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In some ways it’s strange to think that Cannibal Corpse are dangerously close to having been around for 25 years but, on the other hand, for a lot of people it’s difficult to remember a time when they weren’t in our consciousness in some form. For the younger listeners, this probably means that they remained somewhat ignored for a while before the point that you could understand what was going on and what it all meant (and I’m sure most parents wouldn’t approve too much of some of the more colourful titles). Cannibal Corpse are one of those bands that always deliver (or fail to deliver if you’re that way inclined) and ‘Torture’ is no exception really. You always know pretty much what to expect from their albums, which is by no means a criticism in this case, they’ve found their sound and do it very well, thank you very much. The whole thing is classic Cannibal Corpse, that’s to say heavy, riff-centric death metal with those all-important growling vocals.

And speaking of ‘colourful titles’, the album has a few of those for good measure because, let’s face it, it wouldn’t be a Cannibal Corpse album without them. Particular favourites are ‘Intestinal Crank’ and ‘Strangulation Chair’. They might not live up to the dizzy heights of ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ and ‘Scattered Remains, Splattered Brains’ (and they’re some of the more polite examples) but it’s a fair effort all the same. The only thing that really differentiates this from their earlier work is the production: it’s a nicely polished piece of work, which works for them as it stops the guitar work sounding muddy. Even if you listen to something as recent as 2002’s ‘Gore Obsessed’ you can hear the difference in the production values and this is a change for the better in the overall playability of the album.

In case you’re thinking that this is just a slightly “shinier” Cannibal Corpse album, there are moments of progression that make ‘Torture’ stand out from the normal fare. The beautifully titled ‘Followed Home Then Killed’ is a nice example of this as there are some “lighter” moments rather than a wall of noise. One thing worth noting, and I learnt this to my peril, is that this album shouldn’t be listened to through crappy netbook speakers (and don’t worry, this review wasn’t based on that slightly shameful 15 minutes). Although I’m sure that could be said for every album. If you’re going to listen to this, do it properly, you won’t regret it.
Metal Blade
Review by Siân Williams
13th March 2012
1) Demented Agression
2) Sarcophagic Frenzy
3) Scourge of Iron
4) Encased in Concrete
5) As Deep As the Knife Will Go
6) Intestinal Crank
7) Followed Home Then Killed
8) The Strangulation Chair
9) Caged...Contorted
10) Crucifer Avenged
11) Rabid; 12) Torn Through
"...classic Cannibal Corpse..."