Q #1,998: Which Cannibal Corpse album turned 20 years old this year?
The fifth Cannibal Corpse studio album ‘Vile’ turned 20 earlier this year, which coincidentally means a joint 20th celebration with vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher in the lineup. Originally titled ‘Created to Kill,’ Cannibal Corpse started recording the album with founding vocalist Chris Barnes before parting ways while in the studio. Corpsegrinder left Monstrosity to join up with ‘Corpse, and re-tracked all the vocals for the record. Monstrosity managed to release ‘Millenium’ in 1996, just mere months after the release of ‘Vile.’ Both albums were recorded at the legendary Morrisound Studios in Tampa, FL, and both were produced by Scott Burns. Burns has produced death metal’s royalty, including (but certainly not limited to) Death’s legendary ‘Human’ release.
The success of this particular Cannibal Corpse record might not have had a massive surging effect on Monstrosity’s release months later, but it got guitarist Pat O’Brien to join as a touring guitarist from 1996 to 1997, and he eventually replace guitarist Rob Barrett, who left after the release of ‘Vile.’ Barret would rejoin the band in 2005, after the departure of founding guitarist Jack Owen. Owen went on to join Deicide, while Barrett would return to join forces with who was originally his replacement.
It’s always a bold move for a band to move on with a different vocalist, and this was no exception. To have recorded an entire album with your founding vocalist, only to bring in a replacement once the majority of the work has been done speaks to the distance between the band and Barnes at the time. They seem to have mutually stated that they had grown apart, and that the band wanted to move forward instead of living in the past with Barnes.
Listening to ‘Vile’ 20 years after its release, it most definitely sounds like the work of a complete band. This was a very convincing effort by a band that believed that they had boundless potential, with a desire to keep pushing forward. Two decades later (and over 2 million albums sold worldwide), these guys are still reinventing ways to implement their brand of devastation.