Cannibal Corpse prove once again why their legacy stands the test of time. Not only that, but the band are continuing to push themselves and develop their music with each gruesome and grisly release. Chaos Horrific is a powerful follow up on the 2021 full length Violence Unimagined. From the distinctive album art by Vince Locke that has become an instantly recognisable cover style, to their dark lyrical content that lays bare the disturbing and grotesque, to their epic death metal sound, Cannibal Corpse is showing no signs of slowing down.
Chaos Horrific unleashes a wealth of aggressive sounds, abrasive tones and textures, and lashings of technical instrumental parts. Overlords Of Violence opens with a sharp, snappy intro bursting straight into pounding percussion hits from Paul Mazurkiewicz that refuse to rest. Alex Webster’s bass establishes a fierce, heavy tone while guitars from Erik Rutan and Rob Barrett shred intricate leads with ease. The ascending/ descending guitar patterns bring a chaotic feel of instability throughout the music’s continuous movement. Topped off with Corpsegrinder’s monstrous harshes, Overlords Of Violence kicks off Chaos Horrific with a ruthless sound. Following on, Frenzied Feeding maintains the power and intensity of the opener while beginning to explore other musical aspects. The unyielding energy never lessens but is transformed across the track; the pace slows in sections to really let the heaviness have its moment and form a dramatic contrast. Outlandish guitar solos inject a different flavour into the shadowy rhythms, with harmonies adding a small but incredibly affective detail.
Cannibal Corpse have a fantastic talent for designing and executing these small details to give a huge impact. Summoned For Sacrifice’s dramatic introduction builds up a thrilling sense of anticipation, while Blood Blind unveils a wealth of dark guitar tones to develop a truly moody, dark offering. It aptly portrays its lyrical subject matter of mass mutilations to ‘reset’ humanity. In Vengeful Invasion a wide variety of technical guitar melodies, chuggy rhythms and piercing staccato stabs further develop the all-consuming chaos of the record. Lyrically, this song tells of human trafficking victims taking their violent revenge, and the music delivers the truly gloomy emotions and bitter anguish of this. Chaos Horrific, the title track, is a display of Cannibal Corpse’s solid death metal. Mazurkiewicz’s ludicrous percussion drives the momentum with bass and guitars forming a huge impenetrable wall of distortion. Reaching a sudden stop, Chaos Horrific is a whirlwind track. Fracture And Refracture’s distinctive riffs deliver a descending melody but something about it feels discordant, it perhaps doesn’t follow the scale one would expect. Accompanied with a marching style rhythm across the lower instruments, a fury of entwining melodies introduces further layers to the track.
Throwing aggressive hit after hit, Pitchfork Impalement leaves no flesh left unscathed with its rushing speeds, perforating rhythms and merciless bass drum onslaught. Groove makes an appearance in the penultimate song Pestilential Rictus with intriguing rhythmic accents providing a dynamic sense of unease. Cannibal Corpse ensured Chaos Horrific would go out on a bang with Drain You Empty. The most atmospheric track on the album, immersive dissonance makes for a theatrical start, gradually building up the layers of instruments and anticipation—the foreboding mood is just delightful. Before long it soon explodes into a full-frontal attack of thrashing percussion, untamed riffs and demonic vocals.
Not many bands make it to their sixteenth album, that in itself is a huge achievement. Cannibal Corpse have not only reached this astonishing milestone in their bloodthirsty career, but they’ve also done it in their own true brutal style.
For fans of: Deicide, Dying Fetus, Obituary
‘Chaos Horrific’ by Cannibal Corpse is out now on Metal Blade Records.
Words by Holly Royle