Violence Unimagined

Cannibal Corpse

Violence Unimagined

As of 2021, Cannibal Corpse is 15 albums deep into a career that has made them the biggest death-metal band in the world. With Violence Unimagined, the Floridian masters somehow muster new levels of brutality and technicality—due in part to new guitarist (and longtime producer) Erik Rutan, also of veteran death-metal trio Hate Eternal. Given that Cannibal Corpse’s lyrics are almost exclusively about violence, it’s stunning that they haven’t actually used the word formally before. “I thought Violence Unimagined just had a great ring to it,” drummer and co-lyricist Paul Mazurkiewicz tells Apple Music. “I think it also sums up what the band is about.” With four of the band’s five members contributing lyrics, Mazurkiewicz, Rutan, bassist Alex Webster, and guitarist Rob Barrett give a rundown on the tracks they wrote.
“Murderous Rampage” Mazurkiewicz: “This is a song Rob wrote, and he also came up with the title. I just wrote the lyrics about someone who does just that—goes on a murderous rampage while collecting body parts from the killing spree and putting them on display in his house.”
“Necrogenic Resurrection” Webster: “This song is about a cult that worships a notorious deceased murderer and seeks to resurrect him through human sacrifice. Even though I don’t believe in the supernatural, I’ve always enjoyed supernatural horror movies and novels, so the inspiration for lyrics like these probably comes from being a fan of that sort of stuff. I can’t think of a specific source, though—it’s just an idea for a story that I had.”
“Inhumane Harvest” Barrett: “‘Inhumane Harvest’ takes a look inside one of organized crime's more sinister activities: the human organ trade. Desperate buyers will pay a high price for a much-needed organ transplant to either save themselves or a loved one from certain death, which makes for a lucrative business in underground crime rings.”
“Condemnation Contagion” Rutan: “As the pandemic began in early 2020, I was watching a lot of movies like 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead, It Comes at Night, I Am Legend, and Contagion. I also had the news on in the background for hours on end. I became obsessed with the chaos of it all. That combination inspired the fictional writing of the lyrics and the depth and heaviness of the music.”
“Surround, Kill, Devour” Webster: “This song is about a situation where society has completely collapsed and people are starving to death. The desperation drives some people to form cannibalistic hunting groups, preying on other survivors who are weak or alone. I had recently read an article about wolves and it talked about the teamwork they use while hunting. I thought that it would be interesting to have the human antagonists in this song hunt in a similar way.”
“Ritual Annihilation” Rutan: “With ‘Ritual Annihilation,’ I really wanted to create a complex song that was aggressive, attacking and pummeling. Then, as I was writing, it took a different turn onto a heavy and dark path. There is a lot of two-guitar-part harmony and counterpoint going on that definitely represents some of the insanity of when I was writing it in the first quarter of 2020.”
“Follow the Blood” Barrett: “This was the last song that I wrote the music for on this record, and I intentionally wanted to make it a slower, more mid-paced song compared to the other three that I had already written. The lyrics are about a wartime scenario.”
“Bound and Burned” Barrett: “This is the first song that I wrote the music for on this record. I basically built all of the riffs around the middle section where the vocals and solos keep going back and forth. When it comes to the lyrics, I prefer not to explain them, as I'd rather have the individual determine what they're about or what they mean to them.”
“Slowly Sawn” Webster: “This song is told from the point of view of the victim, a man who has been captured and is being tortured to death by methodical dismemberment. We usually write the music for our songs first and the lyrics second, and sometimes the former can help inspire the latter. That was the case for this song. It’s hard to explain, but the song’s slow, grinding riffs made me think of something bad happening to someone in a protracted way. In particular the bridge section of the song, which shifts into an even lower gear, evokes a torturous vibe.”
“Overtorture” Rutan: “The origins of this song started one morning in February 2020. Leading up to recording the album, I was on a strict regimen where I would wake up, drink water and coffee, have breakfast, check emails, ride the bike, and then play guitar and work on songs all day, every day. That morning, I just had this maniacal melody floating around in my head and it would not leave. This ended up being the first riff of the song, and it all took off from there.”
“Cerements of the Flayed” Mazurkiewicz: “This is a song that Alex wrote and also came up with the title for. I wrote about someone who gets buried alive wearing the skin of another human that is also still alive. The person survives the ordeal only to succumb to this horrific act in the end.”

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