"Torture" marks Cannibal Corpse’s 12th album of relentless, pounding death metal. It is also their third album with the same lineup and the third album with Hate Eternal mastermind, Erik Rutan, handling the production. In fact, before I can get to the songs, I have to mention how great this record sounds. This is easily the best production I’ve heard on any death metal record. Every instrument is clear, and I don’t think Alex Webster’s bass has ever sounded so good. The bass drums are thunderous, and the snare doesn’t overpower the rest of the band. As much as I love the work Scott Burns has done for this band, I think Erik Rutan is the better choice.
The easiest way to describe this album is that it’s a cross between the last two albums and Vile: heavy, punishing, and extremely technical. There really aren’t any major differences between the last few albums except for the increased technicality. This is most obvious in one of my favorite tracks, “The Strangulation Chair”. The first half of the song plays out like a normal Cannibal Corpse song, until Alex Webster decides to unleash one of the mightiest bass interludes in existence. After this, you can hear him noodling around for the rest of the track. Another standout is “Scourge of Iron”, which is reminiscent of Gallery of Suicide: slow and crushing, except with good production this time. “As Deep As The Knife Will Go” might just be Cannibal Corpse’s catchiest song ever and is one track I expect to be in their live set for a long time to come. Likewise, “Intestinal Crank” has an awesome chorus and is another track that shouldn’t be overlooked. The rest of the tracks range from amazing (“Rabid, “Demented Aggression”, and “Encased in Concrete”) to enjoyable but not mindblowing. This band really can’t write a bad song, and this album is yet another testament to that fact.
As you might expect with a Cannibal record, every musician does a great job. Corpsegrinder sounds as brutal as ever, although he doesn’t seem to do as many high screams as he used to. Both guitarists do a great job with handling the ridiculous galloping rhythms (see: “Rabid”) and relentless tremolo picking. I was a little let down by the lead playing because it seems a little predictable, but it doesn't really hurt the album. Alex Webster’s greatness doesn’t need to be re-iterated, but I’ll say it again anyways: he is a god, especially on this album. As for drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, I’ve always enjoyed his drumming, and this album isn’t an exception. There isn’t a ton of blasting, but there’s an endless amount of double bass, and certainly more fills than in the past.
Ultimately, Cannibal Corpse has delivered another album worthy of purchasing. The band seems to be on a pretty good streak of albums, and "Torture" is the best of the last three. It is a bit more distinct because of its technicality, but it is another solid record.
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“As Deep As The Knife Will Go”
“The Strangulation Chair”
4.6/5 or 92%
Written by Scott Dorfman