The Chris Barnes era of Cannibal Corpse has always been a touchy one for me. On one hand, Tomb of the Mutilated is one of my favorite albums of all time. On the other hand, Chris Barnes, by all accounts, is a huge douche. He recently got disgruntled about Cattle Decapitation having too many merch designs, after it was discussed that they could have as many as they want on tour, then he then made some disparaging remarks about the band’s veganism, which lead to a confrontation where he sucker punched the vocalist for Cattle Decapitation, Travis Ryan. Then of course there is the memorable song that the legendary grindcore band Anal Cunt wrote about Chris Barnes.
Regardless, I still find myself enjoying Cannibals Corpse’s early work. It’s nothing groundbreaking exactly, it’s pretty straight forward, doesn’t do anything unworldly, it’s just simple heavy death metal. It almost reminds me of Terror. Terror doesn’t bring anything new the hardcore genre, but they just make simple, straight forward hardcore and it’s a joy to listen to, even if it doesn’t do anything that hasn’t been done before.
I will say that if Tomb of the Mutilated does anything extremely well, is it’s lyrical themes and content. It’s all extremely dark, dealing with necrophilia. I’ll just leave this spoken word poetry of one of their songs do the talking for me.