Cannibal Corpse was founded in 1988 in Buffalo, New York. The group’s original members, Chris Barnes, Bob Rusay, Jack Owen, Alex Webster, and Paul Mazurkiewicz, were already known musicians before creating this group. Much of the sound of Cannibal Corpse is like Slayer. Yet, their lyrics are more violent. In 1989, the group recorded a demo that got them noticed by Metal Blade Records and led to their first album Eaten Back To Life in 1990. The released Butchered at Birth in 1991 and Tomb of the Mutilated in 1992. A year later, Bob Rusay was fired. Rob Barret, the former Malevolent Creation guitarist, joined the group right before Ace Ventura Pet Detective cameo. In 1994, Cannibal Corpse released The Bleeding, which would be Chris Barnes’ final album. The group released Vile in 1996 using former Monstrosity vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher.
Two years later, they released Gallery of Suicide. Bloodthirst was released a year later. Live Cannibalism, a film, and album dropped in 2000. Two years later, Gore Obsessed was released. The same year, they released 15 Year Killing Spree, Cannibal Corpse’s box set. Their ninth album was Werteched Spawn, released in 2004, followed by Kill in 2006. Cannibal Corpse joined producer Erik Rutan in the studio and recorded Evisceration Plague, becoming the group’s highest chart-topper. They followed it with Global Evisceration, a concert film. Two more albums followed, Torture in 2012 and A Skeletal Domain in 2014, making it number 32 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
After a tour, the group took a three-year hiatus while group members pursued other projects. However, in 2017 0the group recorded the0ir 14th studio album Red Before Black. The group’s latest album is Violoce Unimagined, which features Erik Rutan, a guitar producer. This group remains one of the most influential death metal bands. Their songs are full throttle with lyrics that celebrate horror. In fact, some of their albums have been so violent they have been banned. Likely this is what has garnered the group such a cult following. These are the ten best Cannibal Corpse songs of all-time.
10. Priests of Sodom
The title references the mythological cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which are described in religious times from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Essentially, the parable is about what happens to sinners who don’t repent. Additionally, the word Sodom plays off from sodomy. These two meanings create this song which is about sexual violence before God’s smiting.
9. Only One Will Die
Cannibal Corpse’s song is the phrase fight until death brought to life. The lyrics are about two rivals ready to undo the other until one or both are dead. Many times in life, we are fighting our demons to death. So, this song may have additional meanings.
8. Kill or Become
This song is a Darwinian nightmare. The lyrics are about a post-apocalyptic society trying to take down Zombies instead of becoming one. It’s an incitement to kill them as well as a grim reminder if you don’t, you will become one.
7. Devoured By Vermin
This was the first single after George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher replaced Chris Barnes. According to Loud Wire, the yell at the song’s beginning is Corpsegrinder signaling to the world he’s up for the challenge of relacing Barnes. Additionally, the magazine mentioned that the group never missed a step after Barnes left. Instead, they just kept turning out songs and albums.
6. Skull Full of Maggots
It’s hard to imagine a tame song in the group’s catalog. Additionally, one may not think that a title skull full of maggots sounds like something that would rank low on a group’s shock value chart. Yet, Cannibal Corpse’s song is just that. It’s a detailed account of what happens after you die without some of their more shocking lyrical strategies.
5. Evisceration Plague
Zombie apocalypses are a common theme in the group’s catalog. However, this song has a modern update. The lyrics reflect the torture of the zombie and an inner monologue as they pursue their prey. Moreover, some lyrics like “driven to kill, this is not my will” include not controlling violent tendencies.
4. Staring Through The Eyes of the Dead
This song is another twist on the death song. The lyrics describe an autopsy on someone who can’t move but is somewhere between this life and the one that follows and can see everything happening as the coroner tries to determine the cause of death.
3. Scourge of Iron
At first, listen, this song sounds like an oddity in the group’s catalog. After all, much of Cannibal Corpse’s catalog is about people rewarded for doing socially unacceptable things. The lyrics in this song are about going to hell and punishment; it’s about these people enjoying the torture and feeling it’s more a reward than eternal damnation.
2. Inhumane Harvest
This is the first single from the group’s fifteenth album, Violence Unimagined. The lyrics are about organ harvesting especially gaining vital organs illegally. Additionally, the song deals with the darker and more violent parts of the business when people are killed just for money because their organs are profitable on the black market. Much of the song pays violent homage to the way people senselessly perform these illegal harvestings.
1. Hammer Smashed Face
This song is an extreme example of what happens when you’ve been beaten down all your life. The lyrics describe someone going after the person who made their life a living nightmare and beat them to death. Additionally, the song has had two film cameos. In the 2017 movie, Bright, Nick Jakoby starts playing this song and claims it’s a fantastic love song. However, Will Smith demands he turn it off. Hammer Smashed Face was also in the movie Ace Ventura Pet Detective.