Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
A Controversial Debut Album by One of the Most Famous American Death Metal Bands
Eaten Back to Life is the debut album by American death metal band Cannibal Corpse. These guys are one of the most well-known bands in the extreme metal genre but they have not been free of controversy though. The album’s cover is so graphic and the album itself was banned in Germany until the ban was lifted in June 2006.
How Does the Album Start Out?
The album starts off with a kind of sound that would resemble some kind of Earth shattering noise as the song titles are, well grotesque and graphic but this is Cannibal Corpse we are talking about. The song called “Edible Autopsy” might as well be a song that mocks the idea of an autopsy. Chris Barnes does a couple of low yet scary growls and these albums are not for people that aren’t tough enough to handle the heavy and brutal nature of the riffing and lyrical content.
“Mangled” starts out in a style reminiscent of those early death metal albums such as Scream Bloody Gore. As the song goes on, there is at least a riff that makes things more interesting instead of just the usual speed that we are used to hearing from these guys. "Born in a Casket" starts with that slow, gradual riffing that lets the listener know that these guys mean business with their brand of heavy extreme metal. But again, these song titles can just ruin the appeal of the music for some listeners.
This Is a Good Album But Not Their Best
Eaten Back to Life is a decent death metal album from one of the most well-known extreme American death metal bands but I would recommend that you listen to their 1994 album called The Bleeding first.
The Bottom Line
The main weakness for this debut from Cannibal Corpse is that it relies too much on just trying to play the notes and it seems like these guys just wanted to get their creative juices out of their system right away. The last song “Buried in the Backyard” has a melodic secondary riff which could be considered a sort of foreshadowing for the band as they would incorporate more of a melodic approach in their songs while also retaining the heavy brutality of the guitars. This album compared to their album The Bleeding is less melodic and the vocals of Chris Barnes are even heavier of a grunt and it is tough to understand what this guy is saying. Chris Barnes sounds like David Vincent of the band Morbid Angel in this debut. It can be surmised that the album’s title was given with the intent of having satire or humor. As critical as I have been of Chris Barnes in the 2020s, at this time (1990) when this Cannibal Corpse debut was released, Chris Barnes set them on a foundation to success. The band shows in this debut that they can play brutal, heavy extreme metal and still make it sound good. Eaten Back to Life is the album that put Cannibal Corpse on the musical map and they introduced a brand of horror metal that probably had not been seen by the world.
© 2022 Ara Vahanian