Cannibal Corpse, one of death metal's original purveyors of brutality, continue to stay on top over 25 years into their career. With 13 albums under their belts, the Buffalo-turned Tampa veterans have been hacking, sawing, bludgeoning, and carving their way into the heavy metal pantheon, widening and deepening the grooves etched into its walls with each successive release. Never straying from their lyrical path, some would call the band a one-trick pony, but those people are forgetting that the best thing about riding a pony is that it never throws you off; you always know what to expect from the pony, which is why you got on it in the first place.
Throughout the last quarter century, Cannibal Corpse have endured a host of lineup changes, with bassist Alex Webster and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz being the only original members left. In spite of this, they have remained remarkably consistent in their output. This makes for a difficult task trying to cut down the band's extensive discography into a short list of the 10 Best Cannibal Corpse songs, but after careful consideration and smashing our faces against our desks, we've got it all figured out. Get ready for some windmilling as we count 'em down!
'Savage Butchery'From: 'Gore Obsessed' (2002)
The opening track off Gore Obsessed is a pummeling that's all over before two ticks of the minute hand pass. The chorus features some of vocalist George 'Corpsegrinder' Fisher's finest moments, displaying gutturals that come from the depths and those menacing highs that no death metal vocalist is able to replicate with such conviction. The guitar work here is familiar and unmistakably Cannibal Corpse, but there's a certain energy on it that truly sets it apart from so many other songs.
'F---ed With a Knife'From: 'The Bleeding' (1994)
We never claimed that Chris Barnes was a well-adjusted man. No. 9 on our list of the 10 Best Cannibal Corpse songs sees the sophomore track off 1994's The Bleeding make the cut. Over the years, Barnes became more intelligible with his defining death growl, which only makes songs like "F---cked With a Knife" that much more sickening. The title really says it all, so we'll leave the discovery of the rest of the gory details to you.
'Make Them Suffer'From: 'Kill' (2006)
Cannibal Corpse made quite the splash in 2006 when they released 'Kill.' Heralded as one of the band's best albums, it features a relentless batch of songs, including the fan-favorite "Make Them Suffer." Through frenzied guitar work and a swirling mass of riffs, the guys fire on all cylinders and toss in an unforgettable vocal hook to make this one of the best songs the band has ever written.
'Sentenced to Burn'From: 'Gallery of Suicide' (1998)
Perhaps one of the catchiest Cannibal songs, "Sentenced To Burn" rides an undeniable groove that has surely encouraged some solo bedroom slam dancing and probably one or two red-faced explanation as to what those limb-flails are categorized as. Despite being one of the most straightforward songs from the band, it has a replay value that can't be ignored.
'Devoured By Vermin'From: 'Vile' (1996)
"Devoured By Vermin" was the first taste fans got of former Monstrosity vocalist George 'Corpsegrinder' Fisher replacing the infamous Chris Barnes. A tortured shriek welcomes the album and the rest of the band wastes no time getting down to business, immediately putting on a convincing display that Cannibal Corpse are no worse for the wear without their iconic original vocalist.
'Unleashing the Bloodthirsty'From: 'Bloodthirst' (1999)
Cannibal Corpse are known for slowing things down occasionally, acting like a steamroller slowly crushing you underneath. The band is deceptive yet foretelling within the first few seconds, letting fans think they're going to be treated to one of those slow, crushing death metal hymns. The pace picks up quickly, but they don't forget to slow it back down to let Corpsegrinder's agonized high shrieks play their part in the chorus.
'I C-m Blood'From: Butchered at Birth' (1991)
"This next song is about shooting blood out of your c-ck!" Those are the words that typically precede this song live as Corpsegrinder always gives an introduction to each song. The song follows up album opener "Hammer Smashed Face," which is quite the difficult task. With tug-of-war like tempo changes, "I C-m Blood" sees the band pull familiar tricks out of their bag of brutality that helped define the sound of one of the genre's best and enduring bands.
'A Skull Full of Maggots'From: 'Eaten Back to Life' (1990)
"A Skull Full of Maggots" is actually one of the nicer Corpse songs, at least by gruesome comparison. The song clocks in at just over two minutes, but this is plenty of time for the band to work their way through some of the best sounds of the early death metal days. A live staple to this day, the includes a scream-along of the word "MAGGOTS!" for Cannibal fans to eat up.
'Stripped, Raped, and Strangled'From: 'The Bleeding' (1994)
"They think they know who I am / All they know is I love to kill! / Face down, dead on the ground / Find me before another is found!" Anyone who's seen Cannibal Corpse live has screamed these words out after those infamous guitar chugs kick the song off. Considering their uncompromising brutality, the band know how to write a hook or two, striking the oddest balance you can find to define their style.
'Hammer Smashed Face'From: 'Tomb of the Mutilated' (1992)
You didn't expect to see any other song at No. 1, did you!? "Hammer Smashed Face" is not only the best Cannibal Corpse song, but arguably the finest contribution to the death metal genre on the whole. These riffs have bored their way into the brains of metalheads for nearly 25 years and still induce a some of the most violent mosh pits around. The tale of bludgeoning veiled through what can loosely be considered hooks is pure devastation, reigning over any other Cannibal Corpse song there is.