Cannibal Corpse - The Wretched Spawn 
by Tim Byrnes

Triumph of the Will: Death Metal May Be Your Santa Clause

Hot on the heels of their career encompassing 3 CD set "15 Years Killing Spree", Buffalo's own Cannibal Corpse waste no time getting back into the fray with "The Wretched Spawn", 14 cuts of the kind precise brutality that has kept them (in all their forms) at the top of the Death Metal heap for over a decade. This record is another genre defining collection of double time drums and hammering, down tuned 7 strings and cavernous bass lines, all in the service of Corpsegrinder's depictions of the horrors of death delivered in his trademark ragged shout. The most intense of bands working this intense side of the street, CC demonstrate a courage in their convictions, a belief in their art and their straightforward style of delivery that often gets pegged as "regressive" by critic types and others, but to my mind should really be admired. The band has a vision. 

They explore the dark side of things with little pretension, perhaps trading some subtlety for more power, but power is what Death Metal is, to me, all about. Not just power as in power chord, either. When listening to Cannibal Corpse (or Slayer or Deicide - which I admit isn't that often, but I do drink from the Death Metal well from time to time) I feel something I simply can't get listening to anything else. I won't pretend to be able to understand the lyrics, (although visits to darklyrics.com filled me in on the lyrics to previous CDs - "Spawn" not having been posted yet - where I found what can only be called intelligent resignation and a fearless facing-up to the grim realities of a world heading South in a handbasket) but the rushed urgency and spleen-venting rage charging out of my speakers makes me somehow feel stronger.

My 15 year old nephew Zack and his friends are way into Death Metal and when I ask them what it is that draws them to this music, they can't explain. None of them. They don't have to, that malicious grin says it all.  But here's my take anyway: With songs like "Psychotic Precision", "Decency Deprived" and "Frantic Disembowelment" Cannibal Corpse (and DM bands in general) take the essence of the human condition, that we are an animal who know's it's going to die, and usurp it's reign over our physical, psychic and spiritual selves by pushing back the sense of the inevitable with relentless blasts of purpose. Far from wallowing in death imagery as p*** off yer parent's" mindlessness, CC actively engage the all too human concepts of torture and murder, take them into the fires of their creation and spit them out with a big "So what". You can kill the body (over and over again in all kinds of horrible ways and in all kinds of horrible names) but the spirit of life, and in some cases the engine of that spirit is Hate, let's face it, is more powerful. 

One last question. Why is it that blues bands release the same album over and over again and are considered to be "in the tradition" and lauded for staying true to a strictly regimented and codified  musical form but when peoples like Cannibal Corpse and Yngwie Malmsteen demonstrate the same kind of dedication to vision they are lambasted as "regressive" and "stagnant'? Just askin'. 

CD Info and Links

Cannibal Corpse - The Wretched Spawn
Label: Metal Blade

Severed Head Stoning
Psychotic Precision
Decency Defied
Frantic Disembowelment
Rotted Body Landslide
Cyanide Assassin
Festering In The Crypt
Nothing Left To Mutilate
Blunt Force Castration
Wretched Spawn, The
Bent Backwards And Broken
They Deserve To Die
Listen to Samples and Purchase This CD online


CD Info and Links

Listen to Samples and Purchase This CD online

Visit the official website for more on the band and their new CD!



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