Cannibal Corpse may not have started the American death metal movement, but it is synonymous with the genre, and in particular, deathgore. The Buffalo, New York based band, much like the Bay Area’s Autopsy, utilize graphic lyrical and artwork depictions of horror movie style gore and violence. The band is set to release its thirteenth studio album, A Skeletal Domain, on September 16 through Metal Blade records. This summer the band is tearing up the road as part of the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Metalholic sat down with drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz and guitarist Rob Barrett to talk about Mayhem and the new record.
Mazurkiewicz founded Cannibal Corpse in 1988 with bassist Alex Webster and original vocalist Chris Barnes. Barrett joined the band in 1993 in time to record the quintet’s seminal album, The Bleeding; the last with Barnes as vocalist. George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher of Monstrosity would take over growling duties in 1995. Guitarist Patrick O’Brien would round out the current line-up in 1997.
Of the new record, Mazurkiewicz stated they approached it as diligently as all the previous Cannibal Corpse albums, but noted they were more critical this time around: “I really do think we nitpicked more so than ever just fine-tuning these songs. Just working every possible arrangement.” Part of that had to do with new producer, Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, DevilDriver) whom they chose to work with this go round rather than Erik Rutan (Goatwhore, Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal) whom they used on the band’s previous three records. Paul and Rob talk about the choice.”
“Mark Lewis, I think, was a big key, a factor, in the sound of the record,” offered Paul. “He brought more of a new school attitude. to the way recording is done these days. but every producer we have worked with has been phenomenal and we could still be working with any of them. And I think we just do it for a change of pace,” Paul said. “Erik did an amazing job on all three of those records, and I think fans and people hear, ‘Oh my God, they’re not using Erik again, they’re gonna use Mark’, and they’re so worried that we’re not gonna sound good or something. But we just wanted to do something different and not get in a rut. nothing against any of the previous producers, it was just time for a change.”
Barrett and Mazuriewicz reminisced on recording The Bleeding 20 years ago:
“That was the first time recording with [Cannibal Corpse]” shared Barrett, “but I had already recorded at Morrisound [in Tampa, Florida] with Malevolent Creation and Solstice before so we were all used to the setting, so it went pretty smoothly.”
“We all drove down from Buffalo, cause we were still living in Buffalo at the time,” added Mazurkiewicz, “so that would have been our last album, commuting down to Morrisound. Like Rob was saying, it went pretty smooth. We had the condo which was new to us, cause we had more time. Eaten [Back to Life] we had like 10 days, Butchered [at Birth] we had two weeks, Tomb of the Mutilated–three weeks. Wow, we’ve got over a month to record The Bleeding? We thought that was phenomenal. That was definitely the most nitpicked album at that point, because we all knew it was a big deal. There was some big buzz going on with the band. Scott (Burns, producer] wanted to do the best he could do on The Bleeding. We had some issues towards the end with the mix. There’s always gonna be things, but we had a big to do about the mix.”
They also talked about why, despite improvements in recording techniques and equipment, they would not want to go back and re-record the album.
“Those albums are set in stone, “stated Paul. “I’m not a fan of re-recording anything. They are what they are.”
“[Paul] was even saying the other day,” offered Rob, “He compared The Bleeding to the new record, and it just blows it out of the water. But back then, The Bleeding sounded amazing.”
Check out the full video interview below and get ready for A Skeletal Domain this fall on Metal Blade Records.
All photos © 2014 by Suzette Mansfield.
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