This is my list of Cannibal Corpse albums from worst to best. I’ve listened to the band since I started listening to death metal, and even though the band can get samey, I appreciate most of their material. In 2021, when “Violence Unimagined” came out, I decided it was time to relisten and revalue the different Cannibal Corpse albums. Here’s the result!
About the author
- Stefan Nordström
- Musician, songwriter, content creator, digital freelancer
- Stockholm, Sweden
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Cannibal Corpse albums from worst to best
Here’s my countdown of the 15 Cannibal Corpse studio full-lengths, from worst to best.
15. “Red Before Black” (2017)
It was a while since I heard “Red Before Black”, and after listening to it again now I have to reaffirm my view that it’s one of the weakest Cannibal Corpse. I mean, the songs have some hooks, and I especially enjoy track two and three. But in the end it feels more like a workmanlike effort that doesn’t shine. And I guess that’s OK once in a while when you’ve made almost 20 death metal albums.
14. “Evisceration Plague” (2009)
Returning to this Cannibal Corpse album, it feels a bit plain and predictable. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s mostly Cannibal by the book. The most memorable track is probably the low-tempo title-track, a live staple for the band. It’s also interesting how this one is mashed in between “Kill” and “Torture”, two of my favorite Cannibal Corpse albums.
13. “Eaten Back to Life” (1990)
It may be a classic debut, and its excessive intensity might have a lot of charm, but revisiting this one didn’t give me that much. On the positive side, it has a charming thrash metal feel to it, and “A Skull Full of Maggots”. But on the negative side, the band had a lot left to develop when it comes to the songwriting.
12. “Vile” (1996)
This is one my least listened Cannibal Corpse albums, but it certainly starts out with a bang, featuring two of the most gruesome songs in the band’s discography: “Devoured by Vermin” and “Mummified in Barbed Wire”. I don’t think the band quite found its style with Corpsegrinder yet on this one, but his vocals are very brutal. You can tell he was going for making his mark 110 %. Overall, it’s a pretty good disc, but the songs I mainly take with me are the first two.
11. “The Wretched Spawn” (2004)
“The Wretched Spawn” is definitely one of the most frenzied, intense and technical Cannibal Corpse albums, but I do think the songwriting is missing some edge. Overall, it’s a solid disc, but not one I will be returning to that often. It does have some memorable moments of excess though, such as “Frantic Disembowelment” (featuring the band’s wildest playing ever) and hilarious phrases like “crush his scrotum sack” and “body one big wound”.
10. “Butchered at Birth” (1991)
A super-important and brutal album for its time, but I really don’t think Cannibal Corpse found their finesse yet. Sure, the caveman brutality is fun, but the band took a huge leap on the following albums. One thing I do enjoy, though, is the thrash metal influence. Some of the riffs and breakdowns are very “Reign in Blood”-inspired, which works well with the more brutal guitar sound and vocal approach.
9. “Gallery of Suicide” (1998)
“Gallery of Suicide” is one of my least listened Cannibal Corpse albums, but how can you say no to a disc that starts with a song called “I Will Kill You”? Spinning this one again was a pleasant surprise, even if it isn’t as good as “Bloodthirst” that came out one year later. What stands out is definitely Corpsegrinder’s vocals, as both highs and lows are gruesomely brutal, even by his standards. Aside from “I Will Kill You”, another song that stands out is “Sentenced to Burn”.
8. “A Skeletal Domain” (2014)
This album is about as on par as it gets for Cannibal Corpse. It’s a quality offering filled with brutal hooks and technical guitar work. There are several memorable tracks, especially the stomping, abrupt “Kill or Become”, one of my all-time favorite songs from the band.
7. “Violence Unimagined” (2021)
It seems that a break from the intense touring schedule during the pandemic did Cannibal Corpse well. The sound is revitalized on this record, and the riffs and hooks are super-memorable. Corpsegrinder sounds better than ever, but in many ways this is drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz’s album. I don’t think the drums have ever been this notable on a Cannibal Corpse album.
Also, the presence of Erik Rutan in the band has also made a difference. The riffing feels more darker and varied, and his YouTube guitar playthrough where almost murders his guitar is what initially got me excited about “Violence Unimagined”.
6. “Torture” (2012)
“Torture” is one of the most infectious Cannibal Corpse albums, featuring catchy bangers like “Scourge of Iron”, “As Deep as the Knife Will Go” and “Follow Home then Killed”. It’s always come across for me as one of their better discs, even more so as I listened to it again in 2021. There’s nothing different about it style-wise, it just feels like the band is delivering on a high level and the songwriting is on point.
5. “Tomb of the Mutilated” (1992)
Massively influential album that starts out with the knockout combo that is “Hammer Smashed Face” and “I Cum Blood”. Those songs are famous for a reason, because they’re amazing pieces of early death metal that influenced coutnless bands. “Tomb of the Mutilated” is an uber-brutal album for its time, but when it comes to the songwriting I do prefer the next album on this list.
4. “The Bleeding” (1994)
This album charges right into one of my favorite Cannibal Corpse riffs, the intro to “Staring through the Eyes of the Dead”, and it rarely slowls down. It’s a piece of classic 90’s U.S. death metal with all the sounds you’d except. It has a lot of classical songs, but I can’t shake how much I prefer Corpsegrinder on vocals. The low growls are fine, but the cartoonish highs just makes it more, well.. cartoonish, than bloodchilling. Still, the tracklist more than makes up for it.
3. “Gore Obsessed” (2002)
This one has always been a bit of a favorite, and revisiting it in 2021 confirms it. It has a really big, chunky sound to it that fits Cannibal Corpse perfectly. The songs are super-catchy and Corpsegrinder is in top form. “Gore Obsessed” actually feels a bit underrated compared to the other albums from this era.
2. “Bloodthirst” (1999)
“Bloodthirst” has always been one of my obvious choices when discussing Cannibal Corpse albums. Returning to it, I feel exactly the same. It’s a very frenzied listen, filled with wild twists and turns that keep me on my feet. Also, Corpsegrinder sounds fantastic on this one. I’m really into when he switches been low and high screams, and he does that a lot, the best example being opener “Pounded into Dust”.
1. “Kill” (2006)
“Kill” is often regarded as one of the strongest modern Cannibal Corpse albums, and I do agree. It’s filled with infectious, pummeling grooves and neck-breaking tempo changes. Also, Corpsegrinder provides both insane speed and memorable hooks. Its place among the top discs is well-deserved.
We don’t sound like Cannibal Corpse, but..
I guess you’re here because you’re a death metal fan. So why don’t you check out my old school death metal band Desolator? We don’t sound that much like Cannibal Corpse, but there’s definitely a U.S. brutality to our sound, as our main influences are Immolation and Morbid Angel. Check us on your music platform of choice by following the links below!
Desolator links: Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | YouTube
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