Centuries Of Torment: The First 20 Years [DVD] review by Cannibal Corpse

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  • Released: Jul 8, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Content: 9
  • Production Quality: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (35 votes)
Cannibal Corpse: Centuries Of Torment: The First 20 Years [DVD]
3

Sound — 9
With the advent of YouTube and other like-minded sites, gone are the days of searching endlessly for those live bootlegs on eBay and shady dealers at your local flea market. Nowadays, that obscure Morbid Angel rehearsal video you were looking for is just a mouse click away. While it made the life of the music obsessed much easier to manage, it posed a problem for the record labels trying to put together quality DVD releases. Why would anyone spend $17 on a DVD that you can just easily get for free on YouTube? It forced the labels to produce much better content and raised the bar much higher. In the end, the consumer wins out this time. The powers that be at Metal Blade Records obviously understand this and have just released one of the most impressive music DVD packages to grace store racks yet. Cannibal Corpse's new Centuries of Torment: The First 20 Years is made up 3 separate DVDs featuring the Death Metal giants. The package includes a detailed documentary on the group's history, live performances that span their entire career and interviews with past and present members of not only the band but many of their underground Metal counterparts. The documentary is definitely the jewel in this crown ultimately proving to be much more than just a career overview. With the 3 hour running time and exhaustively researched archive of gig posters and on-camera interviews, the film ends up acting as a sort of oral history of American Death Metal on top of a stellar Cannibal Corpse historical archive.

Content — 9
The live footage collected on the live portions of Centuries of Torment go from camcorder quality filmed performances from the band's early club days in Buffalo, NY to more recent headlining appearances in Europe caught in a professional, multi-camera style. As great as the stuff from their set at 2007's Full Force festival in Germany is, it's the footage from 1989 that leaves the deepest impression. The unpolished yet commanding performance of Eaten Back to Life's Thrash-Death staple, Shredded Humans is worth the price of admission alone! There is something so punishing about Chris Barne's early vocal style that it makes you wish the front man would revisit it in his current Six Feet Under gig.

Production Quality — 9
Expertly directed by Denise Korycki, the documentary trumps recently released like-minded discs from bands like God Forbid and Unearth. The fast-paced editing style lends the film an energetic flow that keeps your attention throughout the admittedly long running time. No interview clip overstays its welcome and the band members always offer interesting tidbits of insight to their colorful career. With it's crisp titles, vibrant menus, and elaborate DVD packaging, it's clear that no expense was spared.

Overall Impression — 9
Cannibal Corpse have been accused of many things throughout their lifespan but one thing the band definitely are is consistent. You can always count on the band to deliver an album packed to the rafters with one monolithic riff after the other and some of the most bile-laced lyrics this side of an Eli Roth penned screenplay. Their why fix it when it's not broken formula has served the band extremely well. Featuring interviews with members of veteran bands (Immolation, Obituary), more obscure ones (Cynic, Solstice), and the occasional curveball (Ice-T), Centuries of Torment is a testament to Cannibal Corpse's musical might and influence.

61 comments sorted by best / new / date

    metalness11
    this dvd is great, and it was only 30 bucks from where i got it from, definetly a good deal
    Tango616
    if only had someone who could sing joined the band...i like them buty i hate the singer..the playing and stuff is good especially hammer smashed face and make them suffer but they need a good singer
    GnikNus
    Tango616 wrote: if only had someone who could sing joined the band...i like them buty i hate the singer..the playing and stuff is good especially hammer smashed face and make them suffer but they need a good singer
    i think corpsegrinder fits the type of music quite well..
    SharpObject
    I like CC. That being said, I think that just because they're a death metal band doesn't mean they couldn't have tried to break the mold here and there. What bothers me 'bout them is their reluctance to progress their sound
    Dirtydeeds468
    Sintera666 wrote: Hell yea! gettin this very soon! btw, I think corpse is still underground, they dont play in many places bigger than club still. and just because one or two of their albums made it on the billboard chart doesn't automatically make them non-underground.
    In the big scope of things, CC aren't too underground. They play their share of mid-level clubs, but they're also playing a lot of pretty big arenas and whatnot. Anyways...MUST...GET...DVD...
    Shredder Guitar
    SharpObject wrote: I like CC. That being said, I think that just because they're a death metal band doesn't mean they couldn't have tried to break the mold here and there. What bothers me 'bout them is their reluctance to progress their sound
    Man, that's spot on dude. I agree... They just kinda keep releasing the same old stuff. But the same old stuff is badass... so theres really nothing to change. lol
    pkweon
    CC is not a band for everyone but they definitely deserves people's repsect therefore, HAIL THE CORPSE!!!!
    ImagineTheThorn
    SharpObject wrote: I like CC. That being said, I think that just because they're a death metal band doesn't mean they couldn't have tried to break the mold here and there. What bothers me 'bout them is their reluctance to progress their sound
    They did break the mold. They are the one Death Metal band to which all others should be compared to.
    TehShiz
    ShredGodsUnite wrote: Death Metal as a whole is "underground" in the sense that it still doesn't sell huge amounts of records. Cannibal Corpse have sold a million records but that is an amount added up from all of their albums in their ENTIRE career. It is definitely still an impressive number but bands like Slipknot sell that each time out and even crappy Metalcore bands on Victory sell bigger numbers than Cannibal Corpse in many cases. That said, CC deserve respect for their endurance and for always pushing their music forward.
    Great point there. Totally agree. I've heard of CC, but never gave them a listen. I think I will now. =D
    SerpentineVIVIV
    Don't like em that much, but I give them so much respect for being such an influence in the death metal scene...and plus, they're EXTREMELY talented. That said, I give my respect to the Corpse.
    Dimebagjeff
    i love cannibal corpse, chris barnes rules as does corpsegrinder they are both awesome, i gotta check this out.
    impropagation66
    HolyDiver1118 wrote: Dude I want to get into CC so bad. Which cd should I get?
    I guess The Bleeding is a good start, considering the vocals Barnes gives on this album is understandable, compared to other releases. But if you want the technical, good stuff, get Bloodthrist or Kill. Tomb Of The Mutilated is for people with the "stomach to digest it". That being said, it was the first album I bought.
    atkm2891
    HolyDiver1118 wrote: Dude I want to get into CC so bad. Which cd should I get?
    Eaten Back to Life is a pretty good start, if you are into a more thrashy death metal...
    mickmars2
    i've only got 2 CC albums (i just got into them about 3 months ago) tomb of the mutilated and kill. so i've been ckecking all of the tracks i ain't heard on the internet. i'm definatly gettin butchered at birth next. lol i was looking for this dvd and it's only 12.99 on play.com!!!
    mickmars2
    ok now i've just listened to some of eaten back to life and i personally think it's even better than butchered at birth, not sure which one to get. eaten or butchered?
    thrashnmosh782
    hell yeah bro get em both. i personally like the stuff with corpsegrinder better, his voice is more appealing to me. but nontheless, both are CC at their finest=D
    Slainone
    they arent an underground band, but I guarantee if I walked around in my school and asked 20 people, maybe 1 out of them would know who it is
    DeathProg
    I have all their albums and I must say I dont have a taste for Barnes' stuff but their early work is the place to start. After you can 'understand' what they're about... I GUARANTEE you one listen through Bloodthirst will be a very very rewarding experience.
    ShredGodsUnite
    Death Metal as a whole is "underground" in the sense that it still doesn't sell huge amounts of records. Cannibal Corpse have sold a million records but that is an amount added up from all of their albums in their ENTIRE career. It is definitely still an impressive number but bands like Slipknot sell that each time out and even crappy Metalcore bands on Victory sell bigger numbers than Cannibal Corpse in many cases. That said, CC deserve respect for their endurance and for always pushing their music forward.
    ealtdharkon
    First. I gotta say... I dunno if this is worth my cash, there's a thousand documentary's covering the history of death metal, and I've already got their live album... (I also hate Chris Barnes, so there you go, I wouldn't say I'm a real fan...)
    Regression
    Gore godfathers unleash one of the best DVD packages to hit the underground Metal scene!
    ... I didn't know Cannibal Corpse are an underground band? Not really a fan of there music, and I imagine it will cost alot/be hard to find so I probably won't buy it. However I have to give them credit for putting so much content on it.
    JC13
    I am buying this the day it comes out. Corpse forever.. I don't like Barnes much to be honest, but Corpsegrinder on the other hand is awesome, both at singing and as a person. Met him and Webster outside the venue during the Metal Blades 25th Anniversary tour. I was there about 4 hours early, and when my friend and I saw him we just growled his name, and he turned around laughing, and said : "Wow, you two are either die-hard fans of the corpse, or are about to rob me. One of those options will earn you a high five." Then we just talked to him for a bit, great guy.
    Wartooth
    people should get jobs that arent holding stop signs at intersections where road works are. They should make live DVDS or be brutal. So get a job.
    ealtdharkon
    Regression wrote: I didn't know Cannibal Corpse are an underground band?
    ...well spotted, they're not underground at all. They got an album into a pretty darn mainstream chart, so far as I'm aware...
    cliffemall123
    ealtdharkon wrote: Regression wrote: I didn't know Cannibal Corpse are an underground band? ...well spotted, they're not underground at all. They got an album into a pretty darn mainstream chart, so far as I'm aware...
    True, but they aren't necessarily big with pop music fans either. This DVD seems like its going to be very good. I want to get it.
    +}-136-{+
    I wouldn't say they are that much of an underground band, but not terribly mainstream either. I mean, they are the one of the biggest selling death metal bands of all time, but they aren't a big hit with Britney Spears fans so yeah. I think I'll be checking out this DVD, if possible. Normal live DVDs are alright but not worth spending cash on. If it comes with extensive histories and interviews, then hell yeah.
    metal4ever6328
    Just recently got into these guys, by boss actually attending a wedding and Webster was there, it was his relative getting married! Pretty cool, I know...
    Sintera666
    Hell yea! gettin this very soon! btw, I think corpse is still underground, they dont play in many places bigger than club still. and just because one or two of their albums made it on the billboard chart doesn't automatically make them non-underground.
    mikr
    Wartooth wrote: people should get jobs that arent holding stop signs at intersections where road works are. They should make live DVDS or be brutal. So get a job.
    didn't make a whole lot of sense.. especially since the stop sign holders get paid a lot more then people think. on the DVD, i'm not huge into death metal, but you have to respect any band who puts out CDs with as graphic as content as they have.