Since 1988, CANNIBAL CORPSE have been at the forefront of death metal, shaping and defining the genre. In 2021, they raised the stakes again with ‘Violence Unimagined’.
And in 2023, the band’s thirty-fifth anniversary, they return with its successor, the equally monstrous Chaos Horrific, starting a new chapter in their storied legacy.
Written shortly after the conclusion of the Violence Unimagined sessions, echoes of that album exist in Chaos Horrific. “To me, this album feels sort of like a continuation of Violence Unimagined,” says bassist Alex Webster.
The band have always been noted for technicality and complex songwriting, but that doesn’t define where the writing process takes them. “I believe that our songwriting has progressed in a manner where every song paves its own path, whether it’s a straightforward or technical song,” notes guitarist Rob Barrett. “Sometimes it’s a mix of both, so there’s no preconceived idea that we want to be more technical. The music just sort of takes its own course.”
Webster concurs, “I don’t think there was any conscious effort to make things more technical, so if it wound up that way it would just be a natural result of us trying to write the heaviest songs we could.”
CANNIBAL CORPSE had no master plan, approaching each track with an open mind. “I never go into a record thinking about anything, I just let the writing flow freely with no limitations,” says guitarist/producer Erik Rutan. “But this time, I knew I wanted to push the envelope a bit in a different direction than ‘Violence Unimagined’; expand the dynamics, explore new territory without departing from what CANNIBAL CORPSE is and always shall be.”
Rutan has now produced six CANNIBAL CORPSE albums, starting with 2006’s Kill, and this is Rutan’s second release as a full-fledged member, since officially joining in 2020.
Tracking at Rutan’s Mana Studio in Florida, the band’s home state, was comfortable for all involved, who were at the top of their game and ready to give it their all. Things went smoother than ever, particularly on the guitar front thanks to Barrett and Rutan having “custom guitars built with longer scale necks to hold the proper intonation necessary for lower tunings,” says Barrett.
Drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz named the record and his cohorts felt it was a great representation of the band. Subjects covered include fighting off hordes of zombies (“Chaos Horrific“), the selection of a random individual to be dismembered and sacrificed (“Summoned For Sacrifice“), and the violent revenge of victims of human trafficking (“Vengeful Invasion“).
The album artwork by longtime collaborator Vince Locke is also suitably CANNIBAL CORPSE-esque, featuring a chaotic tangle of the living and the undead, evoking the lyrics of the title track.
In advance of the record’s release, today the band unleashes their first single and accompanying video for “Blood Blind.” Elaborates Mazurkiewicz, “’Blood Blind’ is about mass mutilations to reset the human race in a genocide that was embraced by the masses.”
Adds Rutan, “’Blood Blind’ was the first song musically that I wrote for ‘Chaos Horrific’. It all started with that funeral march of a first riff floating around in my head and it took off from there. Heavy and disturbing, it worked its way into an aggressive smorgasbord of depth and swirling darkness! I thought it would be great to collaborate so I had Paul add his lyrical stamp to it…“
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher – vocals
Erik Rutan – guitar
Rob Barrett – guitar
Alex Webster – bass
Paul Mazurkiewicz – drums
Pre-orders for the album can be accessed here.