25 years of Cannibal Corpse – Artwork Mutilated

This piece was integrated with some information about each album musically, by fellow writer Michael Wilson, for Soundshock.com

Thanks to a collaboration with artist Vince Locke throughout their 25 years of terrorizing parents, Cannibal Corpse have created a collection of artwork that never fails to cause controversy but as Corpsegrinder himself explains; “It’s art, just look at it as art. Yeah, it’s disgusting…but go to the Vatican and look at some of the art there. That’s real, that’s representing something that’s real, that could happen. This [artwork], you know, that’s never going to happen…monsters aren’t going to rip out of people’s bodies anytime soon.” Well, we hope not George.

Eaten Back To Life (1990): The Corpse’s logo was much bloodier back in the nineties and this array of red on the album cover compliments it wonderfully. A wretched zombie storms through a graveyard, half eaten, yet with jeans still intact, leaving fellow corpses in his path, beheaded, legless and so on. A plain black cover with just white font was also released and it became routine for CC to release both censored and uncensored versions.

Butchered at Birth (1991): Probably one of the favourites for kids in search of a truly horrifying t-shirt, ‘Butchered at Birth’ does what it says on the tin. Displaying two putrid living dead types clad in aprons dissecting a dead woman, the baby corpses hang in an organised fashion, despite such psychotic scenes. And obviously there is blood, lots of it. The uncensored version once again displays merely the band name and album title, leaving the aural expectations purely to the imagination.

Tomb of the Mutilated (1992): Not wanting to ruin the continuation of the artwork, the band kept on Vincent Locke for his morbid masterpieces and was kept busy thanks to regular albums being pumped out. This piece incorporates less red (obviously there is still some blood) and goes for a bluer complexion, like the poor lady corpse’s body. She doesn’t appear to be enjoying the cunnalingus that is being performed on her by yet another flesh rotten fellow in the classy location of, you guessed it, a graveyard. The censored versions start to allow the horror to seep through onto the shelves, with a simplistic dark corpse stood awkwardly in amongst other deadly beings.

The Bleeding (1994): The characters portrayed for ‘The Bleeding’ are slightly less dead-looking compared to previous sleeve art, however there is still plenty of suffering displayed in their faces, as they are crushed together, entwined in veins and pain. The censored version shows a tight crop of one of the figures’ bleeding chest, which becomes a common ploy to avoid the censorship issues, without losing gore.

Vile (1996): The mid-nineties saw a more simplistic look for Cannibal Corpse without losing the sinister feeling. This time round we have a more cartoon style zombie as the subject in a flattering green colour, up against a simple dark background, unlike previous pieces that have so much going on in one image. Blood is replaced with some juicy maggots for this poor fella who has nothing past his midriff expect a shrivelled up dick. Clearly maggots don’t like penis. This was also the first album to see a slightly more refined band logo, like the one we know and love today.

Gallery of Suicide (1998): The artwork appears to be getting slightly less mindless horror and a bit more meaning with a public alleyway portraying a few members of society who have committed suicide. A man sits quite politely with his head blown by a gun, another swings peacefully from a noose and a naked redhead guts herself up with a few intestines poking out. Raunchy.

Bloodthirst (1999): Who were we kidding?! Of course the mindless guts and gore hasn’t become too immature for Corpsegrinder and co! A bizarre winged demon has ripped a human to shreds whilst appearing to have another mortal embedded in his skin like a mucked-up Siamese twin. The censored version seems more of an alternate cover than a more sensible one, with an equally strange looking creature clasping a knife on a pile of bones.

Gore-obsessed (2002): Those damn zombies are back in business after the millennium and they seem to be on a riot for food. The hodes of chaos are coming and you can’t just run, as they emerge from the ground as well with their stereotypically green and grubby mitts. Proof that after eight albums, the death metallers are still as gore-obsessed as ever.

Worm Infested (2003): The ghastly green is back to stand out on the shelves for ‘Worm Infested’, but I’m sure the solemn woman who appears to be inside a toothed vagina is another to catch your eye. She sits there with a cliché nipple piercing, surrounded by worms coming out of her womb. The un-phased expression on her face is probably more unnerving than if she was in pain, how is she so chilled out?

The Wretched Spawn (2004): If you weren’t already put off by the thought of child birth, you’re sure to have nightmares after the portrayal of ‘The Wretched Spawn’. If you’re midwife has a demonic face and blackened wings, its more than likely you’ll give birth to a monster through your mouth, your vagina and in Alien-style bursting from your chest. Simultaneously. Pass us the anaesthetic.

Kill (2006): It would appear that as Cannibal Corpse began to run out of witty album titles, so did Vincent Locke in turns of art. Then again, the word “KILL” printed in huge writing and wrapped in a bloody outline is probably self-explanatory enough for a death metal album. The choice of typography could probably have paid to be a bit more gory but maybe we’re just being greedy.

Evisceration Plague (2009): Deemed one of their weaker albums, the cover sleeve doesn’t do much to pull back points either, with a very standard black background, long-haired zombie ensemble. If this had been the first piece of art we had seen in the discography, it would probably be brutal enough however it feels as though we are becoming desensitized as the band go on.

Torture (2012): Wait, we’re sorry, we take the last comment back! For we do not wish to end up like the sacrificed souls on the ‘Torture’ artwork. In a similar vein to the ‘Butchered at Birth’ cover, hanging corpses, sliced and stitched hang across the top half of the print, whilst a masked, jean wearing  smiles sinisterly underneath, knife in hand. Luckily the music went back to its old school ways slightly too, so faith was restored in the deadly life of Cannibal Corpse!

cc

Published at http://www.soundshock.com

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