Chaos Horrific

Chaos Horrific

As the undisputed kings of death metal, Cannibal Corpse rarely messes with their tried-and-true horror show of gargantuan riffs, dizzying drums, and gruesome lyrics. But their 16th studio album, Chaos Horrific, was made under unprecedented circumstances. “It was written almost directly after we’d finished working on our previous album, Violence Unimagined,” bassist and co-lyricist Alex Webster tells Apple Music. “We normally would make a new album only after a full tour cycle for the previous one, but due to the pandemic downtime from touring we decided to get started right away.” Webster says that the back-to-back processes may have contributed to the variety heard on Chaos Horrific. “Since we had just finished Violence Unimagined, it was easy to remember not to repeat musical ideas we’d used in those songs,” he explains. “I think these two albums feel somewhat related, but they also consist of songs that all sound very different from each other. On Chaos Horrific, each song really stands out from the next, but they’re all full-on Cannibal Corpse-style death metal. Consistency absolutely can coexist with innovation and variety.” Below, he and his fellow Cannibal Corpse songwriters—drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, guitarist Rob Barrett, and guitarist/producer Erik Rutan—comment on the songs they penned lyrics for. “Overlords of Violence” Alex Webster: “We always like to start our albums off with a really aggressive song, so ‘Overlords’ seemed like the perfect choice. The lyrics describe a group of barbarians creating chaos and mayhem, and the relentless speed of the music fits that theme well. It’s straightforward musically and lyrically, aggressive from start to finish.” “Frenzied Feeding” Erik Rutan: “Lyrically, the song was inspired by the viciousness and heaviness of the music. It’s about a fictitious ruler from the Dark Ages who, through extreme methods and gruesome tactics, tortured and slaughtered his own people. To command and invoke fear in his people, he would then force the masses to eat the remains—or starve and die. Survival only achieved by desperate, heinous measures—feast or famine.” “Summoned for Sacrifice” Paul Mazurkiewicz: “This song is about 13 people chosen to dismember and kill one randomly chosen person. One by one, they will remove pieces of his body until he breathes no more.” “Blood Blind” PM: “This song is about mass mutilations to reset the human race. Genocide is embraced by society. Blood covers the Earth.” “Vengeful Invasion” Rob Barrett: “This is about victims of human trafficking eventually escaping after years of abuse. As they're fleeing the house that held them captive for so long, they decide to turn around and execute the ultimate reprisal—a home-invasion slaughter of their captors.” “Chaos Horrific” PM: “This song is about fighting for your life from a zombie attack, using an axe, a knife, a machete—whatever it takes to kill these things.” “Fracture and Refracture” AW: “This song’s lyrics are about a psychotic surgeon who is holding a person captive and slowly changing their physical form against their will. As is usually the case, the music was written before the lyrics on this one. Some of the riffs have a really dark, twisted sound, so the terrifying concept described in the lyrics complements that aptly.” “Pitchfork Impalement” PM: “This song is about a lunatic going on a killing spree with a pitchfork. Wrought-iron tines will penetrate skulls.” “Pestilential Rictus” AW: “This is a song with a cannibalistic, post-apocalyptic theme. We’ve had other songs that cover that type of scenario; this one specifically deals with a disease that causes flesh to rot and fall away, often leaving the victim’s teeth permanently exposed in a perpetual ‘grin’ of horror.” “Drain You Empty” ER: “This was the final song that I wrote for the album. Musically, it flows and weaves through depths of darkness and insanity. The dreary and dismal vibe inspired me lyrically to create an engulfing vision of a force, a power, an entity draining the life and soul out of one’s being, through the conscious and the subconscious, overpowering every sense of being, invoking insanity and fear until inevitable death.”

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