American death metal titans Cannibal Corpse must love Australia, with fans down under pegged to be the first in the world to hear tracks from their upcoming album, A Skeletal Domain, live. Guitarist Rob Barrett talks to JESSICA WILLOUGHBY ahead of their show on Tuesday, September 9, at Capitol.
Violence, in every sense of the word, has always served as a source of inspiration for longstanding death metal outfit Cannibal Corpse.
The most disturbing and depraved act offers the richest fodder for this five-piece to pen a lyric – with many of their most memorable tracks such as Pit Of Zombies (2002) and Meat Hook Sodomy (1991) taking colourful and fantastical twists.
Now, after 26 years of blood-drenched illusion, the band is turning to real life horrors to fuel their desire for gore. “We’re always basing things around violence pretty much,” guitarist Rob Barrett laughs. “But this time we tapped into real, non-fictional topics and made them our own.
“I actually read a story about this crazy doctor a long time ago that was doing lobotomy’s on people with ice picks. That’s where the song, Ice Pick Lobotomy, came from. That’s based on a real story, but I turned it into my own thing and put my own spin on it. Alex’s been diving into sociopath kind of stuff. People that aren’t right in the head and doing violent things. This sort-of real life approach is the path we chose for our upcoming album.”
The album Barrett is referring to is Cannibal Corpse’s 13th album, A Skeletal Domain. Recorded in February at Audio Hammer Studios in Florida, this release sees lead guitarist Patrick O’Brien stepping into the spotlight and writing a majority of the material.
“He was just really on fire,” Barrett explains. “He just kept coming up with all these great ideas. He was getting together with Paul (Mazurkiewicz, drums) at the practice room and putting together songs before we could really have our next song prepared. He just really had it flowing. This album is Pat’s shining moment, I guess you could say. He did some really kick-arse solos throughout the album as well. I guess it all depends on how much your creative process is flowing at the time.”
This offering also signals a change in the production department with the band stepping away from Erik Rutan, who has worked on Cannibal Corpse’s last three releases, instead opting to go with Mark Lewis – who’s touch can be felt on recent Death Angel, Chimaira and Trivium LPs.
“He’s done a lot of great work, especially the DevilDriver stuff and Black Dahlia Murder and Deicide,” Barrett says. “He’s just done a lot of really good stuff. It seems like through the history of Cannibal recordings, every three or four albums we’ll switch to a different producer just to mix things up. It was a cool experience. He’s really fast working and the quality of the production is awesome – we’re all happy with it.”
One thing Australian fans can certainly be happy about is they will be the first in the world to hear A Skeletal Domain live, with next week’s national tour kicking off just in time for the album’s release. This means Perth diehards will be experiencing the bulk of the LP in the flesh on September 9.
“There’s been some talk of maybe doing half of the new album on this tour,” Barrett says. “I know when we released Torture (2012), at one point we were doing six songs from that live. We definitely want to promote the new material hard. It’s somewhat difficult to satisfy everybody set-wise because we have so many songs now and so many albums. We’re just going to try and at least do one song from every album and as many of the new songs as we can.”