Alcatraz Line up: 2018
Few bands have had more run-ins with censorship committees than Cannibal Corpse. Their early work stirred up a great deal of controversy. In Germany, all tracks from the legendary first three albums – ‘Eaten Back to Life’, ‘Butchered at Birth’ and ‘Tomb of the Mutilated’ - were off limits until the early noughties and in their home country the PMRC threw a fit over the gory lyrics and gruesome cover art. Some people just have no sense of humour... Anyway, the lack of airplay didn’t stop the New Yorkers from becoming the most successful death metal band in the world with career album sales in excess of two million copies. In the last decade or so, the traditional steamroller approach has been counterbalanced by groovier and catchy interludes that don’t detract from the overall heaviness. Just give last year’s ‘Red before Black’ a spin and you’ll see what we mean. In the same way, the shock value of the lyrics has been dialled back ever so slightly. What hasn’t changed, though, is the crushing energy they generate in a live setting. With Cannibal Corpse about to launch into its fourth decade of rancid evisceration and bludgeoning death metal, this is still one of the genre’s must-see bands.