To call Cannibal Corpse an institution barely does them justice. Florida death metal, itself a legendary scene and sound, wouldn’t be the same without Eaten Back to Life, to say nothing of their scores of other landmark records and the more recent releases that make it all too clear that there’s still some life in these old gorehounds yet. Their latest record, Torture, dropped via longtime allies Metal Blade Records this past March, and the band’s been on the road ever since. They’’ve just returned from a European invasion with labelmates Amon Amarth (with Aborted, and Children of Bodom) and are about to hit the road to headline this year’s edition of the now-annual Summer Slaughter. It sounds as though it’s been a bit of a whirlwind year for the boys, as bassist Alex Webster commented: “We were home for less than two weeks, so it wasn’t much of a break. We got our laundry done though!”
On tour, it’s the little things that matter most, like cold beer and clean socks. The latter will be in short supply for Cannibal and their tourmates soon enough, but at least they can be sure of a brew or two waiting for them after they demolish audiences from LA to Montreal (with an adopted home state stop in Tampa on July 30, of course!). The finely-aged quintet are headlining a tour stocked with both established bands and younger, more varied newcomers, and one wonders how odd it might be to see how far some of the younger bands have taken the band’s original death metal original influence – the uber techy, hardcore style that some of the bands show is a helluva far cry from Tampa in the Nineties! On the flip side, all across the board, the old school sound has been discovered and embraced by a whole new generation of metalheads – every new band you see is namedropping Incantation, Autopsy, or, you guessed it, Cannibal Corpse. For a lifer like Webster, it’s all got to be a bit bizarre.
Webster mused, “It’s definitely a diverse line-up. It covers really old-school sounding stuff like Goatwhore all the way to the most cutting edge modern prog metal like Periphery. There’s definitely something for everybody on this tour. We’re happy to hear that some of the bands on the tour are influenced by us, even if that influence isn’t immediately obvious.”
He went on, “I think that the early death metal scene was probably ahead of its time. Things that the mainstream metal scene has only recently adopted like guttural vocals, low tunings, and blast beats have been a part of death metal since the ’80s. Also, a lot of the older bands had really good songs. Trends will come and go, but a good song will always be good.”
That last sentence really sums up the Cannibal Corpse approach in a nutshell. They’ve never wavered from their signature sound, and, twenty-three years down the line, you still know exactly what you’re going to get when you pick up a new album from these unstoppable death metal greats.
According to Webster, “Since our latest album Torture was released only a few months ago we’re really not working on any new material yet. We’ll be playing at least four songs from Torture every night on this tour. We’re really happy with that album and we want to make sure people have a chance to see those songs live.”
They’ll have their chance all summer long. Make sure to show up to catch their headlining set on this year’s Summer Slaughter tour, and keep an ear out for the classics!
LISTEN UP, MAGGOTS!