First thing that needs to be said: Torture is one of the best Cannibal Corpse releases, if not the best. While most people like their more chaotic and crazy songs, this album is heavier and more streamlined. There is some groove on this album and the band even shows some linear song structure. It seems as though they lean more and more away from their grindcore past and are starting to go towards a full death metal sound.
The first track, “Demented Aggression,” is a sonic blast of bass-driven grind/death and shrieking vocals. It almost seems like vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher is rapping the lyrics, and he seems to fall just a tad flat on this song. Overall it’s not really anything groundbreaking, but will definitely please any Corpse fan. “Sarcophagic Frenzy,” on the other hand, is a standout track in their extensive song list. Going full-on death metal, “Sarcophagic Frenzy” is one of their slower-paced songs, which doesn’t say much because by death metal standards it’s still a faster track. In comparison, it’s got a Deicide type of guitar and drum structure.
Already one of my all time favorite CC songs ever, “Scourge of Iron” is a brutal track even by their standards. Intense and chunky guitar riffs that stop on a dime to a sludge metal crawl without a second’s notice are always welcome. There is a lot of progression in between the sludge and death metal sections of the song, along with a sick guitar solo that is menacing enough to match perfectly with the rest of the track. The bridges consist of slight chord differences and don’t follow a specific time signature, making this one of their most complex tracks as well.
Later into the album, “Intestinal Crank” hosts a blend of the old school grind (The Bleeding-era) and their more modern death metal (from Kill and up) into a perfect package. It’s noteworthy that it’s not blended together, but that each influence stands on its own collective legs when presented. It’s also not as polished as the other tracks, which brings out that grind influence even more than the death sections. The death metal sections have a wall of sound that can actually make a person claustrophobic (this should be taken in a good way). It’s the perfect example of how much Cannibal Corpse has matured and developed their sound over their almost two-and-a-half decades of bringing the gore to the masses.
Further establishing how Cannibal Corpse has grown over the years, they bring in some technical death metal influences in the song “Followed Home Then Killed.” Corpsegrinder’s vocals are more polished than on some of the earlier songs, but the most noticeable aspects are the insane riffs and the jaw-dropping guitar solo that is sure to be in the running for best death metal song of 2012.
This release should not be treated as just another Cannibal Corpse album. It is by far one of their best and is certainly the most adventurous and complex album of their illustrious career. This is one album you will not have to test listen to before buying.