This is possibly the best death metal album of the 1990’s, and maybe the best death metal C.D. I own. It has great all of the great death metal qualities: it’s short (36 minutes) and to the point, it has brutal music (booming/cascading/bludgeoning riffs and energetic drums which anchor the beat), monstrous vocals, and repulsive lyrics (although, thanks to Chris Barnes’ vocal technique, you can’t understand the vocals 90% of the time). Next, vocalist Chris Barnes was also very influential to the death metal scene. Barnes proudly bears the title of the “grandfather of death metal.” He didn’t invent the genre by any means, but he was one of the first to have true Cookie Monster vocals. Cannibal Corpse do use some influence from Slayer and Morbid Angel, but they stand apart from those bands; they’re much heavier than Slayer, but slower than 1980’s Morbid Angel. Plus, Corpse’s vocals are more growly and their lyrics are much more violent and explicit.
“Staring through the Eyes…” opens with sludgy, almost grinding and throbbing riffs. The beat speeds up when the vocals begin and the drums (which were just filler at the beginning) become a lot faster. Several Slayer-esque guitar solos are tossed in at the end.
“F-cked with a Knife” is very fast paced. It begins with a crashing high hat, then jackhammer riffs and lurching drums. Some shrieks (which Chris would use later with Six Feet Under) are included, in between the usual death metal barks.
“Pulverized” features nice speed changes of drumming, but the real highlight here is the super fast guitar riff which shoots throughout this song. The guitarist (Rob) must work his fingers to the bone when they play this live.
“Return to Flesh” has a slow beginning, before it none-too-subtly changes gears and the beat rips and rockets downhill. It gradually slows down, and the riffs chug heavily, but there’s a guitar solo which speeds the beat back up.
“She was Asking for It” opens with a wild guitar solo, but then the song chugs again and the riffs stop and start, while the drummer plays death metal blast beats. Chris whispers “Come to me,” then he bellows it, and the song ends with more propulsive riffs and insane drumming.
“Force Fed Broken Glass” has another sprinting beat with annihilating riffs. These riffs, which pause only briefly, almost vibrate at times, and the drummer is doing his best to keep up with them. And around the two minute mark, Chris sounds like he’s choking (on glass, maybe?)
So, this is a pretty great death metal record. Every metalhead should have some death metal, and you’re just not metal unless you’ve heard Cannibal Corpse. If you only get one CC album, get this one. You’re not likely to hear Corpse on the radio anytime soon, so if you want to escape from the mainstream, pick this up. And no death metal collection is complete without some Cannibal Corpse, so if you just want to have a complete metal collection, pick this up.