Previously Published on Yell!
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We all know that they’re not getting soft, and the proof is in the violent brutality and technical proficiency heard on Torture. From the moment the opening track, “Demented Aggression,” owns your asshole like a road crew with a jackhammer rammed up there, you know your ears are going to bleed.
It’s true that the Cannibal Corpse-brand of death metal is a tough one to swallow for newer metal fans, kind of like the fresh meat during the first week in a maximum-security prison. But give Torture an honest listen and you’ll find that the album has a lot of diversity on offer, even to the most timid of metal fans. Okay, maybe there’s nothing here for Nickelback fans – and if you are a Nickelback fan, get the fuck off of before we track your IP address and come kick the shit out of you.
If you look past the traditional death metal elements on Torture, you’re going to find that Cannibal Corpse have really spread their clawed wings on this one. Namely, you’ll find heavy, slow-moving sludge (“Scourge of Iron”), technical prowess that verges on jazz (“As Deep as the Knife Will Go,” “Intestinal Crank,” “Strangulation Chair”), Pantera-style southern metal (“Encased in Concrete”), speed metal (“Intestinal Crank”), haunting Slayer-like thrash (“Followed Home Then Killed,” “Crucifier Avenged”), and much more present and accounted for on Torture. But if it’s pure death that you’re craving, you’ll get that on the album as well (“Demented Aggression,” “Sarcophagic Frenzy,” “Rabid”).
The songwriting on Torture is exceptional, which you should find in the songs listed above. It’s not surprising that the sound of this album is cohesive and diverse when you consider that it’s the third with the current lineup of George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher (vocals), Pat O’Brien (guitar), Rob Barrett (guitar), Alex Webster (bass), and Paul Mazurkiewicz (drums).
While there is plenty of great material in Cannibal Corpse’s 24-year catalog, there’s no denying that Torture is among the best of it. It’s an album that might take a couple listens before getting it, but it’ll be on heavy rotation once you do. I’m going to go out on a oak limb here and say that Torture is a solid candidate for death metal album of the year. Even if you’re not a death metal fan, find a place on your shelf or on your hard drive for Torture… unless you want us to find that IP address.