Reviewing a new album from these guys always feels a little pointless. This is Cannibal Corpse, by far the top-selling Death Metal band of all time. And not just album sales, we’re talking video, t-shirts, lunch boxes with thermoses, the whole nine yards. There’re folks buying Cannibal Corpse records who don’t even like Death Metal. People who couldn’t point out Sweden or Norway on a globe. So a review just seems unnecessary. You know you’re at least going to download Torture, if you haven’t already pre-ordered the super-duper-Metal Blade-collector’s edition-limited-deluxe-Yakuza version which comes with a dub, a hot sandwich, and some pussy. But you’ll be pleased to know you are going to get a quality product. The Corpsegrinder era has produced a hiccup or two (1999’s Bloodthirst and 2002’s Gore Obsessed come to mind), but the overall decomposed body of work has been damn impressive. Torture is essentially Evisceration Plague 2, or perhaps Kill 3 would be more accurate. That is to say it’s a clinic on technical proficiency and all-pro songwriting enveloped in a tsunami of jagged brutality that never lets up for a second. They waste no time here, as opener “Demented Aggression” bludgeons for three minutes with no remorse, like a cadaver in the washing machine. “I don’t think you’ll live” indeed. “Intestinal Crank” has that repeatedly-punched-in-the-face feel that drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz so effortlessly yields before the song dissolves into mid-tempo hookfest. Songs like “Rabid,” “As Deep As the Knife Will Go,” “Torn Through,” and “Followed Home Then Killed” pretty much speak for themselves. This isn’t an album to make love (to a living person) to. “Sarcophagic Frenzy,” “The Strangulation Chair,” and “Caged… Contorted” really mix up the tempo well, controlling a vast array of sinister vibes. But the real treat here is “Scourge of Iron.” Much like Evisceration Plague’s title track, the band slows to a crawl, coasting on headbangability and the power of their sound. The intricacies of their supreme talent shine through on the slower stuff, and I hope it’s something they continue to toy with for another 20 years to cum.
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