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Cannibal Corpse Biography

Last updated: 04/18/2014 06:33:49 AM

From Buffalo, New York comes a death metal monster that has yet to be tamed: Cannibal Corpse. Comprised of George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher, Alex Webster, Paul Mazurkiewicz, Jack Owen, and Pat O’Brien, the quintet has been ravaging the landscape with picturesque stories of death and many processes by which death can be achieved. At first glance, it seems morbid and repulsive. Ironically, that is just what Cannibal Corpse has aimed for since its birth.

Beginning in 1989, Cannibal Corpse was formed from the remnants of three local Buffalo bands, Tirant Sin, Beyond Death, and Leviathan. The original lineup, consisting of vocalist Chris Barnes, guitarists Jack Owen and Bob Rusay, bassist Alex Webster, and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, recorded a self-titled demo. Unbeknownst to them, they were about to be signed to Metal Blade Records to create the primitive yet uninhibited 1990 release, ‘Eaten Back to Life’, produced by Scott Burns (Sepultura, Deicide). Although it wasn’t exactly what you’d call a best-seller, it certainly got their names in the public with songs like ‘A Skull Full of Maggots’ and ‘Born in a Casket'.

Next came 1991’s ‘Butchered at Birth’, an album with a refined (but still fairly primitive) death metal sound. Songs such as ‘Meat Hook Sodomy’, ‘Covered With Sores’, and ‘Vomit the Soul’ grabbed the attention of the average passer-by…that is, if they weren’t thrown off by the ultra-violent album cover by none other than Vincent Locke of Dead World Comics. 1991 was also the first year Cannibal Corpse went on tour, eventually spreading their music to Europe (where they weren’t well received by many countries).

A year later, Cannibal Corpse released ‘Tomb of the Mutilated’, a death metal classic sporting perhaps the most popular Cannibal Corpse song, ‘Hammer Smashed Face’. Other classics, including ‘I Cum Blood’, ‘Addicted to Vaginal Skin’, and ‘The Cryptic Stench’, as well as yet another offensive album cover by Vincent Locke put this album at the top of the death metaller’s must-have list. ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ later appeared in the soundtrack to the 1994 film ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’, a decision made by Jim Carrey himself (who turns out to be a big Corpse fan).

A note about the first three albums: Germany has banned Cannibal Corpse from playing material from the first three albums.

In 1993, Cannibal Corpse released their ‘Hammer Smashed EP’, containing ‘Hammer Smashed Face’, and two unreleased cover songs, ‘The Exorcist’ by Possessed and ‘Zero the Hero’ by Black Sabbath.

1994’s ‘The Bleeding’, Cannibal Corpse’s best-selling album, brought in a new era, as founding guitarist Bob Rusay was fired from the group and replaced by Malevolent Creation guitarist Rob Barrett. Barrett joined the group as a welcome and contributing addition to the death metal team, helping record malicious classics to include ‘Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead’, ‘Fucked With a Knife’, and ‘Stripped, Raped and Strangled’, which contests to be the most popular Cannibal Corpse song against ‘Hammer Smashed Face’.

Next, in 1995, Cannibal Corpse vocalist Chris Barnes was fired due to ‘musical differences,’ and replaced by former Monstrosity vocalist George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher on the band’s follow-up to ‘The Bleeding’, entitled ‘Vile’ (originally entitled ‘Created to Kill’). Corpsegrinder made an instant impression on the death metal audience with the 9 second scream heard in the album’s opener, ‘Devoured by Vermin’. ‘Vile’ is proof that Cannibal Corpse’s fate doesn’t rest on one person’s talents alone.

In 1997, after recording the Monolith of Death Tour VHS, Rob Barrett decided to leave the band to pursue other fields of interest, and was replaced by Nevermore guitarist Pat O’Brien to record their 1998 release, ‘Gallery of Suicide’. ‘Gallery’ also marks the first time recording without long-time Cannibal Corpse producer Scott Burns, who was replaced by Jim Morris (Iced Earth, Morbid Angel). Labeled as their most technical album, ‘Gallery’ retains the tried-but-true standards of relentless pounding, intense riffs, and guttural vocals that keep the fans coming back for more. O’Brien proves to be a powerful force, marking his abilities in the song ‘From Skin to Liquid,’ the album’s instrumental track.

The following year, 1999, was the year of ‘Bloodthirst’, their first album working with producer Colin Richardson (Fear Factory, Carcass). This was the first time in five years that Cannibal Corpse had consistent band members spanning two albums. The feverish pace of ‘Dead Human Collection’, the adrenal flood created by ‘Pounded into Dust’, and the skull-crushing symphony ‘Unleashing the Bloodthirsty’ caught the attention of more death metal fans across the globe.

In 2000, Cannibal Corpse released their second live recording, entitled ‘Live Cannibalism’. A compilation of most of their classic tracks played at two venues (the Rave in Milwaukee, WI and Indianapolis, IN), Colin Richardson managed to produce one of the finest raw live albums ever recorded, capturing the true essence of a brutal Cannibal Corpse show.

Come 2002 and Cannibal Corpse returned with producer Neil Kernon (Queensryche, Hall and Oates) to release ‘Gore Obsessed’, another violent episode in the quintet’s saga. Opening with the vehement, impulsive ‘Savage Butchery’, entrancing the listener with the ferocity of ‘Pit of Zombies’, and closing the album with the Metallica classic ‘No Remorse,’ ‘Gore Obsessed’ is a whirlwind of violence and bloodshed, accounting methods of one’s own demise (‘Hung and Bled’) to unconscious mass murder (‘Grotesque’).

Later that year, Cannibal Corpse released the six-song ‘Worm Infested’ EP featuring two unreleased original songs (‘Systematic Elimination’ and ‘Worm Infested’), ‘The Undead Will Feast’, and three cover songs: ‘Demon’s Night’ by Accept, ‘Confessions’ by Possessed, and ‘No Remorse’ by Metallica.

‘15 Year Killing Spree,’ released in 2003, is a collection of some of their best material over the years, a CD featuring demos and cover songs, a DVD of live shows and recording sessions, and a bundle of other goodies (to include a comic based on ‘Unleashing the Bloodthirsty’ drawn by Vincent Locke) to satisfy the Cannibal Corpse fanatic’s palate for death metal.

Cannibal Corpse’s latest effort, ‘The Wretched Spawn’ was released in February 2004, again with producer Neil Kernon. Perhaps the most anticipated of the CC releases, ‘Wretched’ delivered powerful imagery coupled with fast, intense musicianship in many of the albums’ tracks, namely ‘Severed Head Stoning,’ ‘Frantic Disembowelment,’ and ‘They Deserve to Die.’ They also struck a chord or two with two of the slower tracks on the album, ‘Festering in the Crypt’ and the title track, not to mention the album’s single ‘Decency Defied.’

Shortly after the first U.S. Tour of the Wretched, founding member/guitarist Jack Owen decided it was time to say goodbye, and was replaced on the following tours by Jeremy Turner (Origin). Now Corpse fans are waiting to see whether Jeremy will continue to play with CC in the years to come or if someone else will enter the fray. In any case, there’s sure to be another chapter of brutality for the masters of death metal - Cannibal Corpse!

by: Kris 'Nemesis' Yancey

Thanks to by: Kris 'Nemesis' Yancey for submitting the biography.