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Review and Analysis of Cannibal Corpse's "The Bleeding"

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Introducing What Is the Last Studio Album to Have Chris Barnes as a Member of Cannibal Corpse

The Bleeding by American death metal band Cannibal Corpse is one of the best extreme metal releases not just of the 1990’s but American death metal in general. It is the last album to feature Chris Barnes as a member. This is the only album of this band that I enjoyed listening to back in the day when this album became part of the mainstream which was around 1994 and 1995. The album’s style is heavy, hard-hitting and extreme with a great usage of double bass drumming to create a VERY solid extreme metal album. Sometimes, it would be hard for me to handle a musical work that is this intense. But The Bleeding is not an album short of talent that’s for sure! The title track in particular is memorable because of its main riff and melodies. Note: the main draft for this review actually goes all the way back to 2016 but we are analyzing this album again in 2022.

As for the band’s cover artwork, the inspiration for these is based off of horror fiction and horror films. This album and the band in general has been under controversy for its lyrical content. We can address the specifics of that as well but first let us attempt to explain why 1994’s The Bleeding is the best album of Cannibal Corpse. Or is it really their best album even in 2022?

The Explanation Behind the Controversy

However, like we mentioned before, the album has not escaped controversy. For instance, in May 1996, C. Delores Tucker and William Bennet who is a co-director of Empower America made a passionate plea or call to record labels so that record labels would sever their ties to artists whose music has explicit, violent, or sexual lyrics. C. Delores Tucker who at that time was the chairwoman of the National Political Congress of Black Women released this statement: “"Music conglomerates [are] putting money before the overall welfare of our children and the community. These companies have the blood of our children on their hands,” (Phillips, 1996). I can understand that Tucker is concerned about the welfare of this country’s children but banning artists with extreme lyrics isn’t necessarily the answer to reducing violence or other social problems. Hillary Rosen who at the time was the president of the Recording Industry Association of America offered a counterargument saying: "Do these people seriously believe that music is the cause of this country's problems? Do they think banning these albums would suddenly make all the crime and corruption clear up?” (Phillips, 1996). George Fisher, the man that would replace Chris Barnes offered his perspective on the issue of the band’s lyrics. Fisher said in an interview that the band does not focus on singing about politics or religion, saying that the band’s songs are like short stories that people could convert into a horror movie. He also mentioned that the band’s approach is not a serious one and that any person that gets upset over this is ridiculous. I would also say that the band is not trying to promote violence at all but rather the music is created as a sort of joke or parody.

The Title Track May Be the Strongest Song In This Album

The title track of this album has one of the best beginning riffs of any death metal song and it may cause you to hit the back button and play it over and over. Once that part is done, there is a good catchy riff mixed in with the heavy and chunky guitar work. Chris Barnes lets out a short growl followed by his famous raspy sound. Near the end of the song is that other noticeable part that is great but that is not dual guitar sound. Whatever it is it works out very well.

Is This Cannibal Corpse's Best Album?

Speaking of music that works out very well, The Bleeding is an album that will stand as one of the very finest extreme metal albums of its kind as every song is at least good with very intricate, complex melodies. This was Chris Barnes’ best way to exit Cannibal Corpse! As of 2022 it is very difficult to say for sure whether The Bleeding is the best album in the career of Cannibal Corpse even though it is described as being a more technical album compared to the band’s early works.

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Phillips, D. S. (1996, May 31). Rap foes put 20 artists on a hit list. Los Angeles Times.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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