The Buffalo, NY, quintet assembled in 1988 and within a year signed with Metal Blade, its label for the past 23 years (the band’s latest album, Torture, was released last month). Since then, Cannibal Corpse has racked up impressive sales with a number of worldwide million sellers in their brutal catalog (particularly classics Butchered at Birth and Tomb of the Mutilated), earning the crew the mantle of America’s all time best selling Death Metal band.
Controversy has dogged Cannibal Corpse from the start, but it’s also provided publicity to help fuel its popularity; not long after the band’s cameo in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (at the insistence of Death Metal aficionado Jim Carrey), Cannibal Corpse was assailed by Senators Bob Dole, Joe Lieberman and Sam Nunn and conservative pot-stirrer William Bennett (and you know you’re doing something right when you tweak that lot) for their “offensive” lyrics. Almost simultaneously, the Australian Recording Industry Association imposed a ban on the entire Cannibal Corpse catalog, and while the total ban was lifted in 2006, the titles remain restricted to anyone under age 18; a similar action was implemented in Germany, though ultimately dropped.
Cannibal Corpse has long defended the murder and mayhem in its lyrics as nothing more than graphically gory short stories, fictional exaggerations of real life’s more brutal aspects. The band’s fans clearly understand the distinction and will turn out in droves to feel Cannibal Corpse’s self-described “anger music” in their unspilled entrails.
CANNIBAL CORPSE plays Saturday, April 14 with The Black Dahlia Murder, Nile, Exhumed, Skeletonwitch, Hour of Penance, Abysmal Dawn and Arkaik. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.