Cannibal Corpse - The Bleeding Review
by Matt Hensch
If you were to randomly ask a group of metalheads about their favorite Cannibal Corpse album, you'd probably get mixed opinions. Cannibal Corpse have some great records, but there are always different opinions on which one is their best. Being a gigantic Cannibal Corpse fan myself, I've come to appreciate most of their albums, but only one of their records stands out to me as their best. Before Chris Barnes got the boot from Cannibal Corpse, he and the masters of gore came together and released "The Bleeding," which stands out to me as Cannibal Corpse's best release and the peak of their career.
"The Bleeding" has Cannibal Corpse continuing the harsh death metal assault they began with their debut. Rob Barret and Jack Owen do a phenomenal job shredding on this album. From the opening seconds of "Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead" to the ending slab of "An Experiment In Homicide," Barret and Owen never desert their incredible guitar playing. "Staring Through The Eyes Of Dead" is the best representation of their shredding because of the relentless attack of fast riffing and the cluster of solos. No wonder it's a fan favorite! "Stripped, Raped, And Strangled" is a simple, yet brilliant display of guitar work. Owen and Barret will continually hit a few notes, stop, repeat, and go into a rapid fire riff. The technical riffs on "Pulverized" and "She Was Asking For It" help Cannibal Corpse maintain new levels of craftsmanship and professionalism. These two tracks shine on "The Bleeding" because they feature a more complex side of what these guys are capable of. Drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz makes his presence known on "The Bleeding." From the hyperspeed double bass work to the crushing blastbeats, Paul does it all. There is some great bass work on "The Bleeding" as well. The bass lines on "Staring Through The Eyes Of Dead" and "f***ed With A Knife" are short, but they add a vast amount of color to the music.
"The Bleeding" has Chris Barnes experimenting a bit with his growls while still maintaining his incredible vocal ability. Barnes has been notoriously known for his strong vocal performances, and "The Bleeding" is no exception. Just like the first three Cannibal Corpse albums, Chris's growls are still deep and forceful. Beside his proper use of death growls, Barnes shines with his marvelous vocal patterns. Chris's growls flow perfectly with the death metal mayhem during every song. Every time Chris growls, it seems to fit in at the right moment; not once did I find a moment where his vocals didn't fit. Chris Barnes doesn't only adapt his death growls on "The Bleeding," he also uses some awesome vocal effects. Barnes added high pitched growls to his vocal design in "The Bleeding," and they work out in his advantage. Tracks like "f***ed With A Knife" and "The Pick Axe Murders" have Barnes exercising these high pitched growls; this vocal form makes these songs seem more energetic and haunting, which is what Cannibal Corpse is all about. The intro of "Stripped, Raped, And Strangled" has Barnes using some faded vocals effects while "Force Fed Broken Glass" has a vile gagging noise that appropriately fits the title.
Chris Barnes didn't make a name for himself in Cannibal Corpse because of his vocals, it was the lyrics he wrote that pumped the creativity and gore into Cannibal Corpse. The lyrics Barnes wrote on "The Bleeding" continue to correspond with Cannibal Corpe's graphic tales of murder, rape, and torture. Some songs like "Force Fed Broken Glass" and "Stripped, Raped, And Strangled" are pretty self explanatory when it comes to lyrical themes, yet the writing remains clever and original. The lyrics are descriptive, messy, and disturbing, and that's probably what Barnes wanted to do to his listeners.
Regardless of how you view "The Bleeding," I think we can all agree on its historical significance. This album has been one of Cannibal Corpse's most well known records, and many of the songs on this CD have become fan favorites. Even to this day, "Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead," "f***ed With A Knife," and "Stripped, Raped, And Strangled" are typically part of Cannibal Corpse's live set. "The Bleeding" also was the last album of the Chris Barnes era before he was kicked out and replaced by George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher.
I've listen to "The Bleeding" numerous times and I haven't been bored of it once. This album is defiantly Cannibal Corpse's best record and is one of my favorite albums of all time. From my standpoint, this album is essential for any metal fan.
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