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Cannibal Corpse is an American death metal band. The band has released eleven studio albums, one boxed set, and one live album. Although Cannibal Corpse has had virtually no radio or television exposure, a cult following began to build behind the group with albums such as 1991's Butchered at Birth and 1992's Tomb of the Mutilated. Cannibal Corpse reached over 1 million in record sales worldwide in 2003,[1] including 558,929 in the United States, making it one of the top-selling death metal bands of all time.[2]

The members of Cannibal Corpse were originally inspired by thrash metal bands like Slayer, Kreator, and Sodom, as well as other death metal bands like Morbid Angel and Death.[3] The band's lyrics and album art, which draw heavily on horror fiction and horror films, are highly controversial. At different times, several countries have banned Cannibal Corpse from performing within their borders, or have banned the sale and display of uncensored Cannibal Corpse albums.[4][5]


Cannibal Corpse was made up of members from three earlier Buffalo-area death metal bands, Beyond Death (Webster, Owen), Leviathan (Barnes), and Tirant Sin (Barnes, Rusay, Mazurkiewicz). The band played their first show at Buffalo's River Rock Cafe in April 1989, shortly after recording a five-song demo tape, Cannibal Corpse. Within a year of that first gig, the band was signed to Metal Blade Records, apparently after the label had seen a videotape of a live show[6], and their full-length debut album, Eaten Back to Life, was released in August 1990.

The band has had many line-up changes over the years. In 1993, founding member and guitarist Bob Rusay was dismissed from the group (after which he became a golf instructor) and was ultimately replaced by Malevolent Creation guitarist Rob Barrett. In 1995, singer Chris Barnes was dismissed and was replaced by Monstrosity singer George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher. Barnes went on to perform with the bands Six Feet Under and Torture Killer.

In 1997, Barrett, who had originally replaced Rusay on guitar, left Cannibal Corpse to rejoin his previous band Malevolent Creation. After Barrett left, he was replaced by guitarist Pat O’Brien, who first appeared on Cannibal Corpse's 1998 release Gallery of Suicide. Founding member and guitarist Jack Owen left Cannibal Corpse in 2004 to spend more time on his second band, Adrift. He joined Deicide in late 2005. Jeremy Turner of Origin briefly replaced him as second guitarist on 2004's Tour of the Wretched. Barrett rejoined the band in 2005 and was first featured on the album Kill, released in March 2006.

Writing for the next album began in November 2007, as presaged in an interview with bassist Alex Webster.[7] Evisceration Plague, Cannibal Corpse's eleventh studio album was released February 3, 2009,[8] to a highly positive response from fans. The band will tour in support of the album in the spring of 2009.

Controversy and publicity[]


For more details on this topic, see Censorship in Australia.

As of October 23, 1996, the sale of any Cannibal Corpse audio recording then available was banned in Australia and all copies of such had been removed from music shops.[9] At the time, the Australian Recording Industry Association and the Australian Music Retailers Association were implementing a system for identifying potentially offensive records, known as the "labelling code of practice."[10][11]

As a result, until April 1, 2006, only one Cannibal Corpse album, Gallery of Suicide, was listed in even the most explicit class of records allowed to be sold in Australia, and even that one disappeared from all legal classification after 2001.[12][13][14][15][16] Thus, from at least April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2006, it was illegal for Australian music retailers to sell any audio recording produced by Cannibal Corpse. However, from April 1, 2006 to March 31, 2007, it became legal to sell all ten of the studio albums that the band had recorded by then, as well as the live album Live Cannibalism, the boxed set 15 Year Killing Spree, the EP Worm Infested, and the single "Hammer Smashed Face."[17]


All Cannibal Corpse albums up to and including Tomb of the Mutilated were banned upon release from being sold or displayed in Germany due to their graphic cover art and disturbing lyrics; the band was also forbidden to play any songs from those albums while touring in Germany.[18] This prohibition was not lifted until June 2006.[18] In a 2004 interview, George Fisher attempted to recall what originally provoked the ban:


United States[]

In May 1995, then-US Senator Bob Dole accused Cannibal Corpse—along with hip hop acts like the Geto Boys and 2 Live Crew—of undermining the national character of the United States.[19] A year later, the band came under fire again, this time as part of a campaign by conservative activist William Bennett, Senator Joe Lieberman, then-Senator Sam Nunn, and National Congress of Black Women chair C. Delores Tucker to get major record labels—including Time Warner, Sony, Thorn-EMI, PolyGram and Bertelsmann—to "dump 20 recording groups...responsible for the most offensive lyrics."[20]

Cannibal Corpse also paradoxically enjoyed a brief cameo in the 1994 Jim Carrey film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, performing an abridged version of their song "Hammer Smashed Face." Carrey is apparently a death metal fan and insisted that they perform in the movie.[21] Recently, Alex Webster said, "We have never thought of being together for 20 years, so we certainly don't plan to break up in the next 5 years, 10 years or even 15 years."

Responses to critics[]


Cannibal Corpse at a concert in Innsbruck, February 9th 2009

Cannibal Corpse prides itself on overtly violent and sexual songs and album artwork as nothing more than an extreme form of over-the-top entertainment. In the film Metal: A Headbangers Journey, George Fisher said death metal is best viewed "as art," and mentioned that far more violent art can be found at the Vatican, as such depictions actually happened.[22] Some of Cannibal Corpse's most controversial song titles include "Entrails Ripped from a Virgin's Cunt," "Fucked with a Knife," and "Meat Hook Sodomy." [23]

The band's members have a rather lackadaisical approach toward those who criticize their sometimes violent lyrics: "We don't sing about politics. We don't sing about religion...All our songs are short stories that, if anyone would so choose they could convert it into a horror movie. Really, that's all it is. We like gruesome, scary movies, and we want the lyrics to be like that. Yeah, it's about killing people, but it's not promoting it at all. Basically these are fictional stories, and that's it. And anyone who gets upset about it is ridiculous."[24]

In response to accusations that his band's music desensitizes people to violence, Alex Webster argued that death metal fans enjoy the music only because they know that the violence depicted in its lyrics is not real:


He also believes that the violent lyrics can have positive values: "It’s good to have anger music as a release."[25]

George Fisher said that in their songs "there’s nothing ever serious. We’re not thinking of anybody in particular that we’re trying to kill, or harm or anything...How can you say we’re promoting violence with imaginary creatures? The people doing the killing in our songs are zombies."[26]

Musical style[]

On early Cannibal Corpse albums the instruments were tuned down 1/2 step to E flat, with the mid range scooped out of their guitar tone. From Vile onward, they switched to a more heavily detuned sound, playing seven string guitars tuned down a 1/2 step to Bb and/or six strings detuned to Bb (i.e. detuned 3 whole tones) and with more mid frequencies.[27] Former guitarist Jack Owen used a Digitech Metal Master distortion pedal to get their guitar tone.[28]


  • George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher – lead vocals (1995–present)
  • Rob Barrett – guitar (1993–1997, 2005–present)
  • Pat O'Brien – guitar (1997–present)
  • Alex Webster – bass (1988–present)
  • Paul Mazurkiewicz  – drums, percussion (1988–present)

Former members[]

  • Bob Rusay – guitar (1988–1993)
  • Chris Barnes – vocals (1988–1995)
  • Jack Owen – guitar (1988–2004)
  • Jeremy Turner – guitar (2004–2005)



  • Eaten Back to Life (1990)
  • Butchered at Birth (1991)
  • Tomb of the Mutilated (1992)
  • The Bleeding (1994)
  • Vile (1996)
  • Gallery of Suicide (1998)
  • Bloodthirst (1999)
  • Gore Obsessed (2002)
  • The Wretched Spawn (2004)
  • Kill (2006)
  • Evisceration Plague (2009)



External links[]

Plantilla:Cannibal Corpse

bg:Кенибъл Корпс cs:Cannibal Corpse da:Cannibal Corpse de:Cannibal Corpse es:Cannibal Corpse fr:Cannibal Corpse id:Cannibal Corpse is:Cannibal Corpse it:Cannibal Corpse he:קניבל קורפס lv:Cannibal Corpse lb:Cannibal Corpse lt:Cannibal Corpse hu:Cannibal Corpse nl:Cannibal Corpse ja:カンニバル・コープス no:Cannibal Corpse uz:Cannibal Corpse pl:Cannibal Corpse pt:Cannibal Corpse ro:Cannibal Corpse ru:Cannibal Corpse simple:Cannibal Corpse sl:Cannibal Corpse fi:Cannibal Corpse sv:Cannibal Corpse tr:Cannibal Corpse

uk:Cannibal Corpse

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  16. The citations here are for all labelled products from 1996 to 2001 and for all Level 3 products from 2003 to 2006. It would be excessive to individually cite the 2003-2006 lists of Level 1 and Level 2 products here—doing so would require at least six additional citations—but no Cannibal Corpse record appears on any of those lists either.
  17. Plantilla:Cite web
  18. 18,0 18,1 Plantilla:Cite web
  19. Plantilla:Cite web Although the article seems to imply that Cannibal Corpse is a "rap group" rather than a metal band, it is one of the few reliable sources on the Internet for Dole's exact words.
  20. Plantilla:Cite web
  21. Plantilla:Cite news Although Cannibal Corpse's performance in Pet Detective is the subject of numerous YouTube videos and mentioned on many different websites, it is very difficult to find a reliable source in which the assertion that Carrey was a death metal fan does not appear as a quotation from one of the band members. The Buffalo News article referenced in here is hard to find without knowing the URL, and the complete text is behind a paywall at that. However, by manipulating search terms in Google News that bring up the article, it is possible to divulge exact quotations without paying a membership fee. Here is the Google News result used to generate the preceding quotation.
  22. Metal: A Headbangers Journey (2005, Sam Dunn, director)
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  27. Cannibal Corpse FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
  28. The Guitar Tone Of Cannibal Corpse's Jack Owen