"Cannibal Corpse - Tomb of the Mutilated"
Cannibal Corpse, it could be argued, rather epitomized the 'cookie monster' vocal style often imitated by many (particularly of the Swedish scene). This, their 3rd full-length album, has been seen as their most 'savage' album; with good reason. The swallowing, low-pitched vocal style introduced here is an essential instrument to this madness. Had such vocals indeed been absent, the album would not be viewed as it is nowadays. Cannibal Corpse manages to procure forth a haze of twisted, yet synchronized, riffs offset by a down-tuned bass. This combination, as aforementioned, is accompanied by the vocals of Chris Barnes who have, in all honesty, generated perhaps the most mixed opinions in the entire history of this particular genre.
Straight off, they make their presence known with the 'crushing' (though this is an increasingly vague term) riff on "Hammer Smashed Face". I'd venture as far as to say that even this particular track is perhaps more renowned than even this entire album (though it seems like a broad generalizations, in retrospect). Track 2 ("I Cum Blood") opens with a single-guitar 'melody' being squeezed out from the left speaker before Chris decides to conjure forth one of the most generic (though weighty) growls in the history of death metal. Here, the band shows their more versatile side with a perhaps less fast version of 'their own' death metal. The bass, yet again, is one of the dominant factors but it is probably mis-attributed to the music/intended atmosphere, at times. "Addicted to Vaginal Skin" opens with an interview from a very renowned serial killer. I should also note that this was perhaps what inspired the entire 'use-a-horror-sample-in-your-music' crutch leaned on by many of today's (and last years) grindcore and goregrind outfits. Again, the groove-and-roll is dominant (ironic perhaps, considering the overall musical style of Chris' present band; though irrelevant, at this point). Here, we are presented with ONE of the first Cannibal Corpse solos. Kerry King seems to be the obvious inspiration for the cacophony here. "Entrails Ripped From a Virgin's Cunt" is the juxtaposition of a somewhat crude, yet atmospheric (beautiful?), 'ballad'. The drumming is fast-paced and accompanied again by the hissing vocals of Barnes. The final track here, "Beyond the Cemetary", is perhaps the darkest on the album (and sadly, often the most neglected; though this is perhaps another broad generalization). The riffs here take a more uni-dimensional approach, with swirlies leaning every which way. The vocals are, sadly, the lowest we have ever seen on this album. This particular song is reminiscent most of their "Gutted" (off of their previous work), only because of it's sloppily constructed 'outro'. The reason for this, is beyond epistemology.
Albums are often more than just a sum of sound X and sound Y. I don't think this is the case here. The problem here though, is not necessarily repetition, it is overall mimicry. The vocals perhaps remain constant throughout (with the exception being with the high screams on "I Cum Blood" and a couple others) and do little to assert themselves as a weighty asset of the music itself. While they are perhaps the less versatile of the bunch here, they are used effectively. Had this album NOT had these vocals, I don't think it would be viewed as how it is today in the media and by many other metallers. On the contrary, the rest of the instruments serve their purpose very well (though sometimes the bass, being in harmony with the vocals, are perhaps even misinterpreted and slung in with it all). The bass is a commonly occurring facet of the music here, and while not savvy, it is, again, effective.
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About The Writer
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.