Cannibal Corpse are an institution. No level of technicality or heaviness will ever be able to mimic the propensity this band has for writing death metal of the highest order. It comes as no surprise then¸ that Cannibal Corpse’s 12th album ‘Torture’ is just that: another fine addition to the band’s already sterling trophy cabinet.

Helmed once again by Hate Eternal guitarist and vocalist¸ Erik Rutan¸ at Sonic Ranch studios¸ ‘Torture’ has¸ like it’s name¸ undergone a gruelling fine-tuning process¸ yielding some truly punishing results. From thrashing opening track ‘Demented Aggression’ to the black metal twinge of ‘Torn Through’ ‘Torture’ is precise¸ calculated and bang on the money. This is Cannibal Corpse at their hookiest and most infectious form in recent years. And whilst its predecessors were by no means weak¸ ‘Torture’ is brilliantly balanced and sports a running time the likes of which keeps you hooked¸ right up until the very end.

The strength of this album however¸ lies not in its length¸ but in its song writing. Each song has a character of its own¸ and each song has its moment to shine. Tracks such as ‘Scourge of Iron’ and  ‘Encased in Concrete’ are the real standout moments¸ but honourable mentions have to go to ‘As Deep As the Knife Will Go’ and ‘Torn Through’ for showing a darker¸ more experimental side to this 5-piece. Even the more complex and less straight-forward compositions such as ‘Intestinal Crank’ and the doom-infested ‘Followed Home Then Killed’ manage to successfully leave a long-lasting impression; when given a couple of cycles to breathe. Seemingly filled from top to bottom with death metal anthems¸ some of these songs absolutely must get an airing live.

Over the years¸ Cannibal Corpse have professed a dogged commitment to their craft and have stuck to it religiously. ‘Torture’ is the vindication of this approach; a resounding proof that you don’t have to overhaul your sound in order to stay fresh. After 24 years in the business and hundreds of thousands of records sold¸ the godfathers of death metal are: still relevant¸ still reigning supreme¸ and still showing all their rivals how it’s done…old-school style.

9/10

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