“Butchered at Birth” is the second full length by the now huge band Cannibal Corpse, and besides, it is also my all-time favorite. After an unripe “Eaten Back to Life” in which Chris’ (ex-Leviathan) vocals were still half-deep and understandable, on this album the vocals have become a real paragon for gore-metal bands to come. Some mag even nicked Chris Barnes as “the sink”, and it was not far from the truth, the vocals here really sounds like two big rocks grinding one against the other. One second step that has been taken further from the debut is the lyrics which are now not just all-out-gore but also intrude into pornography (meathook sodomy etc.), it was quite difficult for me to retraive the lyrics for this album back then, as I had to get them from France as a meager photocopy. I don’t think they have ever been printed on the new digipack version either. But they should, Chris’ writing style about gore were really fascinating and fluid, standing to straight gore as Carcass were for pathology and medical matters. Some of the songs are true classics on this masterpiece, strating from “Vomit the Soul” which featured Glenn Benton as guest backing vocals, to my favorite “Under the Rotted Flesh” (brilliant drum tempos) or the great “Covered with Sores” which starts out with a real dark and slow, grinding pace. I wonder why isn’t Cannibal able to release abums like these. After this absolute masterpiece, and the following, even more complete “Tomb of the Mutilated”, Chris took a change in the singing style, the music got more easy listening, and the even the cover artwork become always more bland. “Butchered at Birth” is in my opinion the best Cannibal album to date, the cover artwork is simply revolting, I have lost hours contemplating it, it has been a swansong for both Vincent Locke (the cover artist, also on Dead World comics and recently illustrator for Dungeons and Dragons) and the band itself. It is so dark and brutal it is almost choking, with powerful rhytmic sections and vocals that really comes from the grave. Great classic and absolute buy for lovers of splatter and gore soaked Death Metal.