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3.37 | 19 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1990


1. Shredded Humans (5:11)
2. Edible Autopsy (4:32)
3. Put Them to Death (1:50)
4. Mangled (4:29)
5. Scattered Remains, Splattered Brains (2:34)
6. Born in a Casket (3:20)
7. Rotting Head (2:26)
8. The Undead Will Feast (2:49)
9. Bloody Chunks (1:53)
10. A Skull Full of Maggots (2:07)
11. Buried in the Backyard (5:12)

Total Time: 36:27


- Chris Barnes / Vocals
- Bob Rusay / Lead & Rhythm Guitars
- Jack Owen / Lead & Rhythm Guitars
- Alex Webster / Bass
- Paul Mazurkiewicz / Drums, Percussion

About this release

Full-length, Metal Blade Records, August 17th, 1990

The record was banned in Germany until June 2006 because the cover artwork was
considered to be too violent.

Glen Benton (Deicide) and Francis H. Howard (Incubus) sang back-up vocals on two songs: "Mangled" and "A Skull Full Of Maggots".

The rerelease includes a bonus song/video "Born In A Casket (live)" (3:36)

Thanks to Stooge, UMUR for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Back in 1990, Eaten Back to Life by Cannibal Corpse was the epitome of what it truly meant to be 'extreme' in the world of heavy metal music. A bloody cover laden with zombies and collapsing intestines is the first thing anybody will notice when taking a look at the album; open up the CD booklet, and you'll then read a kind little message that states “this album is dedicated to the memory of Alfred Packer, the first American cannibal (R.I.P.)”. But that's not all, folks - you also have song titles like “Edible Autopsy”, “Born in a Casket”, “The Undead Will Feast”, “A Skull Full of Maggots”, along with many other un-family friendly tunes. Factor in the gore movie-styled lyrics and it suddenly becomes a bit clearer why this generated so much controversy when it was released - Germany and a few other countries even went as far as to downright ban Eaten Back to Life with no censored alternative. Even though this may not seem quite as brutal today as it did over twenty years ago, Eaten Back to Life still stands as one of the most definitive and extreme examples of early brutal death metal. Cannibal Corpse's debut is flawed in many key aspects, but it is still a must-have for all death metal addicts.

The music on Eaten Back to Life is brutal death metal just like we're used to from Cannibal Corpse, albeit a bit more raw and unpolished than some of their following efforts. Calling this album 'primitive' death metal also wouldn't be too out of the question - most of the riffs are pretty fast paced and simple, the growled vocals are hardly decipherable, and the drumming is quick and energetic. The rather sloppy musicianship and thin production also serve as evidence that this is death metal in its most primitive form. Variation is seldom found on Eaten Back to Life, but Cannibal Corpse does manage to change up tempos every now and again to keep things interesting. Even though the music is very one-dimensional and not all that interesting, I always find myself having a great times when tracks like “Edible Autopsy”, “Mangled”, or “A Skull Full of Maggots” come on.

This short, thirty six minute album is pretty fun and enjoyable when it's on, but I do have an issue with its general lack of memorability. No matter how much fun I have when Eaten Back to Life is in the CD player, I have a tough time remembering more than a handful of riffs when the album ends; this is ultimately Eaten Back to Life's fatal flaw. Of course, I wasn't expecting any melodic hooks or catchy choruses, but a large chunk of the riffs just aren't interesting enough to keep my attention for too long. Cannibal Corpse still hadn't sharpened their songwriting skills at this point in their career, and hopefully this is something they improved over the course of their next few albums.

Eaten Back to Life is a shocking, disgusting, and pretty damn fun debut album from Cannibal Corpse, and every old school death metal fan should definitely label this as a 'classic'. I can't say that this album impressed me all that much, but there's enough quality material here to justify a 3 star rating. This is a seminal brutal death metal album, though, and I can fully understand why many people are willing to praise this much more than I am. This is just too one-dimensional to get more than a passive recommendation from me.
"Eaten Back to Life" is the debut full-length studio album by US death metal act Cannibal Corpse. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in August 1990. Originally formed in Buffalo, New York in 1988, Cannibal Corpse initially consisted of members from two local acts (Beyond Death and Tirant Sin), that came together to play the most savage, brutal, and vile music imaginable.

Initally they played very brutal thrash metal, but they soon started playing a more death metal oriented style with gory lyrics. It´s easy to hear the band´s early thrash metal influences on "Eaten Back to Life", but Cannibal Corpse took the word brutal to a whole new level on this album. Considering the time of release, "Eaten Back to Life" was among the most savagely brutal death metal albums released up until then.

So stylistically the music on Eaten Back to Life is brutal death metal predominantly played in a really fast pace. Where not talking ultra fast blasting though and there are heavier sections featured on the album too. The gory cover artwork and especially the lyrics are quite explicit, and earned Cannibal Corpse bans in several countries. Most known are probably the ban they received in Germany, which lasted until 2006. Chris Barnes vocals are semi-intelligible growling on this album. So the almost completely unintelligible growling vocals on the two successors, are generally quite different from the vocals on this album. The vocals are still very brutal and paired with the vile lyrics, there´s a reason Cannibal Corpse, where considered one of the most extreme metal bands of their time.

Tracks like "A Skull Full of Maggots", "Mangled", "Shredded Humans", and "Born in a Casket", are some of the highlights of the album (the two former features backing vocals by Glenn Benton from Deicide and Francis H. Howard from Incubus to great effect). It´s not all tracks on the 11 track, 36:27 minutes long album that stand out as much as those above mentioned tracks do, and there are actually quite a few tracks on the album that are forgotten as soon as they are over. It wouldn´t be completely wrong to call the music a bit one-dimensional either, as there is generally very little variation on the album.

The musicianship is on a pretty high level for the style, and the Morrisound Studios recorded and Scott Burns produced album, features a powerful, raw, and brutal sound production, which suits the music perfectly. I´m not sure I think it´s aged that well (especially the guitar tone isn´t that well sounding), but back then this was considered one of the most brutal sound productions ever created. So all elements go hand in hand on "Eaten Back to Life" and together create a decent quality product and an overall promising first release by Cannibal Corpse. It´s quite different sounding from the rest of their discography, and in that respect it´s the odd one out, but to my ears that´s only an advantage. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.
Cannibal Corpse got the attention of Metal Blade head Brian Slagel for writing a song entitled “A Skull Full Of Maggots”. Once signed to a record deal, they went even further to attract the public’s attention by calling their debut Eaten Back To Life, topping it with an amusingly gory cover by Vince Locke. I can’t think of a more appropriate way to kick-start a career playing music referred to as “death metal”. Can you?

Most of the songs on this album are rather fast paced, and features a rather muddy guitar sound. It’s a rather easy to swallow death metal album as it is not as technical as their later work would be. The whole album goes at a steady, head-banging pace, but admittedly suffers from a lack of variety. It’s not like I’m expecting some ballads or anything. It’s just that song-writing wise, many of the songs seem to lack their own unique identity.

If you have heard any other Cannibal Corpse album, you won’t be too surprised when you hear their debut. The band is just a bit sloppier on their instruments, and the production is thinner sounding.

This is probably the Cannibal Corpse album where the vocals are the hardest to decipher, but as long as you have a copy of the lyrics, you are in for a real treat. So many hilarious lyrics on here (in a good way), but my favorites have to be “His eyeballs ejected his sight unaffected, he saw his own organs collapse” from the song “Shredded Humans” and “Veins exposed, torn from bodies, the most interesting of hobbies. To get paid for such a task is more than any man could ask” from “Scattered Remains, Splattered Brains”.

My personal favorite songs of the album are “Shredded Humans”, “Edible Autopsy”, “Born In A Casket” and “A Skull Full Of Maggots”.

A good album for a debut, but there aren’t a whole lot of memorable songs outside the ones I just mentioned. Cannibal Corpse will get better at crafting more memorable work in the future.

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