Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cannibal Corpse - Created to Kill (1995)

Ahhh... what could have been...

I understand that Cannibal Corpse is perhaps the most divisive band in death metal history and I am one of those who prefers the Barnes era, for sure. To be exact, I really only like the second two albums from the band. 'Eaten...' was a bit too thrashy for my tastes and was released during a transitional period in my life where I was dropping much of the "happy" thrash shit for the likes of Bolt Thrower, Carcass and Entombed. 'The Bleeding', for me, was an end to an era for a variety of reasons, chief and most obviously the changing of vocalists.

As much as I am not the biggest supporter of Cannibal Corpsegrinder, I wasn't very fond of The Bleeding either. Barnes' vocals sounded a wee bit tamer than usual and the music just had too much "bounce" and not enough venom. After such a morbid display of delinquency in the form of their previous full length, 'Tomb of the Mutilated', 'The Bleeding' just sounded fucking weak. As a direct continuation of that album, 'Created to Kill' pretty much carries with it the same anemic quality as its forebearer.

Had these songs been released in full length format as originally planned I probably would've had the same amount of disdain for them as I have 'The Bleeding', but since they were not and given the fairly tumultuous history that has surrounded them I cannot help but prefer them on this "lost release" over their formal appearance on CC's 'Vile' LP.

As expected, the sound quality here is a rocky road yet it is not as horrible as one would expect from a demo level release. Hearing Barnes' vocal crunch haphazardly strewn over these songs really makes me long for the old days as Corpsegrinder's Tom Araya-esque lyrical flow has just never quite fit Cannibal for me. Then again, musically, Cannibal is pretty much an entirely different band now and has been for many, many years, so...

While 'Created to Kill' is not a terrible listen by any means, it doesn't really transcend it's standing as a novelty release, either. It's not something I find myself compelled to listen to other than my initially comparing it to 'Vile'. If anything, it serves as a reminder of how "vile" sounding Cannibal truly was and how tame they've become regardless of how "shocking" they've struggled to make their lyrics throughout these long years.

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