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Music / Cannibal Corpse

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"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!"
"Stripped, Raped and Strangled"

Cannibal Corpse is an American Death Metal band formed in 1988. They are one of the few death metal bands known in the mainstream; this is due to their extreme, Gorn-filled lyrics, which have caused immense controversy in several countries. They have had little TV or radio exposure, but remain one of the most popular (if not the most popular) death metal bands. They are certainly among the top-selling, and are considered one of the most influential death metal bands of all time, pushing forward the subgenre of "brutal death metal."

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    Band members 
Current members
  • Alex Webster – bass (1988–present)
  • Paul Mazurkiewicz – drums (1988–present)
  • George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher – vocals (1995–present)
  • Rob Barrett – rhythm guitar (1993-1997, 2005–present)
  • Erik Rutan – lead guitar (2020–present)

Former members

  • Jack Owen – rhythm guitar (1988–2004)
  • Chris Barnes – vocals (1988–1995)
  • Bob Rusay – lead guitar (1988–1993)
  • Jeremy Turner – rhythm guitar (2004–2005)
  • Pat O'Brien - lead guitar (1997–2020, was on indefinite hiatus from 2018 until his formal departure)

Studio albums
  • Eaten Back to Life (1990)
  • Butchered at Birth (1991)
  • Tomb of the Mutilated (1992)
  • The Bleeding (1994)
  • Vile (1996)
  • Gallery of Suicide (1998)
  • Bloodthirst (1999)
  • Gore Obsessed (2002)
  • The Wretched Spawn (2004)
  • Kill (2006)
  • Evisceration Plague (2009)
  • Torture (2012)
  • A Skeletal Domain (2014)
  • Red Before Black (2017)
  • Violence Unimagined (2021)
  • Chaos Horrific (2023)


  • Hammer Smashed Face (1993)
  • Sacrifice / Confessions (2000)
  • Worm Infested (2003)

Live, compilation and video albums

  • Deadly Tracks (1997)
  • Monolith of Death (1997)
  • Live Cannibalism (2000)note 
  • 15 Year Killing Spree (2003)
  • Centuries of Torment: The First 20 Years (2008)
  • Global Evisceration (2011)note 
  • Dead Human Collection: 25 Years of Death Metal (2013)
  • Torturing and Eviscerating Live (2013; originally released as part of the Dead Human Collection box set)


  • Cannibal Corpse (1989)

Boxed sets

  • Classic Cannibal Corpse (2002)
  • Digital Box Set (2009)
  • Dead Human Collection: 25 Years of Death Metal (2013)
  • When Death Replaces Life (2017)
  • The Undead Will Feast (2019)


  • 13 Is Unlucky: A couple of their songs use this symbolically in relation to the people who are dead or killed.
    • "Hollowed Bodies" is about the discovery of numerous dead body stacks, each of which has exactly 13 corpses.
    • In "Summoned for Sacrifice", a group of 13 torturers progressively mutilate a victim to death, under the order of "the elders" according to the lyrics.
  • Album Title Drop: "Murderous Rampage", from Violence Unimagined, has this line from the chorus:
    Violence unimagined, lasted for days
    Perverted celebration
    Cruelty unforeseen, driven by hate
    Gruesome fascination
  • Alliterative Title:
    • The band's name itself, as well as the album Butchered at Birth.
    • Song titles include the Title Track of Butchered at Birth, "The Spine Splitter", "Bent Backwards and Broken", "Barbaric Bludgeonings", "Beheading and Burning," "Caged... Contorted," and "Condemnation Contagion".
  • Alternate Album Cover: Most of their albums, save for the Minimalistic Cover Art ones like Kill, have a censored cover art to go with the standard ones due to their usually graphic nature. These censored artworks are used for releases in countries with restrictions on the cover arts regarding retail, such as Australia, and Rhythm Games which feature the band's songs like Rock Band.
  • And I Must Scream: "Staring through the Eyes of the Dead" and "Dead Human Collection"
  • Ascended Extra: Erik Rutan was a longtime friend of the band who eventually became their producer, and when Pat O'Brien was forced to go on hiatus in 2018, he became his live replacement before formally taking his spot as a full member after it became clear that Pat was not going to be able to return.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: "Rotted Body Landslide" features someone being crushed to death in a landslide of bodies while trying to climb a mountain of corpses.
  • Audience Participation Song: "A Skull Full of Maggots". "Hammer Smashed Face" also tends to be this due to how it traditionally starts enormous, unbelievably violent pits.
  • Autocannibalism: The cover art for Eaten Back to Life depicts a zombie eating itself.
  • The Band Minus the Face: To some extent. Although most fans view current vocalist George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher as a formidable replacement to original frontman Chris Barnes, some still insist that the band lost their defining characteristics after Barnes' departure.
  • Big Fun: George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher. Standing tall at 6'1, his long hair, shadowed eyes, and thick girth (and neck) makes him look like someone who's not to be fucked with. But he's also a World of Warcraft player, a loving husband and father to his two daughters, and a Nice Guy overall.
  • Bloodier and Gorier/Darker and Edgier:
    • They managed to do this to death metal, of all genres.
    • The Barnes era has been considered this to fans, in comparison to the Corpsegrinder era. While the first few albums with Corpsegrinder retained the common sexual themes introduced in Tomb of the Mutilated and The Bleeding, starting with Gore Obsessed most songs were just about violence.
      • Within the Barnes era, Butchered at Birth is considerably grizzlier and heavier than Eaten Back to Life due to discarding much of that album's thrash influences in favor of a denser, more pounding sound. Tomb of the Mutilated is likewise this to Butchered itself, going even farther into lyrical depravity with a much more brutal death-tinged sound.
    • While their artwork isn't as graphic as most, A Skeletal Domain, Red Before Black, Violence Unimagined and Chaos Horrific are considerably heavier than all their other albums, in addition to using dreadful high-pitch notes more frequently. Red Before Black is also more lyrically gruesome than usual for the Corpsegrinder-era albums (with "Remaimed" sticking out the most), though it's nowhere near the Barnes era's level.
  • Bludgeoned to Death: "Hammer Smashed Face."
  • Body Horror: "Sickening Metamorphosis."
  • Book Ends: "Rotting Head" begins and ends with the same line:
    A quivering pile of useless flesh, locked in a padded cell
  • The Cameo:
    • Glen Benton from Deicide does back-up vocals on "Mangled", "A Skull Full of Maggots" and "Vomit the Soul."
    • Erik Rutan (prior to joining) did guitar solos on "Unnatural" and "In the Midst of Ruin", and backing vocals on "Only One Will Die".
  • Careful with That Axe: Several of their songs have sudden and particularly bloodcurdling screams, including "Blood Drenched Execution" and "Devoured by Vermin". "Blunt Force Castration" opens very suddenly and brutally with a massive growl, and could be considered a partial example of this.
  • Chainsaw Good: Mentioned in "Kill or Become":
    Fire up the chainsaaaw!
    Hack all their heads oooff!
    Fire up the chainsaaaw!
    Hack their fucking heads off!
  • Continuity Nod: The Title Track of Red Before Black name-drops "Frantic Disembowelment" from The Wretched Spawn and "Make Them Suffer" from Kill in its chorus.
    Red before black
    Made to suffer through the torture
    Red then black into the unknown
    With no coming back
    Red before black
    Disemboweling frantically
    Pure ecstasy, pure misery
    Blood flows from the attack
  • Cover Version: They've covered "The Exorcist" and "Confessions" by Possessed, "Zero the Hero" by Black Sabbath, "Sacrifice" by Sacrifice, "Demon's Night" by Accept, "No Remorse" by Metallica, "Bethany Home (A Place to Die)" by The Accused, "Endless Pain" by Kreator, and "Behind Bars" by Razor.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Many of them, but special mention goes to the protagonist's last victim from "Puncture Wound Massacre".
    My job is almost finished, only one remains
    I'll take my time on this last scumbag
    Knife in stomach, he's not dead yet
    Carving up his body, gouge his fucking head
    Chop off his arms, pull out his guts
    No remorse for what I have done
  • Death from Above: "Scalding Hail."
  • Death Metal:
  • Destroy the Evidence:
    • The theme of "Evidence in the Furnace".
    • This is also mentioned in "Disposal of the Body" and "Inhumane Harvest".
  • Disposing of a Body: "Disposal of the Body".
  • The Dog Bites Back: "Bound and Burned" involves an unnamed person killing someone who abused them when they were young.
  • Double Standard: In the heavy metal documentary, "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey", Corpsegrinder mentions how artwork more violent than their lyrics and cover art can be found at the Vatican.
  • Drop the Hammer: "Hammer Smashed Face."
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Eaten Back to Life has a more thrash metal-esque tone to it, less guttural vocals from Chris Barnes, and his lyrics that were still gruesome but nowhere near as over-the-top as they were on the following three releases. This is because a fair bit of the album was comprised of leftovers from their previous bands (Leviathan and Tirant Sin) that Chris, Paul Mazurkiewicz, and Bob Rusay had sitting around and wanted to use.
    • Really, all the releases with Chris could count, due largely to his different songwriting style. While Corpsegrinder doesn't write lyricsnote  and, at most, sometimes asks one of the lyric writers to tweak something if he really isn't feeling the vocal lines, Chris wrote all of his own lyrics and vocal lines, which he still does to this day in his current band.
  • Eaten Alive/Devoured by the Horde:
    • This is what happens to the protagonist in "Devoured by Vermin", who falls prey to a pack of rats. Even though his heart, lungs, and other vital organs are being ripped out, he can still feel pain.
    • The protagonist of "Pit of Zombies" is eaten by an horde of zombies in the end.
      • The cover art of Gore Obsessed, the album from which "Pit of Zombies" comes, also features a similar depiction.
  • Eats Babies: The cover art of Violence Unimagined depicts a mutant-looking woman devouring a baby (which seems to be her own, if the placenta attached to it below her is any indication).
  • Epic Fail: According to Chris Barnes, the first song that the band attempted to cover (under the band's original incarnation of Tirant Sin) was something from Pink Floyd. You can guess how well that turned out.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "When Death Replaces Life" and "Buried in the Backyard".
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Immediately before they play the song "I Cum Blood" in concerts, Corpsegrinder says "this song is about shooting blood out of your cock."
  • Facial Horror: The protagonist in "Disfigured" using a razor on his nose and ears, eventually lighting himself on fire so he can char his face.
  • Fading into the Next Song:
    • "Disfigured" -> "Bloodlands" in Vile.
    • "Hung and Bled" -> "Sanded Faceless" in Gore Obsessed.
  • Fed to Pigs: The leader of the tribe in "Beheading and Burning" suffers this fate.
  • Gorn: In an aversion, Cannibal Corpse are surprisingly lacking in gory lyrics. Their lyrics have never been about gore, and focus on topical subjects such as government corruption and the environment.
    • On the more serious side of things, they have had a couple of songs that focus less on gore and more on the supernatural/paranormal side of things such as "When Death Replaces Life", "A Skeletal Domain", and "Shedding My Human Skin".
  • Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death:
    • To choose from just the most extreme examples in songs, we have "Meat Hook Sodomy", "Necropedophile", and "Entrails Ripped From a Virgin's Cunt".
    • Of course, the band's name and most of the album titles are also examples.
  • Grave Robbing: "Coffin Feeder" is about zombies that dig up graves to eat the corpses inside them.
  • Groin Attack:
    • "Orgasm Through Torture" and "Blunt Force Castration" are about groin attacks on men.
    • "Addicted to Vaginal Skin" and the horrifying "Fucked With a Knife" are about groin attacks on women.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up:
    • The censored cover of the album The Bleeding is that of the bloody chest of the man who's being zombified in the normal artwork.
    • The censored covers of Vile and Violence Unimagined can be seen as more unnerving than the regular ones by some, since they zoom in on the main characters' faces.
  • Gun Nut: Pat O'Brien owns nearly 80 firearms, mostly rifles and shotguns.
  • Gutted Like a Fish:
    • "Frantic Disembowelment" describes this in explicit detail:
      Intestines exposed by violent thrusts
      The innards removed, dissecting the guts
      To rip through the skin, tissue, and muscle
      Cartilage shredding, draining blood vessels
    • Also mentioned in "Puncture Wound Massacre":
      Knife in stomach, he's not dead yet
      Carving up his body, gouge his fucking head
      Chop off his arms, pull out his guts
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Jack Owen. Rob Barrett is also getting there.
  • Harsh Vocals: Chris Barnes had far deeper and huskier growls while Corpsegrinder has faster ones, while making more use of the occasional Metal Scream.
  • Hate Plague: The theme of Evisceration Plague's Title Track.
  • Hotter and Sexier: While Butchered at Birth had some songs about sexual fetishes like "Meat Hook Sodomy", Tomb of the Mutilated made them into a common theme (in gory style, as always); the only track of the album without sexual content was "Hammer Smashed Face". The following albums would continue with them in a progressively reduced proportion, though they would be gone by Gore Obsessed.

  • I Am the Band: Paul Mazurkiewicz and Alex Webster are not only the only original members left, but they compose most of the songs and write the vast majority of the lyrics as of Chris Barnes' departure.
  • Iconic Item: Alex Webster's blood splatter-patterned Spector signature bass.
  • I'll Kill You!: The song "I Will Kill You."
  • I Love the Dead: The band has much to say on the trope. Their most explicit cases might be the songs "I Cum Blood" and "Necropedophile", the latter of which is exactly what it sounds like and doesn't even spare the most unholy details.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: It is in their name, and a lot of their songs feature this.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Regardless of who pulled the trigger first, Barnes was not going to stay in the band. They wanted to write more technical and complex material (which he hated) and were getting sick of his declining vocal ability, while Barnes was much happier with Six Feet Under and knew full well that what he wanted out of Cannibal was not what the rest of the band wanted and they were going to do what they wanted to do with or without him. The story goes that when they called him up while he was on tour with Six Feet Under to tell him that they had found a new guy and his services were no longer needed, his response was along the lines of "it's all good, I was going to call you after this run ended to tell you I quit anyways". They stayed acquaintances for a while, but a gulf eventually formed, and the two camps currently don't talk.
  • Incredibly Long Note: Corpsegrinder does a 15-second scream in "They Deserve to Die."
  • Instrumentals: "Relentless Beating", "From Skin to Liquid" and "Infinite Misery".
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Common, with titles like "I Cum Blood", "Fucked With A Knife" and "Entrails Ripped From A Virgin's Cunt".
  • The Killer Becomes the Killed: "Condemned to Agony."
  • Lead Bassist: Alex Webster, Type A and C, as he is both astoundingly skilled and massively influential among metal bassists in addition to having always been the guiding force behind the band.
  • Lead Drummer: Paul Mazurkiewicz is one of two remaining founding members, in addition to writing the lion's share of their lyrics and quite a bit of their music as well.
  • Live Album: Live Cannibalism and Torturing and Eviscerating Live. The latter is a weird take on the trope, since it comprises a single recorded concert (as does Live Cannibalism), but instead of the tracks being sorted in the order the band played them, they're sorted by the chronological order of the studio albums they're on, with one track per studio album (thus featuring twelve tracks out of all the albums released up to the time of the live album, the latest being Torture). For example, track 1 ("A Skull Full of Maggots") is from Eaten Back to Life, track 2 ("Gutted") is from Butchered at Birth, track 3 ("Hammer Smashed Face") is from Tomb of the Mutilated, and so on.
  • Lighter and Softer: Many fans would say that after Chris Barnes' departure from the band, the lyrics became less sexual and were just straight-up violent by Gore Obsessed.
  • Longest Song Goes Last:
    • Tomb of the Mutilated closes with the 4:53 "Beyond the Cemetery", the album's only track to surpass the length of four minutes and a half.
    • Vile ends with the 4:24 "Monolith", which is only four seconds longer than the second-longest track, the 4:20 "Bloodlands".
  • Long-Runner Line-up: The Webster/Mazurkiewicz/Fisher/O'Brien/Barrett lineup was a Type 2, lasting from 2005 up until Pat formally left at some unknown date, most likely late 2019 or early 2020.
  • Loudness War: All of their studio albums since Kill have had little to no dynamic range.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Deliberately, blatantly, and hilariously invoked by Andrew Hansen of The Chaser's War On Everything, in his lounge arrangement of "Rancid Amputation" (mentioned above).
  • Man on Fire:
    • The protagonist in "Disfigured" lights himself on fire because he loathes his appearance.
    • "Sentenced to Burn" and "Blowtorch Slaughter."
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Corpsegrinder is the demon voiced vocalist for one of the most controversial death metal bands ever, singing about rampant death, murder and so on. George Fisher is a swell guy who spends his time on the road while touring winning claw machine prizes to donate to children's charities.
  • Metal Scream: Several, but the most epic one is the last scream of "Diiiiiiiiiie!!!" in "They Deserve to Die."
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: Kill and Evisceration Plague, with Red Before Black also being a downplayed example. Kill was that way largely by accident; the original piece they got back from Vincent Locke was apparently excellent, but wasn't really suitable as a cover piece, so it was relegated to the album's internal packaging and they did the best that they could with what little time was available.
  • Miniscule Rocking: They have quite a few songs with a length of under two minutes: "Put Them to Death," "Bloody Chunks," "Puncture Wound Massacre," "Disposal of the Body", "Dismembered and Molested", "Crushing the Despised," "Savage Butchery," "Severed Head Stoning." and "Scalding Hail."
  • Miscarriage of Justice: The protagonist in "The Strangulation Chair" is a victim of this.
  • Misogyny Song: Chris Barnes was very fond of this when he was in the band. A couple post-Barnes songs qualify, but even those are far tamer than anything that he ever wrote.
  • Moral Guardians: The band was a favorite target of them in the mid 90's, coming under attack from both the left and the right for their lyrics and cover art. Their albums were outright banned in Australia from 1996 to 2006 (though this was because censorship laws were being reformed in there at the time), their first three albums were also banned in Germany until 2006, and they were prohibited from performing any songs from those albums while touring there. Unfortunately, this appears to be still ongoing, as there has been a recent effort to ban them from touring in Russia.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Some of their songs have a woman as the ruthless protagonist, such as "Orgasm Through Torture" and "Blunt Force Castration".
  • Motor Mouth: Corpsegrinder is shown to be one of these on some of their faster songs like "Severed Head Stoning" and "Disposal of the Body."
  • Murder Ballad: Uh... all of their songs? If they could be called ballads.
  • Murder-Suicide:
    • This is the case with "Disfigured", though the murder part is vaguely described.
    • The demo version of "Puncture Wound Massacre" is also about this.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the lyric lines of Red Before Black's title track says "disembowelling frantically", which is likely a reference to "Frantic Disembowelment" from The Wretched Spawn.
  • New Sound Album: Vile was the first album to feature their current vocalist Corpsegrinder, and also had lower tunings (B-flat, aided by Owen switching to a seven-string; Barrett and O'Brien also use this tuning, but are strictly six-string players; Rutan is the only other guitarist to use seven-string) and more technical songwriting.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: As with many other death metal bands, the gore-related lyrics. Most of us would find the idea of knives being repeatedly inserted into human vaginas and used as sexual aids deeply distressing; Cannibal Corpse apparently find it amusing, given their song "Fucked with a Knife".
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Hammer Smashed Face," "Fucked with a Knife," "Stripped, Raped and Strangled," and many others.
  • Noodle Incident: When Corpsegrinder was asked in an interview if he ever spoke with Chris Barnes, he said that he did, but that as of a few years prior to said interview, they were not on speaking terms anymore. Apparently, Chris blocked Corpsegrinder on Instagram because he thought he heard him talk shit about him on stage, which Corpsegrinder said he may have done, but did not intend to set him off, and that since then, they haven't talked. Aside from that, no further details were shared, and it's likely that Corpsegrinder nor Chris will ever tell the whole story.
  • No Zombie Cannibals: The band's name is an aversion, as Alex Webster has described it to journalists as "basically a zombie that eats other zombies". Considering that their infamy in an otherwise relatively underground music scene comes from their over-the-top gory aesthetic and songs with titles such as such as "Mummified in Barbed Wire", "A Skull Full of Maggots", and "Entrails Ripped from a Virgin's Cunt", this is an appropriate title.
  • Offing the Offspring: This appears to be the case with the woman devouring a newborn baby in the cover art of Violence Unimagined, considering the placenta below her that's attached to the baby.
  • Older Than They Look: Corpsegrinder looks like he's in his mid or maybe late 30's. He's actually 51 as of 2021, making him less than two years younger than former vocalist Chris Barnes (who still looks good for being in his mid-50s but is visibly middle-aged). This also holds true for most of the band; Rob is the only one who is starting to show his age (he recently reached the age of 50) by way of an ever-growing bald spot.
  • One-Winged Angel: "Shedding My Human Skin".
  • One-Word Title: For albums, Vile, Bloodthirst, Kill and Torture. Up until Red Before Black, this also happened on at least a few songs per album.
  • Organ Theft: The theme of "Inhumane Harvest", which is particularly illustrated in the song's music video.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They tend to stick with Type F. According to Alex Webster, "a cannibal corpse is a zombie that eats other zombies".
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • In "Put Them To Death":
      Blood spews from their eyes
      As you hear their sinful cries
      Destroy their evil minds
      We should take their fucking lives
    • Later in the same song:
      Fuck you and your kind
      We don't need you or your lives
    • One of the lines in "Murderous Rampage", which is repeated twice:
      Stale blood-drained bodies rotting
      Once alive, now forgotten
      Slaughtered for no fucking reason
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Quite a lot of examples in their music.
    • In "The Wretched Spawn": "IT! WAS! MADE! TO! KIIIIIIILL!"
    • In "Dormant Bodies Bursting": "DORMANT! BODIES! BURSTING!"
  • The Quiet One: Apparently, Alex Webster. He is known for being extremely friendly and passionate, however.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: "Remaimed" is about a band of raiders repeatedly doing this to a same place (plus forcing the survivors they spared to eat the dead victims' corpses).
  • Refuge in Audacity: Really, the entire point of the band and their music by their own admission. Streaming service Rhapsody even admitted that they weren't allowed to print some titles of the band's songs!
  • Religion Rant Song: "When Death Replaces Life" is a definite Type 2.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: The video for "Code of the Slashers".
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Corpsegrinder tends to do this to create a demonic effect in his music.
  • Serial Escalation: The increasing technical proficiency of the bassists that Alex Webster had to share the stage with in Cannibal Corpse's early days wound up being what drove him to achieve the extreme level of technical proficiency that he is famous for now. At the start, he was only using two fingers (by his own admission, he was up to a pretty good speed level with them), but when he saw Tony Choy (who was in Cynic at the time and played with three fingers) and Jason Blachowicz of Malevolent Creation (who played with four), he realized that he really needed to step it up and made the transition to three, using a specific technique that he learned from Steve Di Giorgio (then of Sadus) to achieve even greater levels of speed while maintaining greater control.
  • Serial Killer: "Stripped, Raped, and Strangled" is about this.
  • Shout-Out: As per Erik Rutan, his riffing on "Condemnation Contagion" was something of a tribute to Metallica and more specifically James Hetfield's rhythm playing and downpicking.
  • Shovel Strike: In "Heads Shoveled Off", a Shell-Shocked Veteran who decapitated someone with his shovel during the Vietnam War is now a Serial Killer who gives his victims a Sand Necktie, then swings his shovel at their necks.
  • Special Guest: Erik Rutan filled in for Pat O'Brien on the band's live dates for 2019 before replacing him as a permanent member the following year.
  • The Stoner: Chris Barnes. If the band's account of his departure is to be believed, he apparently wasn't careful with it and ruined his throat, rendering him unable to pull off his gutturals consistently. As of his time in Six Feet Under, he is now infamous for being a very inconsistent vocalist both live and in studio thanks to this. However, he allegedly quit smoking weed in 2022 for unknown reasons.
  • Strictly Formula: In the over 30 years that they've been releasing albums, they have had no real meaningful stylistic shifts. When someone buys a Cannibal Corpse album, they know what they're getting: a bunch of fast, thrashy death metal songs plus a few slower, more groovy or atmospheric tracks, and (depending on what Pat O'Brien was feeling during the writing process) maybe a Technical Death Metal song or two. While most albums have some sort of individual motif or feel to distinguish them, that largely depends on who did the bulk of the writing, and they won't feature any major deviations from their established style. They have been accused of being formulaic due to this, but the typical fan response is that while they may be predictable, they're so good at what they do and have such strong chemistry as writers that it doesn't matter.
  • Stylistic Suck: The "Global Evisceration" DVD has one. In the band's concert in Israel, the usual banner was replaced by a small white card with the band's name on it in blue marker to signify the band's luggage not arriving.
  • Swarm of Rats: "Devoured By Vermin."
  • Technical Death Metal: Some of their later work falls under this, particularly Pat O'Brien's songs, and Torture is probably the closest that they've ever actually come to making a full tech album. "Frantic Disembowelment," in particular, is notoriously complex and demanding; the band only played it live once and dropped it because the crowd reaction was not anywhere near enthusiastic enough to justify keeping a song that is apparently physically painful to play on the setlist.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Many of their songs.
  • The Titling: "The Bleeding"
  • Thrash Metal:
    • Eaten Back to Life was as much thrash as it was death metal, and thrash overtones are pretty common in their work as a whole; Red Before Black, in particular, was noted as being a bit of a return to their death/thrash roots.
    • In terms of songwriting, the songs that Rob Barrett writes tend to cleave close to thrash.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Paul Mazurkiewicz's drumming style. While the guitar and bass tracks are frequently extremely technical, Paul sticks almost exclusively to thrash beats and the occasional blast, with fills being few and far between.
  • Title of the Dead: "Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead".
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Severed Head Stoning."
  • Title Track: Butchered at Birth, The Bleeding, Gallery of Suicide, The Wretched Spawn, Evisceration Plague, A Skeletal Domain and Red Before Black have title tracks. Even some albums that don't have one, like Bloodthirst ("Unleashing the Bloodthirsty") and Kill ("The Time to Kill is Now"), will have a title similar to one of the tracks, mostly in the form of a shortened version.
  • Trash of the Titans: The house that Alex Webster rented in Buffalo with several friends back during the days of Beyond Death was absolutely disgusting; as a bunch of guys in their late teens and early twenties, they cared way more about coming home from work to get drunk and high and blast metal than cleaning, and it got so filthy at one point that they attracted a cockroach infestation.
  • Tyrannicide: "Firestorm Vengeance" is about killing tyrants with fire.
  • Uncommon Time: They're pretty fond of this. Appears more frequently in their later material, but can be heard in their earlier albums too.
  • Vocal Evolution: Chris Barnes's vocals on Eaten Back to Life were already deep and inhuman-sounding for their time. He would go even deeper on subsequent works, to the point of practically being subsonic on Tomb of the Mutilated. His vocals became a little higher-pitched on The Bleeding, presaging the further changes his voice would experience in Six Feet Under's discography.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Bob Rusay. They made it clear on Centuries of Torment that while his ever-increasing sloppiness forced their hand in firing him, it hurt to have to do so and they honestly wanted to stay friends with the dude. Rusay, however, took it extremely badly, cut everyone in the band out of his life, and left music altogether (going so far as to reject royalty checks), and while Alex, Paul, Jack, and Chris have all tried to extend olive branches to him at various points over the years, he has consistently ignored them. This also eventually became true with Barnes as he became more and more hostile towards the band and particularly Fisher over the course of the 2010s, which culminated in Barnes publicly insulting modern death metal and, by extent, Fisher in 2022, while Fisher famously responded by saying "You said it, not me" with a smirk on his face and more than a hint of agreement in his voice when fans chanted "FUCK CHRIS BARNES" at a show around the same time.
  • The X of Y:
    • For albums, Tomb of the Mutilated, Gallery of Suicide, Monolith of Death and Centuries of Torment: The First 20 Years.
    • For songs, "Disposal of the Body," "Gallery of Suicide," "Chambers of Blood," "Centuries of Torment," "Pit of Zombies," "Mutation of the Cadaver," "The Discipline of Revenge," "Priests of Sodom," "A Cauldron of Hate," "Scourge of Iron," "Vector of Cruelty," "Code of the Slashers," "Cerements of the Flayed," and "Overlords of Violence."
  • Zombie Apocalypse:
    • The theme of "Kill or Become".
    • The cover art of Chaos Horrific also depicts this.