Throwback Thursday: Cannibal Corpse’s “Eaten Back to Life” Turns 25


So this week’s Throwback is gonna go in a completely different direction that last week’s. Let’s talk about Cannibal Corpse. Oh, Cannibal Corpse — the death metal giants I’ve had so many opportunities to see and just never cared enough to make it happen. While my apathy towards them is really unparalleled, there’s no denying their comically gruesome take on death metal is recognized across the globe. But I guess when you’ve been doing your thing for a quarter-century, you’ve done something right along way. Yes, you heard. A quarter-century. Cannibal Corpse’s debut album, Eaten Back to Life, came out 25 years ago. That’s worth some recognition.

Ok, so technically this dropped on August 17th, so we’re a few days away, but that’s close enough for me. But talk about making your presence felt right off the bat. The Chris Barnes-fronted Corpse exploded onto the scene, dropping stabbing riff after stabbing riff, track after track on such titles like “Shredded Humans” and “A Skull Full of Maggots.” At the time, Eaten Back to Life was so extreme that it was even banned in some areas — including Germany, where not even a censored version was available. The ban was eventually lifted some 16 years later. With graphic artwork and even more brutal lyrics, Cannibal Corpse made sure they didn’t enter the death metal world with subtlety.

Today's version of Cannibal Corpse
Today’s version of Cannibal Corpse

But what gets me the most is that fact this thing is as old as it is. Obviously there have been some changes over the years… including Barnes giving way to George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher on vocals, but the fact remains that these guys have been steadily doing their thing for a long, long time. Which, in all fairness, we may not have seen coming when this album dropped. You gotta give credit where credit is due, and the Buffalo natives have certainly earned it. They’ve carved their place in the death metal universe, and will be recognized for decades to come.

And this is where it all began. After this long, and a further twelve albums since, Eaten Back to Life is certainly worth revisiting. So here ya go…

“Ein Bier… bitte.”

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