Written by Alex Stojanovic
Overlords Of Violence
Summoned For Sacrifice
Fracture & Refracture
Drain You Empty
Release Date: September 22, 2023
Label: Metal Blade Records
George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher - Vocals / Alex Webster - Bass / Rob Barrett - Guitars
Erik Rutan - Guitars / Paul Mazurkiewicz - Drums
Staying on the topic of vocals, one thing I noticed that seemed to be missing a bit more from the last few Cannibal records was low-end of Corpsegrinder's vocals. It was much more heavily present on albums like Kill and Evisceration Plague, but with Torture onwards, it made a few sporadic appearance on the songs. Opener "Overlords Of Violence" kicks things off in thrashy style with a bass solo from Alex Webster laying the foundation before kicking into high gear with a fast chugging riff. It brings back vibes of "Rabid" from Torture. Erik Rutan continues to prove why he's a valuable part of the Cannibal Corpse team, both as their producer and guitarist. While still packed with distortion, the production on Chaos Horrific has a bit more clarity and focus compared to Violence Unimagined, which sounded more chaotic.
"Vengeful Invasion", one of the Rob Barrett penned tracks, brings the subject of human trafficking to the killing fields, depicting a savage story of a victim abducted by traffickers and is planning a vicious revenge plot against the kidnappers. The relentless speed on tracks like "Fracture & Refracture", "Chaos Horrific" and "Pitchfork Impalement" makes you forget that these are guys in the 50s, as they head straight for the jugular with the velocity of a band of 20-year-olds. You have to hand it to Paul Mazurkiewicz, because being able to still drum with the same level of intensity and energy in your mid-50s is something to be in awe of. It provides validity to the claim of "50 is the new 30". Closer "Drain You Empty", another song penned by Rutan could easily pass for a black metal songs due to the atmospheric chords.
Of course it wouldn't be a Corpse album without a groover or two, like "Blood Blind" and "Summoned For Sacrifice". The latter also includes some fast sections. However, this is where the album's only flaw comes into the conversation, which is that there seems to be a bit more focus on speed rather than groove. If there were a couple more purely groove-oriented tracks, it would've made the album stand out a bit more, as opposed to being 80/20 for speed. You can expect the expected with Cannibal Corpse at this point. Is Chaos Horrific another great Cannibal album? Of course. Is it a home run? No. However, the brutality is still in tact, the musicianship is still at a high level. The Cannibal machine is still running full steam with no sign of slowing down after 35 years.