Centuries Of Torment - The First 20 Years (DVD)
No fan can be without this one
After celebrating their fifteenth anniversary (Marked by their 15 Year Killing Spree box set from 2003), legendary New York death metal band Cannibal Corpse are once again celebrating another milestone - this time, their twentieth anniversary. Twenty years is a monumental milestone in any language, let alone a death metal band. Cannibal Corpse's latest release is anything but a desperate attempt to seek attention, or a shameless way to fleece fans of their hard earned cash. Instead, Centuries Of Torment - The First 20 Years is a celebration of the band's momentous twenty years together, and undoubtedly the ultimate Cannibal Corpse package ever put together from a diehard fans perspective. Unlike 15 Year Killing Spree (Which featured three audio discs and a D.V.D.), Centuries Of Torment - The First 20 Years offers twenty years of the band's history over three D.V.D.'s. And what a package it is!
The centerpiece of this huge package is obviously the Cannibal Corpse History disc. Despite its three hour running length, at no point does the documentary drift into a boring lull, or fail to keep the viewer completely fixated on the compelling story behind the band's incredible rise to fame within the death metal scene. Broken into chapters that covers the band's various album releases, the Cannibal Corpse story is recounted by those who were a part of the band at the time (Including all of the former members, with the exception of Bob Rusay, whose been out of contact with the music scene since his dismissal in 1993), the various band's who played with Cannibal Corpse both before and after they were signed to Metal Blade Records, along with thoughts and insights from industry personnel, friends, and family members, all fleshed out with lots of archival footage of the band at the time. While incredibly detailed, the Cannibal Corpse History documentary is also quite funny at times, as well as honest and forthright in both the positives (Success) and the negatives (The changing of members throughout the years) associated with the influential Buffalo based death metal act.
The Cannibal Corpse Performances disc is another interesting trip through the band's history, with the thirty live tracks ranging from 1989, through to the band's performance at Germany's annual With Full Force festival in 2007. While some of the footage is little more than hand held camcorder recordings (Especially the earlier material with Chris Barnes fronting the band), the fact that there's actually recorded footage of the band from those early years more than makes up for the somewhat dubious sound. Also included on this disc are all seven of the band's promotional video clips to date. And while many have been released on various Cannibal Corpse releases in the past, it has to be said that it's great to have them all compiled in the one place for the first time.
Finishing up this collection is a disc of bits and pieces entitled Bonus Chunks. It's here that the band go into greater detail about a variety of topics such as the band's rather graphic artwork (Provided by Vincent Locke, who is interviewed as well), fan tattoo art, the band's highly collectable merchandise, touring, lyrical content, vocalist George 'Corpsegrinder' Fisher's involvement with Adult Swim cartoon series Metalocalypse, the band members various side projects (Hate Eternal and Eulogy), individual band profiles from the current line-up (From virtually everyone featured in the said documentary) and a rather disturbing claymation feature entitled Kill Crane (Which brings to life Locke's characters from various Cannibal Corpse artwork).
Given the overwhelming amount of interviews and footage contained within the Cannibal Corpse's Centuries Of Torment - The First 20 Years release, it's impossible to recount all the highlights within a single review. Suffice to say that the Cannibal Corpse History documentary as a whole is an absolute stunning movie in itself, one of the best metal band documentaries I have viewed to date, and worth the asking price for this collection alone. Metal Blade has spared no expense on this package, and I have no doubt that fans will agree wholeheartedly.
(Metal Blade Records/Stomp Records Distribution)