Fans can always rely on Cannibal Corpse for consistency as the band has been dropping mind-blowing, instant-classic death metal album after album over their 32 years of existence. Every record follows a similar formula that is timeless and never grows stale. Each is unique, but no one sticks out of the band’s discography as an outlier as they fit together like a puzzle. From the sound to the overall feel to the cover art by Vince Locke, Violence Unimagined, the 15th and latest release, is a Cannibal Corpse album through and through. It is another slam dunk by this legendary band and one of their best (quite possibly THE best) album to date.
The addition of guitarist Erik Rutan (who has played live with the band since 2019) as well as the band’s undying passion helped enhance this release. Bassist Alex Webster explains that Rutan “wrote three full songs for the record, music and lyrics, and his song writing and guitar playing have added something new, and I think his musical style integrated into ours very well.” Additionally, Rutan produced Violence Unimagined. His contributions to the album add something different and extremely special. The overall production as well as the technical expertise and precision is elevated showing the mastery of these musicians and the progression of the band. Each member pushes themselves and brings their absolute best to Violence Unimagined as each component is fine-tuned, detailed, and incredibly skillfully executed. Paul Mazurkiewicz’s drumming is especially impressive here. The drums are more prominently featured and rightfully so as the ornate blast beats bring intense heat that had my jaw dropping.
The album opens with fury—thunderous drumming and guitar before Corpsegrinder’s recognizable growls enter. Right away, listeners see exactly what they are in for through this opening track, “Murderous Rampage,” as the rapidly intense drumming acts as an exciting driving force that is present immediately and carries throughout the record. Guitar riffs enter with a vengeance and power on, perfectly suiting Corpsegrinder’s strong vocals. The 11 tracks all have the same violent headbanging energy Cannibal Corpse always brings to the table. The more I listen to this album, the more I am convinced that this is the band’s best work yet. I am blown away by the talent of these musicians and am confident that they all have extra limbs helping them achieve the level of power and skill that is heard. The instrumental moments throughout Violence Unimagined are some of my favorites. It is hard to pick a favorite track but one of mine is “Bound and Burned” which features some atonal screeching guitar moments as well as chaotic tempo changes. It all works together as a dynamic death metal tornado and brings a unique heaviness that absolutely crushes.
It is amazing that a band 32 years in the making can continue to create new music that is remarkable, never boring, and stands the test of time. Webster explains that the band approaches “…the writing in a similar way most every time: each of us try to write the heaviest, most memorable songs we can. We want each song to have its own identifiable character.” Cannibal Corpse’s tried and true method works for them every time and Violence Unimagined is no exception. Each song hits a little different and is identifiable, yet they all carry the same flair and sound that the band is known for. This album is another brilliant addition to Cannibal Corpse’s discography that will keep old fans happy while attracting some new listeners with the band’s signature intensity and elevated technical proficiency. Get ready to lose your breath, almost break your neck moshing, and rediscover this iconic band as you dive into the pits of death metal with Violence Unimagined.