Monday, March 29, 2010

Cannibal Corpse - The Wretched Spawn

9/10

The Wretched Spawn has to be one of the most varied albums from Cannibal Corpse. That may not sound like it's saying a whole lot, but the tempos here span the whole spectrum from almost grindcore-speed (Severed Head Stoning, Cyanide Assassin) to midtempo (Decency Defied) to slow and deliberate (Festering in the Crypt), and the song structures range from simple verse-chorus-verse to the less traditional patterns typical of the Barnes era.
Not all of the songs here are typical death metal- "Decency Defied" wouldn't sound out of place done by some mainstream metal band (but it's still good!), Festering in the Crypt is plodding but hooky as hell, "Nothing Left to Mutilate" has a surprisingly melodic solo that provides a stark contrast to the brutal-as-hell verses, and the guitar tones on the title track aren't nearly as chaotic as on most other CC songs.
However, it's stuff like this that makes The Wretched Spawn such an interesting listen. I know that it's weird to compare Cannibal Corpse albums to ZZ Top albums, but if Tomb of the Mutilated was their Eliminator- an album that was great even though it was pretty one-note- The Wretched Spawn is their Tres Hombres- an album that's great because it tries and succeeds at doing all kinds of things (you'd have to be really prejudiced against metal to say that all of these songs sound the same). It's by far my favorite album with Corpsegrinder.

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