Cannibal Corpse – Torture (2012)
The masked monster on the “Torture” album cover is only visible through a large bite mark on the cardboard sleeve covering the (much more graphic) cover underneath. His sordid tools (scissors, hooks, etc) hang bloodstained from his waist, and his mangled victims dangle in varying states of mutilation, stitching and decay. The song titles and credits on the back are written in blood-spattered red.
And within the album jacket is a black and white photo of the band members standing the woods next to a rusty old car, armed with axes, chainsaws, rope and shovels. It’s as if they’ve discovered the horrid torture chamber on the cover and taken upon themselves the grim task of burying the dead.
Cannibal Corpse fans have come to expect this over-the-top, gory and violent imagery as a matter of course (though one does wonder how they continue to come up with it all). It’s been 8 years since they’ve had a truly graphic cover like this one (2004’s “The Wretched Spawn” was the last one).
But even more important than the morbid presentation are the 12 songs, each of which serves as a blood-drenched reminder that Cannibal Corpse is on a strong second run of success that started with the “Kill” album in 2006. And what’s truly amazing is that, having sold just shy of 10,000 copies in week 1 of release, “Torture” has cracked the US Top 40!
1. Demented Aggression
2. Sarcophagic Frenzy
3. Scourge of Iron
4. Encased In Concrete
5. As Deep As the Knife Will Go
6. Intestinal Crank
7. Followed Home Then Killed
8. The Strangulation Chair
10. Crucifier Avenged
12. Torn Through
“Demented Aggression” makes it clear Cannibal Corpse has no intention of dialing it down for this record, as if it wasn’t clear enough already from the song title. No doubt inspired by the recent urban legends about “bath salts” and their ability to turn people into zombies, Cannibal Corpse has added “Sarcophagic Frenzy” to its repertoire–their own take on the zombie apocalypse. As is apparent from the album title, the rest of the lyrical focus is on such instruments of death as “Intestinal Crank” and “The Strangulation Chair.”
“Crucifier Avenged” is an underrated gem lyrically, describing in graphic detail the ancient world’s most feared form of execution (fans of Rome Total War, take note). “Followed Home Then Killed” has a stalker, horror-movie feel, its guitars spookily ringing in a rare moment of melody. And Alex Webster gets to show off his command of the bass guitar during a solo take in “The Strangulation Chair.”
More than 20 years after “Tomb of the Mutilated,” Cannibal Corpse continues to be a prolific, indomitable death metal juggernaut. Let the “Torture” begin…
4 / 5
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher
Written by Matt P