By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy
When it comes to death metal, you always have to include the band Cannibal Corpse. This group has been a major cornerstone in the vicious subgenre that has birthed other groups like Death and Morbid Angel. Although they never had any major radio play, their cult following has helped them become the best-selling death metal band today with over 2 million albums sold. Cannibal Corpse is also one of most controversial bands out there due to their violent lyrics and grotesque artwork featured on their album covers. I wondered why do they thrive on the controversy and why the violent imagery. I got the chance to find when I booked an interview with rhythm guitarist Rob Barrett. While he is not an original member, Barrett has been bringing hellacious riffs to the band since 1992. As Cannibal Corpse is on the verge of releasing their 15th studio album with Metal Blade Records, Violence Unimagined, Barrett left his cards on the table for me to see.
Barrett has been spending his downtime at home working on new material. Who knew that a pandemic lockdown would be an almost perfect time to put out new music? When it comes to influences, he favors more Malcolm Young of AC/DC, one of the main reasons why he prefers to play rhythm guitar, although he does do lead riffs every now and then. Barrett would talk about the process of putting together Violence Unimagined. He says that this album has more variety in the songwriting than their previous LP, Red Before Black. He wrote four songs for the album, three of which includes “Inhumane Harvest,” “Bound and Burned,” and “Follow the Blood,” his favorite. This is the fifth album produced by Erik Rutan, who also replaced Pat O’Brien on lead guitar. We would talk about what he brings to the table as a producer and player in Cannibal Corpse. When I asked him about the nature of the group’s violent content, his answer was simple: they wanted to take death metal to the next level of extremeness, and their love of horror films. The band appeared in the Jim Carrey comedy classic, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Barrett talked about the experience and getting to meet the comedic legend, who happens to be a huge death metal fan. That cameo (filmed at a venue called the Cameo) helped propel their career even further.
It was so awesome chatting with a member of Cannibal Corpse. Barrett was another down-to-earth rocker who loves what he does. We both have a passion for metal, and a pure distaste for the voting members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We both want Iron Maiden to go in, but who knows what those elitists are thinking. I am excited for Violence Unimagined, and he is ready to play to mosh pits once again. To Rob Barrett, I salute you. Horns up!!!