Here at Metal Hobbit towers it’s a rare moment to review a book, however the piece of literature in question delves into the world of Death Metal’s finest and leading band Cannibal Corpse as an accompaniment to their brand new album `A Skeletal Domain’, their 13th album and we all know what some think of the number 13.
Written by Joel McIver, one of the top rock and metal writers, who has penned works in Metal Hammer, and written biographies on Black Sabbath, Slayer and Slipknot to name but a few. The book or in this case a digital copy gives a great impression of the books page quality, splashed with blood, it epitomizes the gore infused lyrics of the Cannibal. Joel starts with a disclaimer, a witty set of thoughts that these are normal people with no nasty habits (As far as the author is aware). So this is a tale of horror and comedy set over the past 30 years.
A few years back, Cannibal Corpse released a 20th anniversary DVD, lovingly entitled `Centuries of Torment’, so you might think why release a book not too much further into the band’s illustrious career? Well if you are looking at it as its replacement, don’t, simply have it as an accompaniment, a beautifully destructive looking piece of literature mixed with a tonne of photographs, that you can read on bus and frighten all those still wrestling with 50 Shades of Grey.
Interviews are a plenty, with all 5 current members getting a several pages to give their version of `This Is Your Life’, starting with George regaling us with how he came by the name of Corpsegrinder, then we have Pat talking about his first Flying V guitar from his Dad and his time in Nevermore, Robert chatting about his school days where he skipped most of it to play music, Alex and his wholesome American upbringing and finally Paul’s love of Kiss. It’s all here for you to read and digest that yes these people who sing and write about the darker sides of human existence are really quite normal save for George’s unhealthy obsession with World of Warcraft.
The book is interwoven with the mandatory history of the band from its inception in Buffalo New York to its present day chart topping successes, ok well they've never knocked Katy Perry off the top spot but we can all dream eh?
It is also laced with the lyrics of the band’s most outrageous and popular songs from the romantic tune of `Fucked With a Knife’, to the fan favourites `Hammer Smashed Face’ and `Stripped, Raped and Strangled’, some even have a few liner notes from the band with how they were created, their thought processes and how such normal people can create some truly horrific lyrics.
Certainly, one of the biggest highlights of the book are the photos, yes it has them and what photos. In particular, a photo of Alex on page 76 shows him still sweating bullets after a show, with a permanent grin a mile wide greeting fans at the front of crowd. This photo could transform anyone’s misconceptions about this band or this music as a whole. Yes we are happy people, funny, happy people.
This book is a great companion for the recent monster of an anniversary DVD, or as a standalone history book detailing one of the most formidable bands in Metal.
To quote Alex, “They the music and they realise that’s it’s a form of entertainment and not instructions to live your life”, all 5 members of the band previous members had this ethos, its entertainment as you would view a horror film. After all, if you have songs about love and peace, you need the flip side, and Cannibal Corpse are the masters.
After all, The World is a better place with Cannibal Corpse in it.
10/10- Fantastic history (Bible) of a truly legendary band. Well played guys, well played.