AlbumsSeptember 18, 20232,785 views

Cannibal Corpse Chaos Horrific

Chaos Horrific
1. Overlords of Violence 2. Frenzied Feeding 3. Summoned for Sacrifice 4. Blood Blind 5. Vengeful Invasion 6. Chaos Horrific 7. Fracture and Refracture 8. Pitchfork Impalement 9. Pestilential Rictus 10. Drain You Empty
2023 Metal Blade Records
Our score 6


It’s violence time. There’s a new Mortal Kombat game on the horizon and, as if willed to be by some sort of blood god, there’s also a new Cannibal Corpse album coming out the same week. You know Cannibal Corpse, right? For over three decades, they’ve been one of the most consistent bands in metal despite lineup changes here and there. Now though, the band is perhaps the strongest they’ve been with Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, ex-Morbid Angel) on guitars and writing duties for the last few years. 

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We’ve come a long way since “I Cum Blood” and “Stripped, Raped, and Strangled” though. Even if their brand of goremurder has lightened up a bit over the years, they’re still a death metal staple and never really showed any signs of slowing. Quality stagnation is up for debate and to individual taste so we won’t harp on that much, but it’s not like they’ve dropped a huge dump of an album on us yet - that’s what Six Feet Under is for. There is quite literally something to like on just about every album of theirs - even if you don’t like all of it - and Chaos Horrific is no different.

“Blood Blind” gets first namedrop for being one of the groovier songs on the album. The intro riffing is absolutely barbaric, like just fucking knuckle-dragging Cro-Magnon horseshit that actively devolves you as you listen, and it’s made even better with well-placed double bass drum kicks. The track also does that thing Cannibal Corpse are so good at with Corpsegrinder - still one of the best to do it - managing a moderate vocal pace for the first half of the song, then it kicks into a higher gear instrumentally and so does he with these double-time bellows until the solos kick your head off your neck. Good song.



“Vengeful Invasion” is nice as well for the tonal changes the guitars employ. From the first note, you get these anxiously high riffs that weave in and out of the mix, and they appear seemingly randomly throughout the rest of the track which keeps you on alert. The title track beats massive ass with more of a thrashy modality - it’s fast as fuck and hardly ever relents. It even utilizes some interesting timing dynamics with the guitars during the verses that I can’t articulate, but it helps distinguish it from the rest. I also love the layered screams on the hook that the band incorporates often. It’s my favorite title track of Cannibal Corpse’s since “Evisceration Plague”. 

That helps highlight a big problem I have with Chaos Horrific though: an overall lack of variance. I know this is like complaining about the sandwich you willingly order from the same place over and over for being the same each time, but the fact of the matter is we know the Corpsey boys are more than willing and able to change things up. One of my favorite songs by them ever is “From Skin to Liquid” off of 1998’s Gallery of Suicide - one of the band’s only instrumental tracks in their 30+ years of maiming - simply because it was different, but still played with their dark, macabre aesthetics without telling a story vocally. It was fresh! I really want more of that, but we haven’t gotten an instrumental track since 2006 with Kill and I am famished.



Still, as alluded to before, there’s a lot to like here. “Fracture and Refracture” has a great solo, “Pitchfork Impalement” has some (unintentionally?) funny lyrics and vocal delivery, and “Drain You Empty” sees the quintet dig deeper into their tonal tombs to exhume a more doom-oriented style with slow, heavy moments that cap off the album well enough. This isn’t Shakespeare, y’all. This is motherfucking goddamn death metal-ass metal. That is what Cannibal Corpse are, and that is what Chaos Horrific is, for better or worse. It feels silly to complain or critique something that’s generally, genuinely been the same for years, but if honesty’s the goal then here it is. I think I’d still rather listen to old faves like The Wretched Spawn, Tomb of the Mutilated, or Kill.

Bottom line: This isn’t just Cannibal Corpse at this point, it’s Cannibal Corpse™. They’re a very specific brand and they own the lane they drive in on metal’s ultrawide highway. You already know if you like it and if you want more of it. For me, it’s always nice catching up with an old friend, but the less they’re willing to make even the slightest alterations to their formula, the more I start to check out. Every song is stubbornly entrenched in that 3-to-4-minute length which is great for not adding up to an insurmountable body pile of an album, but it’s also indicative of comfort to the point of stagnation which is lethal to a band’s output.


Post Comment
anonymous 15 days ago

No Zulu, no care. Cannibal Corpse really needs to step their diversity game, both soundwise and culturally, if they ever hope to achieve a 9 rating.

anonymous 15 days ago

If they were black the album would get a 10.

easyhateoven 15 days ago

abolish white death metal

anonymous 15 days ago

If you put this score and Zulu's score together you'd get 69.

anonymous 14 days ago

CC has been treading water since Torture.

anonymous 14 days ago

this is the most pathetic pile of horeshit i have ever seen written

anonymous 14 days ago

Most bands' songs are 3-4 minutes in length, f*cktard.

anonymous 13 days ago

anonymous 21 hours ago this is the most pathetic pile of horeshit i have ever seen written Couldn't agree more. I guarantee this reviewer loves Bell Witch.

anonymous 13 days ago

It's Cannibal Corpse. They consistently put out great death metal. What do you want them to do, start clean singing? Moronic review.

easyhateoven 13 days ago

shit review

anonymous 12 days ago

CC needs to go Djent or play with Scowl

anonymous 11 days ago

anonymous 2 days ago anonymous 21 hours ago this is the most pathetic pile of horeshit i have ever seen written Couldn't agree more. I guarantee this reviewer loves Bell Witch. permalink | report abuse anonymous 1 day ago It's Cannibal Corpse. They consistently put out great death metal. What do you want them to do, start clean singing? Moronic review. permalink | report abuse easyhateoven 1 day ago shit review

anonymous 11 days ago

Thought it couldn't get any worse than "hardcore, am I right" But "It's violence time" is equally if not more cringe

anonymous 11 days ago

I actually feel like this album is a slight departure, and evolution is their sound after adding Rutan. It's not a massive change, but enough to make it stand out among their later releases. I'd give it more of a high 8.

anonymous 10 days ago

Rutan probably has better taste and a better ear for quality than people like ourselves so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

anonymous 8 days ago

Rutan f*cking rips, shit review. This is a metal site, right?

anonymous 3 days ago

"There is quite literally something to like" Liking something is an abstract concept, so by definition it *can't* be literal. This is terrible writing.

anonymous 2 days ago

There's way better death metal out there than cannibal corpse. They stink. Bolt Thrower Incantation Immolation