Will Corpsegrinder’s debut find its way into the mainstream?

Author John Hagen - 7.2.2022

For decades, and despite the odds, death metal oft seeped and oozed into the mainstream. For many, including yours truly, their first encounter was during the winter of 1994, when a new comedy starring Jim Carrey hit theaters across the globe.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was a box office success, and has since gathered a cult following. This was due in no small part to Carrey’s comedic performance, but also the film’s inclusion of brutal death metallers Cannibal Corpse.

Performing their hit “Hammer Smashed Face,” the band, then fronted by vocalist Christ Barnes, exposed the movie-going masses to an unprecedented genre of underground music: death metal.

George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher came on board a year later, relieving Barnes of his singing duties. He then went on to record eleven studio albums with the band, including 2021’s widely successful “Violence Unimagined.”

And much like Barnes, Corpsegrinder had his own stint in motion pictures entertainment, both inspiring and voicing characters for Adult Swim’s mid-2000s animated series Metalocalypse.

True to a real-life metal character, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher began 2022 with the launch of his first solo album. Self-titled “Corpsegrinder,” the death-and-thrash-looking cover art features his likeness, beating-up and tearing apart a horde of zombies against a post-apocalyptic backdrop.

The first single, “Acid Vat,” which was released in December last year, teased what was shaping up to be one of 2022’s biggest releases. Featuring Morbid Angel alumni and current Cannibal Corpse lead guitarist Erik Rutan, the track set high expectations.

The riff-driven and tremolo-thick piece provides the base for the veteran vocalist to lay down his vocal groundwork. And while Cannibal Corpse fans will feel familiar with the new material due to Corpsegrinder’s singular voice, this 10-song effort, overall, presents stark differences.

With the absence of brutalist and bassist Alex Webster, one of Cannibal Corpse’s most prolific songwriters, Fisher was at liberty to develop a sound of his own—one that remains firmly within the boundaries of death metal, yet borrows heavily from thrash and hardcore.

Expect Slayer-like breakdowns and hardcore beatdowns. This should not come as a surprise when looking at the album personnel; Jamey Jasta, of Hatebreed fame, is credited as a co-producer. It is also on Jasta’s new label, Perseverance Music Group, that Corpsegrinder is releasing his eponymous title.

The inclusion of hardcore and thrash elements fits into the current trend of cross-pollination we are witnessing in some corners of extreme music. In my opinion, this sort of gateway release can bridge gaps, break genre-barriers, and expand audiences, which benefits everyone.

Will Corpsegrinder’s debut find its way into the mainstream, just as Cannibal Corpse did in the early 90s? This remains to be seen, but with its star-studded production and hook-loaded tunes, this album will, without doubt, help feed blood to oxygen-deprived extremities like death metal.