I have only recently begun my delving into the Death Metal genre. I have been a Thrash fan at heart for my entire Metal lifespan and although I have always liked my fair share of Death Metal bands, it has only been recently that I have decided to take my leap into the genre. Although I have found that many of the greats that made this genre what it is are in fact, great, I have always been left with an odd taste with most of the material from CANNIBAL CORPSE. That was until I heard “Kill”.
“Kill”, as the title would represent, is straight forward and to the point Death Metal. Being as all of my influences of getting into Death Metal have told me that the Chris Barnes era of CANNIBAL CORPSE is where it is at, after listening to various albums of both I have decided that I would have to disagree. And I would use “Kill” as my evidence for such.
“Kill” is everything I would want from Death Metal. The massive skull stomping riffs adhere to the memory and the brutal blasting of bass and drums will forever keep your heart from keeping any kind of regular rhythm if the volume is loud enough. I wish at times the bass work would be more audible as Alex Webster can really work those strings (as can be briefly heard in the beginning of “The Discipline Of Revenge”) but alas it is Death Metal and we all know how that goes.
One of the more interesting aspects of “Kill” would have to be the guitar chemistry between the two guitarists. “Kill” marks the return of Rob Barrett to the ranks to replace longtime member Jack Owen. Not only is it interesting that Rob returns to the line-up but he is now playing with his replacement from when he left originally. Ironically, I find that their work together is as good (or at times even better) then some of the combinations found on prior CANNIBAL CORPSE records. The soloing and the riff trades are tight and their ability to work together just sparks with life (no pun intended). It’s a shocking element to “Kill” that really got me into the music more so than any other release.
Another element that many of the older fans complained about or had issues with was the very modern and sleek production value. Although I do admit some of the earlier albums carry a charm that can only be described as ‘raw’ because of the productions, the slick and clean production on this one just makes CANNIBAL CORPSE feel even more lethal in their music. I think it brings out some elements that we were missing at times in the earlier work and it makes this for me a fuller listening experience.
If you are one of those old school Death Metal fans that still wallows in the times before Chris Barnes left the band then perhaps this is not the release for you. At the core, CANNIBAL CORPSE has changed very little over the years and they continue their manic onslaught of feisty gore obsessed Death Metal on “Kill”, but the production and some of the smaller details feel to have been tightened on this release making it a must have in my opinion. “Kill” simply does what it set out to do….kill.
Songs to check out: “Make Them Suffer”, “Death Walking Terror”, “Five Nails Through The Neck”.
(Online April 24, 2009)