After almost twenty-five years in the business, Cannibal Corpse remain the epitome of blood-drenched death metal.
There is just no denying that even after all this time the gore-obsessed quintet is still the best at what they do and album number twelve not only proves this but shows what a truly great band they actually are.
Torture begins as any Cannibal Corpse album should: savagely. “Demented Aggression” is like Slayer with the extreme turned up, topped off with a bowel-loosening roar from George Fisher. His barrel-necked, tomb-throated performance is a little deep in the mix, causing some loss of his usual careful enunciation, but he still manages to sound formidable. So to does the rest of the band, whose ability to make intricate, technical death metal seem deceptively simple remains virtually unmatched. The hooks are so huge and so numerous that the chops are almost overlooked until Alex Webster steps out with an insane bass solo like the one in “The Strangulation Chair” or Paul Mazurkiewicz drops an off-time beat into “Intestinal Crank”. Tracks like “Encased in Concrete” and “As Deep as the Knife Will Go” are patented Cannibal Corpse combinations of gruelling, visceral speed with technical prowess, yet they always manage to add an extra dimension or two to their relentless bludgeoning assault. The eerie, ominous opening riff of “Followed Home Then Killed” provides a real sense of menace and the solo it contains is one of the best to be found on any of this band’s albums and “Scourge of Iron” kicks in with a vicious, ripping, instantly catchy riff before switching to a grimy, mid-paced chugg. With “Rabid” the Corpse machine comes together with a gut-wrenching hook, killer chorus and Webster playing out of his skin.
Cannibal Corpse has been doing this for so long now they could make a new album in their sleep, but Torture shows that they are still far too into what they do to just be content with shitting out a bunch of new tracks. If anything, like many veteran bands they only seem to be getting better – this is at least as good as both Evisceration Plague and Kill. A quarter of a century on and Cannibal Corpse is still showing everyone how it’s done.
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
9. Caged… Contorted
10. Crucifier Avenged
12. Torn Through