Cannibal Corpse's Death Metal Still Provoking Controversies
The United States can't tell Cannibal Corpse what to do. (I mean, if you ever came across anything with that name, would you want to mess with it anyways?). Other countries can - in fact, Germany has tried to regulate the hell out of them over the years, and an array of countries have banned the sale of the band's albums--but in the good ol' U.S. of A., freedom of speech comes in pretty hand with heavy metal.
The New York-bred death metal band Cannibal Corpse is about as all-American as it gets: They cherish free speech, push the boundaries above and beyond, and for decades have lived their own American dream, rooted in one of the hardest fields to make a living -- heavy metal.
Since 1988, the band has released 12 studio albums, and with very little media exposure. Their success is from a cult following; a mixture of heavy metal and horror fans that really took off at their 1991 album Butchered at Birth, and 1992's Tomb of the Mutilated. Both albums went on to sell more than one million copies, and established them as the all-time top-selling death metal band in the United States.
The band's hybrid of thrash and death metal was chock full of lyrics and wrapped in album art influenced heavily from horror films and fiction. Yes; they're overly violent and extreme, and even those who are huge fans of gory horror movies may call their alleged "art" disgusting entertainment. Case in point: songs such as "Fucked With a Knife," "Necropedophile," and "Meat Hook Sodomy" are all some of the tamer titles. But in the end, they are just supposed to tell short fiction horror stories that are a part of a bigger album vision. However, in the documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Fisher claimed that the band's artwork and music is no more violent than the artwork at the Vatican, which supposedly portrays real events.
Our interview with lead singer George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher may have been delayed because he was being a very metal dad, playing in the yard with his daughter, but once Fisher got on the phone he was all business, and very excited about the band's 2014 album.
Fisher talked about the new album's artwork, his multiple side projects including one with members from Killswitch Engage, and being a guest vocalist on the new Suicide Silence album, in late singer Mitch Lucker's memory.
The cover for Cannibal Corpse's new album, A Skeletal Domain
Catch Cannibal Corpse on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Tour on Friday, July 11, at Ak-Chin Pavilion.
Up on the Sun: So the band is currently working on the 13th album?
George Fisher: We're actually done; just waiting on the cover. All the recording and vocals are done. It'll be out in September.
Tell me a little bit about the concept behind that, or the angle you guys are taking.
You people will probably read this and be like, "oh great," but people have loved what we've been doing for years. It's nothing out of ... we used a different studio, you know? And we used Mark Lewis to record, which was new. But basically I think it's what everyone would expect from a great Cannibal Corpse album. It's heavy and brutal. It sounds good. I hate to sound like we don't try to do anything different or add new stuff. It's just straight-up death metal. But it's memorable and catchy, as much as Cannibal Corpse can be. We don't stray too far away, but we pushed ourselves here on this album. I was very happy with the vocals when I walked away.
Is there a title yet? Or an album artwork ideas?
Yes, but I don't know if we can put it out yet. ... I don't think I'm allowed to. [Long pause]. I mean, I guess I can just tell you what it is! It's called Skeletal Domain. As far as the artwork goes, we've always done what we've wanted to do, and artist Vincent Locke always does a great job. I don't think it's going to be a super gory cover like people might expect, but it's pretty dark and evil-looking. I'm sure people want another Tortured cover with people hanging and bodies in distress, but it's not there this time.