Saturday, December 13, 2014

Death Metal World Cup Quarter Finals: Cannibal Corpse vs Behemoth

Cannibal Corpse
A Skeletal Domain
The Satanist

A real tortoise and hare match up here: Cannibal Corpse have been doing their thing for a quarter century now, with little flair and hardly any drama, and "their thing" happens to be death metal in its purest form, with very little crossover appeal with any other [more popular] rock sub-genre. Despite all that, they may be the most visible representatives of death metal to the outside world. Their heightened visibility is acceptable though, because if a non-metalhead needs an explanation of what this music is, who better to represent us than Cannibal Corpse?

The success of their previous album made it seem like Behemoth exploded out of nowhere, but they’ve been diligently working their way up from the underground for over two decades. They were ubiquitous on old tape trading lists and distros in the pages of Metal Maniacs when I was a teenager, esoteric works like Grom offering glimpses of a clandestine world far beyond what I was privy to at the time. Despite being Mayhemfest and Hot Topic staples, it’s hard to attribute Behemoth’s success to anything other than their own talent and hard work. Truth is, Behemoth were becoming too large for snobby metal curmudgeons to keep to ourselves. Much like Cannibal Corpse, they have become commendable ambassadors to the mainstream for a world below. And honestly, the idea of clueless suburban teenagers coming back from the mall with a “Youth Against Christ” shirt makes me smile.

THE MATCH UP: On one hand, Cannibal Corpse can always be relied on to deliver a Cannibal Corpse album, with no "Radikult" shifts in style to worry about. On the other hand, that familiarity can sometimes lead to...well, over familiarity. Behemoth’s evolution from album to album has been exciting, and even when their reach exceeds their grasp, the attempts are at least interesting.

WINNER: Behemoth

NEXT MATCH: Origin vs At the Gates in the Semi Finals