Cannibal Corpse is an American death metal band created in 1988 in Buffalo, New York. With three decades since their founding, the group has macabre and bloody themes in their lyrics, which constantly talk about murder, death and necrophilia. In 2015, they reached the 2 million albums sold mark, becoming the most commercially successful death metal band in the world.
The members of Cannibal Corpse originally sought inspiration from thrash metal bands like Slayer and Kreator, as well as other death metal groups like Morbid Angel, Autopsy, and Death. The group’s album covers (usually designed by Vincent Locke) and lyrics were heavily influenced by horror literature and horror films, and are considered quite controversial. Several times Cannibal Corpse was prevented from performing in certain countries or had the sale and display of their album covers banned.
The band Cannibal Corpse emerged in 1988, in Buffalo (in New York state) but quickly moved to Tampa in Florida state to build their future. The band came about with the demise of two bands called Tirant Sin and Beyond Death. The first lineup had as vocalist and main lyricist Chris Barnes, bassist Alex Webster, drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, and guitarists Bob Rusay and Jack Owen.
Early in their career, in 1989, the demo Cannibal Corpse earned the group a contract with the Metal Blade label. The first album, Eaten Back to Life, hit the stores in 1990. The legion of fans began to appear after the albums Butchered at Birth, 1991, and the classic Tomb of the Mutilated, 1992, produced by Scott Burns. After this release occurs the first fall in the band with the departure of Bob Rusay, to his place came Rob Barrett who had played in bands like Dark Deception, Solstice and Malevolent Creation.
The group became even better known after their appearance in the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. In one scene they play the song “Hammer Smashed Face” by Tomb of the Mutilated. After this Hollywood tip, Cannibal Corpse emerges as the first death metal band on Billboard’s Top 200. The group was invited to record the scene. This happened in an unusual and unexpected way because Jim had in mind to call Pantera to participate in the film, but as the band was at the peak of its career at the time, the amount charged would be very expensive, so they opted for Cannibal Corpse, which did its participation for 500 dollars. Another curiosity is that the members of the band Malevolent Creation are in the audience as extras.
In 1993 they recorded an EP called Hammer Smashed Face, which featured a Black Sabbath cover of the song “Zero The Hero”, and also featured a Possessed cover, “The Exorcist”.
In 1994, the band recorded the album The Bleeding, and from this same album they recorded their first music video for the classic “Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead”, and in 1995 they recorded the demo tape Created To Kill, the last record with vocalist Chris Barnes, who left to start another band, Six Feet Under. He was recording the next album, Vile, which was to be called Created To Kill.
In 1996 the album Vile was recorded, which marked the entrance of vocalist George Fisher into the band, also known as Corpsegrinder, coming from the band Monstrosity. The band did not hesitate to call Corpsegrinder. From this album comes the band’s second music video, “Devoured By Vermin”, which demonstrates all the brutality of the new line-up. From then on, Cannibal Corpse played even faster. On this tour, the band played for the first time in Australia.
In 1997 they released the VHS video Monolith Of Death, which shows in Canada, Poland and the United States. Some of these shows are still with guitarist Rob Barrett, but others are with his replacement, Pat O’Brien. The picture quality is not good, but the fans received the release positively anyway.
In 1998 they release the album Gallery of Suicide, which marks the entrance of Pat O’Brien, former Nevermore guitarist, in place of Rob Barrett, and they record a video for the track “Sentenced To Burn”.
In 1999 they record Bloodthirst, and in 2000 they release the CD and DVD Live Cannibalism.
In 2002 they release Gore Obsessed, an album that shows the constant evolution of the band after the entrance of the new vocalist. And the six-song EP Worm Infested.
In 2003 came out the Box 15 Year Killing Spree (with four discs and full of rarities).
In 2004 they released The Wretched Spawn, which caught the attention of the critics for its speed and even more refined technique than usual. Two videos were recorded for “Decency Defied” and “Festering In The Crypt”.
Still, in 2004, guitarist Jack Owen left the band, being temporarily replaced by Origin’s guitarist Jeremy Turner. And then, in 2005, guitarist Rob Barrett returned to record the acclaimed album Kill. From this album, two videos were recorded for the songs “Make Them Suffer” and “Death Walking Terror”.
In 2009, the band released the album Evisceration Plague by Metal Blade Records. Also in 2009 was recorded the video of the song “Evisceration Plague” and in 2010 of “Priests of Sodom”. On this album is present the track that is perhaps the fastest and most ferocious of the band, “Scalding Hail”.
Evisceration Plague’s successor, Torture, was released in March 2012. Production was under the responsibility of Erik Rutan, the same as on the albums Kill (2006) and Evisceration Plague (2009).
“Torture” followed the brutality presented in its predecessors. On this album the video for “Encased in concrete” is present.
The band’s most recent work is Red Before Black, released on November 3, 2017.
In December 2018 guitarist Pat O’Brien featured in the newspapers when he broke into a home in Tampa, Florida. He was arrested by police after threatening an officer with a knife. An unexplained fire at his home also occurred the same night.