"If vomit were a movie, this would be the soundtrack," wrote one critic of Cannibal Corpse's music, some of the most extreme, violent death metal sounds and subject matter ever committed to tape. Reveling in splatter-horror imagery in their often indecipherable lyrics, the group's graphic album artwork and song titles like "Meat Hook S****y," "Entrails Ripped from a Virgin's C**t," "F****d with a Knife," and so on, have — not surprisingly — attracted a fair amount of controversy and sometimes resulted in their albums being banned. However, their over the top extremity has won them a rabid cult following and made them one of the most popular death metal bands of the '90s; sticking with what works, the band didn't alter or develop its style much over the decade, although fans didn't seem to mind.
Cannibal Corpse were formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1988, their lineup composed mostly of musically active scenesters: vocalist Chris Barnes, guitarists Bob Rusay and Jack Owen, bassist Alex Webster, and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz. Musically, they were closest to Slayer, although more extreme metal bands like Death also played a role in their sound. A 1989 demo helped the band secure a contract with Metal Blade Records, which released their debut album, Eaten Back to Life, in 1990. A cult following began to build behind the group with albums like 1991's Butchered at Birth and 1992's Tomb of the Mutilated. Bob Rusay was fired in 1993 and replaced with ex-Malevolent Creation guitarist Rob Barrett, who joined the group in time to appear as a club band in the Jim Carrey film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
Barrett debuted on record with 1994's (relatively) more accessible The Bleeding, which proved to be Barnes' final album; 1996's Vile featured ex-Monstrosity vocalist George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher. Cannibal Corpse soldiered on through the decade, returning in 1998 with Gallery of Suicide. Bloodthirst followed a year later, and in 2000 the band issued both a video and CD titled Live Cannibalism (their second concert video but first official live album). Gore Obsessed arrived in 2002, followed by the obsessively packaged box set/DVD 15 Year Killing Spree. Their ninth album of all-new material, Wretched Spawn, was released in 2004, followed by Kill in 2006. In 2008, the band went back into the studio with producer Erik Rutan (of Hate Eternal), emerging early the following year with the band's highest-charting album, Evisceration Plague. Two years later the gore-metal masters released the live DVD Global Evisceration before returning with the all-new studio album Torture in 2012. A Skeletal Domain, the band's 13th long-player, followed in 2014.
Considered to be one of the leading death metal bands to emerge from Poland in the 1990s, Behemoth have endured quite a few lineup shifts in the course of their career (especially in the bass department), with founding singer/guitarist Nergal (Adam Darski) being the only constant member. Behemoth were formed in 1991 (originally as a trio), and began issuing several demos shortly thereafter, the most circulated one being 1993's From the Pagan Vastlands. The same year, the band issued their debut release And the Forests Dream Eternally via the Italian independent label Entropy. Two years later, the group released its first full-length recording, Sventevith, which received favorable reviews by the metal underground press. For 1996's Grom, Behemoth widened their musical vision by experimenting with acoustic guitars, synthesizers, and female vocalists, but all the while retained their brutal, extreme metal sound, leading to the group's inaugural full-on tour of Europe. Released in 1997, the three-track stopgap EP Bewitching the Pomerania proved to be the first recording to feature drummer Inferno (Zbigniew Robert Prominski), who soon became a driving force (and permanent fixture) in the band.
Their fifth release overall, Pandemonic Incantations, was issued a year later in 1998, as Behemoth continued to average at least one lineup change per release. Their last release as a trio (and first for new label Avantgarde), 1999's Satanica, continued to expand the group's following among the black metal masses, as Behemoth secured supporting slots on two separate tours with leading bands of the genre: Deicide and Satyricon. Behemoth's first release of the 21st century, 2000's Thelema.6, saw the group's lineup expand to four members for the first time, as newcomers Novy (bass) and Havoc (guitar) signed on with stalwarts Nergal and Inferno. The album was the first of the group's career to receive worldwide distribution — it was issued in the U.S. a year after its initial release — and also featured Nergal collaborating lyrically with outsider Krzysztof Azarewicz.
Behemoth embarked on their most substantial tour yet, playing shows alongside the likes of Morbid Angel and Nile, and even launched a few headlining tours on their own. In 2002, a home video/DVD was issued (recorded in their homeland of Poland), The Art of Rebellion: Live. Zos Kia Cultus followed a year later and was supported by a world tour including, for the first time, the United States.
Demigod landed at the beginning of 2004, a signal album that marked their first with bassist Orion (Tomasz Wróblewski). Behemoth's eighth full-length, The Apostasy, arrived in 2007. Ezkaton was an EP released in 2008, and featured a handful of studio cuts along with some live tracks. It was followed in 2009 by the full-length Evangelion, which earned positive reviews and chart success across Europe and America. The band's momentum paused briefly in 2010, when Nergal received a diagnosis of leukemia in the spring and spent almost a year recovering. A stopgap 2011 compilation, Abyssus Abyssum Invocat, combined two EPs from the band, 2004's Conjuration and 2006's Slaves Shall Serve.
Behemoth returned to action in 2014 with The Satanist, which received nearly universally positive reviews and became their first album to debut in the Top 40 of the American album charts.
Cannibal Corpse (Death Metal)
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Live Nation & LiveVan.com are giving away a pair of tickets for:
Cannibal Corpse, BEHEMOTH, Aeon, Tribulation WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 11th @ The Commodore Ballroom (No Minors)
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