Cannibal Corpse - Bloodthirst

Undeniably the most successful death metal band in history, Cannibal Corpse have made their name well known through their brutal music, unsettling artwork and gory subject matter, not to mention the countless bans that they've faced regarding their album covers and so on. They've never been a band that deviates from their path, but at the same time they've never been a band to release sub-par records and I feel that this - 1999's "Bloodthirst", the band's seventh record - deserves a review to honour it's 10th anniversary.

I myself regard this as one of Cannibal Corpse's crowning achievements, even above "Tomb of the Mutilated" and "Vile". Its hard to believe, I know, but "Bloodthirst" manages to match it's brutal title with it's merciless sound - it may just be the band's tuning, it may just be George Fisher's gutteral roars, it could be this that or the other, but it doesn't matter. This album will pound you into dust (pardon the pun) with songs like 'Unleashing the Bloodthirsty', 'Dead Human Collection' and 'Blowtorch Slaughter' and then drag you kicking and screaming into the eerie, claustrophobic and haunting vibes of 'Ecstacy In Decay' and 'Sickening Metamorphosis' a second later. The tracks bleed into each other seemlessly, theres no feelings of 'This song sounds like it belongs on a different album' or 'These tracks sound like filler', yet at the same time you'll find yourself enjoying each track for being refreshingly different from the last.

Of course, when it comes to Cannibal Corpse you can never expect anything new. Whenever the band releases a new CD you know you're in for some violent, gore-obsessed (see what I did there?), heavy-as-hell old school death metal. No rantings over politics or the state of the world, just constant roaring demands for people to get massacred beyond recognition - the band once again delivers their tradmark gory, over the top yet extremely awesome song titles ('Coffinfeeder' anyone?) and still, seven records in, they manage to back such statements up with the same Cannibal Corpse sound without any of it feeling dated or stale. Its got the staying power that metal fans crave for, probably another reason why Cannibal Corpse are so goddamn huge. George Fisher is on absolutely prime form here, and his voice is sounding better than ever before, whilst guitarists Pat O'Brien and Jack Owen - the latter having replaced Rob Barrett one album prior - play with razor sharp precision, delivering the crushingly heavy riffs and brain shredding solos we love. Alex Webster and Paul Mazurkiewicz make up a spectacular rhythm secton together and as always, deliver the goods with their background devastaion. It all comes together to create one brutal, bloodthirsty death metal album.

Theres really no need to go into any finer details - I think anyone who is reading this will be more than convinced by the Cannibal Corpse name alone. I find it remarkable that even today, ten years after it's initial release, "Bloodthirst" still sticks in people's minds. I don't know if it was just a vibe in the studio whilst the band was writing the album or what, but its got those memorable hooks that you just don't get in death metal that often, riffs that you'll have stuck in your head constantly and the like. Some people will give me backlash for recommending this over the likes of "Tomb of the Mutilated" but y'know what? Its a better album regardless. "Tomb..." was an amazing album - hell, everyone loves 'Hammer Smashed Face' - but as an album, I feel it didn't hold up as well as this does, and these songs tend to come across far better in the live environment for me (and I saw them just last night too). The only problem with this album is the fact that it ends. Pick up Cannibal Corpse's "Bloodthirst" if you haven't already - and if not, why not? - and engorge yourself in some brilliant death metal of the highest quality. Heres to ten more years of unleashing the bloodthirsty!

1. Pounded Into Dust
2. Dead Human Collection
3. Unleashing The Bloodthirsty
4. The Spine Splitter
5. Ecstacy In Decay
6. Raped By The Beast
7. Coffinfeeder
8. Hacksaw Decapitation
9. Blowtorch Slaughter
10. Sickening Metamorphosis
11. Condened To Agony

Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Dave Ingram Jr.
Nov 1, 2009

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