Cannibal Corpse - The Bleeding review
|Release date:||April 1994|
01. Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead
02. Fucked With A Knife
03. Stripped, Raped And Strangled
05. Return To Flesh
06. The Pick-Axe Murders
07. She Was Asking For It
08. The Bleeding
09. Force Fed Broken Glass
10. An Experiment In Homicide
The Bleeding is the fourth Cannibal Corpse album and the last with founding vocalist Chris Barnes. Released in 1994, it is a very different album for the band and to this day they have not written or released anything like it. It is dissimilar from the first three records featuring Barnes due to its more guitar-oriented sound and catchiness, as well as occasionally combining groove elements with the patented sound of the band. This was also the album that Barnes decided that he wanted to be understood, abandoning the inhumanly deep vocal style used on Tomb Of The Mutilated. I vastly prefer Barnes' vocals on The Bleeding to anything he has done before or since. Some people felt that by become more understandable, Barnes and the band were "softening" their sound, which I think is simply ridiculous.
The Bleeding starts out with the songs "Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead," "Fucked With A Knife," and "Stripped, Raped And Strangled," which are all Cannibal Corpse classics of the highest order, the latter being the catchiest song the band ever wrote. I also find the zombie tale of "Return To Flesh" to be extremely enjoyable, especially its downright creepy guitar-work. Both "The Pick-Axe Murders" and "She Was Asking For It" have a very similar concept and are solid death metal tunes, even if they are a tad hilarious. For some reason, I always wished the band had switched the order of the last two songs, "Force Fed Broken Glass" and "An Experiment In Homicide," as I find the former to be better suited for a closer. Minor complaints.
You cannot mention this album without praising the work of producer Scott Burns. He really gave it his all on this record, especially with Alex Webster's bass, which has not sounded as good on record before or since. The tone of his bass is startlingly warm, and does not sport the weak clinky sound countless death metal bassists fall into. The guitars have a wonderful crunch to them, somehow sounding raw and polished at the same time. Chris Barnes has stated that he believes The Bleeding got the best production job out of all the albums he has been a part of in his career, and I wholeheartedly agree.
After this record the band would get Corpsegrinder and become more technical with each release, all the while losing a bit of the catchiness this album is so famous for. Because of this, The Bleeding remains a unique Cannibal Corpse record, and an all-around death metal classic. If you have heard bad things about this album, especially the whole "softening up" nonsense, give it a chance because, despite making some great death metal albums, Cannibal Corpse would never sound this good again. Highly recommended.
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