldn't go on camera but told ABC Action News he thought the guitarist was hallucinating when he spoke to him and claimed "someone was after him." The homeowner added O'Brien seemed scared and at one point even hid in his closet.