Live Cannibalism

Cannibal Corpse

Metal Blade Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Picture this, if you will. It's 12:30 in the morning. I'm still sitting at my desk at my full-time job, plowing through computerized report after computerized report. I've already killed one two-liter of Pepsi, and I'm still having problems keeping my eyes open, with about two more hours worth of work lying ahead of me. I need the musical equivalent of Vivarin, and I need it now.

Enter Cannibal Corpse and their latest release, Live Cannibalism. Vocalist George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher and crew prove that their style of death metal can easily be translated from the studio to the live arena, even if you still don't have a clue as to what Fisher is growling.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I guess it's obvious to point out, but just in case: If you have a weak stomach or are easily offended, you may wish to stop reading this review here. Don't say we didn't warn you.

In one sense, it's kind of pointless for a grindcore band to do a live album, except to prove to people that, yes, they actually can play these songs live. (And, as the band gleefully points out in the liner notes, there are no overdubs on this disc.) But the true energy of such a performance comes from the visuals, both of the band in action and of the crowd working itself up into a frenzy. Oh, sure, you can feel some of the testosterone oozing from the speakers, but it's just not the same as seeing it for yourself or, better yet for some people, being there in the crowd. (Metal Blade plans on releasing a DVD on November 7.)

And, sure, this isn't the disc you want to leave in the player when you're out mowing the lawn and Junior has access to your stereo. With songs like "Fucked With A Knife," "I Cum Blood," "A Skull Full Of Maggots" and "Meat Hook Sodomy," the titles alone make The Blair Witch Project seem like a Disney film.

And while the musicianship is still quite powerful, I can't help but think that some of the absolute gore is lost in Fisher's grunts and screams. There are times that I'm thankful I can't always decipher such singing, and something makes me think that this is one of those times.

This might sound like I'm being hard on Fisher, but I don't mean to be. In fact, the power of his vocals is what helps catapault Live Cannibalism into the stratosphere. By the time you get to the encore of "Hammer Smashed Face," the listener might actually find themselves tired just from listening to the incredible output of energy these guys whip up.

Granted, Live Cannibalism isn't the kind of disc to leave sitting out on the coffee table when the parents come over for fondue. But for any fan of grindcore, this is a powerful and accurate portrait of the sheer force a band like Cannibal Corpse can exhibit in concert.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Metal Blade Records, and is used for informational purposes only.