Cannibal Corpse - The Bleeding
MetalBlade Records
Death Metal
10 songs (36.51)
Release year: 1994
Cannibal Corpse, MetalBlade Records
Reviewed by Shane
Archive review

The Bleeding marks the end of an era for Corpse fans, as it was their last album featuring the lyrics and vocals of Chris Barnes. The Bleeding is also significant for another reason. The music, while still insanely heavy, is actually varied and full of tempo changes and the vocals are actually somewhat intelligible. Some might say that because of this, Cannibal Corpse lost the title of being the most hard-core band on the planet but I think that it was a direction that Cannibal Corpse needed to take.

Let’s face it, Cannibal Corpse’s sound, with every instrument always playing at breakneck speeds, and their controversial gross-out lyrics are their trademark and it is also their gimmick that helps them sell records. While they deserve credit for helping to put this kind of metal on the map, with three albums already under their belt, it was time for them to expand their sound a bit. What good would it have done the band to release another album exactly the same as Butchered at Birth and Tomb of the Mutilated? They have proved their metal (yes, I know it’s actually mettle) and have moved onto something more complex and definitely accessible but this is not a sell-out. The lyrics contain the same gore as previous albums, however this time around you can actually understand Barnes’s growlings which actually makes the songs even more disturbing. I believe the adage “less is more” can adequately describe the brutality of this album.

This is my favourite Corpse album of the Barnes era. My biggest gripe with the previous albums was that they simply lack variety (especially Butchered and Tomb) and sitting and actually listening to a whole album right to the end was a chore. Each song had the same blistering tempo (especially the drums, they would always be the same. Very disappointing) and the lyrics were lost in the unintelligible vocals making each song sound the same with very few exceptions and very few standout tracks (Don’t get me wrong, there are some). The songs on The Bleeding all have something unique to offer (except for An Experiment in Homicide, which is as average a Cannibal Corpse song as you can get) and this made picking out the killing songs incredibly difficult as each song on this album has parts that kick ass.

Stripped Raped and Strangled, which is probably as commercial as Cannibal Corpse gets, is my favourite. It has a heavy, has a distinct intro with Barnes half-speaking, half-growling before going into his standard growl. By showing that his voice can be lighter, it accentuates the heaviness of his standard vocals. Very cool. In fact, that can be said about most of this album. By not playing every song at full speed, you don’t get bored of full speed, in fact you crave it and when they turn it up, it actually feels like they are playing faster than full speed.

The arrangements of the songs on The Bleeding are far more complex than on previous efforts. Each instrument is not always playing full throttle and they actually play off of each other, which gives the songs much needed variety and depth. The lyrics are a bit deeper too. In She Was Asking For It, Barnes talks about the horror of remembering the night his girl friend died. The horror of remembering turns to guilt as, in a not so unexpected twist, it turns out that he killed her. Hey, maybe the twist was given away by the title of the song but at least it had a twist! Force Fed Broken Glass features a disturbing slow section where you can hear some one choking and Barnes goes into great detail describing how the glass is tearing and slicing away in the person’s throat. While this is hardly Cannibal Corpse at their most disgusting, what makes this notable is that you can clearly hear and actually understand what is going on. That’s what makes this album great and separates it from other Barnes-era Corpse albums. If your into Cannibal Corpse because of their hard-core gimmick, then this album may be too tame for you, as it is definitely not the most hard-core album that they have released. One look at the album cover could tell you that. However, if you’re actually into the music, not the gimmick, then this album is the pinnacle of the Chris Barnes era.

Killing Songs :
Stripped, Raped and Strangled, Pulverized, The Pick-Axe Murders, Force Fed Broken Glass
Shane quoted 81 / 100
Other albums by Cannibal Corpse that we have reviewed:
Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Cannibal Corpse - Torture reviewed by Tony and quoted 100 / 100
Cannibal Corpse - Bloodthirst reviewed by Tony and quoted 83 / 100
Cannibal Corpse - Butchered at Birth reviewed by Tony and quoted 96 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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