Butchered at Birth reviews
drummingnerd99 on June 12th, 2017
Crunch, Crunch, Crunch
Cannibal Corpse are probably the most popular death metal band out there, and for good reason too. Their signature brand of vulgar brutal death metal is one that continues to influence people to this day, and Butchered At Birth is only a piece of evidence to support this.
To put it lightly, this album is a classic. I'm pretty sure for 1991, that NO ONE else was doing what Chris Barnes was doing with his vocals, or playing death metal the way these guys do. The best way to describe every song on this album is crunchy and brutal. I gotta give props to Jack Owen and Bob Rusay for creating a hell of a guitar tone. Not only does it seriously fuck your face with how absurdly heavy it is, but it also helps makes the songs even better. I seriously couldn't imagine this album with a different guitar tone, or something a little less abrasive to the ears. One could argue that the songs don't have a lot of variety, but this is fucking Cannibal Corpse! Not Opeth (no diss to those guys, they rule too) All the songs have the same formula, skull crushing riffs, punkish blast beats mixed with the occasional thrash beat, or even mid-tempo groove, and plenty of proto-brutal vocals.
There's really not a lot to say about this album that hasn't already been said by other users on this website. The only thing I could add is that I really do feel that this album and Tomb Of The Mutilated really helped pioneer what would become brutal death metal. Think about it, no other band except maybe Suffocation at this time were playing music like this. Both this album and Effigy Of The Forgotten by Suffocation can be viewed as blueprints for the brutal death metal/slam metal genre that would later become the popular genre that it became today. I highly recommend this to anyone who's just getting into the first wave of death metal, for it has characteristics of later day death metal, while also having enough traits from the past.
12disneyhater on August 31st, 2015
More gruesome, more disgusting, more visceral
Barnes-era Cannibal Corpse was filled with surprises. Every record was distinct and stood on its own, and it seems that the boundaries of death metal were only pushed more with each succeeding album. "Eaten Back to Life" was primitive and thrash-infused, but it was an excellent start and it was clear that the group could only go uphill from there. They did just that with their superb sophomore effort "Butchered at Birth", which marked a shift in songwriting quality and a new sound, strafing away from death/thrash in favor of what could almost be called proto-brutal death, featuring some of the heaviest and fastest songs of its time, paving the way for many other acts to come.
You can always count on CC to deliver an impressively gory slab of musical violence, and it was this album that cemented the signature sound of the Barnes era; dastardly riffs combined with a sense of artistry and metaphorical disgust, and lyrics that to this day are some of death metal's sickest and most demented ever, being surpassed by not even the band themselves post-Barnes. Everything that made "Eaten Back to Life" really good is here, but turned up to eleven. As if the cover art depicting two zombies hanging dead fetuses to the ceiling by their umbilical cords wasn't a clear enough indication, CC showed us all they weren't going anywhere, and they had only just begun.
Chris Barnes completely discards the thrash-like chant he used on the first album in favor of incredibly low growls that would go on to influence countless future bands and become his signature over the years. He gives one of his most brutal vocal performances to date on this record, and I would even say arguably his best with the band. A lot of people consider his vocal style to be extremely monotonous, but I feel like that's exactly what he was aiming for. Chris was never trying to reinvent the wheel, just stay on it and do what he could with it, which is something that makes him one of my favorites. Even as his voice rapidly aged in his later years, he still found ways to use it with the music.
The songwriting is a little more technical than it was before, although not nearly as complex as many of the songs they wrote post-Barnes ("Frantic Disembowelment" comes to mind). But with that being said, it's not all that difficult to follow. Though undeniably, it is just gruesomely ugly, and in a good way. Everything that CC wanted to do finally came together cohesively on "Butchered at Birth", cementing their status as old-school death metal juggernauts before their style would even be known as old-school. Opting for an approach that was raw, speedy, and relentless, they pushed the original death metal sound to its absolute limits.
Releases the same year as many other landmark death metal releases such as Suffocation's "Effigy of the Forgotten", Massacre's "From Beyond", Entombed's "Clandestine", Death's "Human", and Carcass's "Necroticism", CC's sophomore release had them joining the ranks of the future kings of the genre, the most influential bands of the death metal scene. And what made it even more impressive was that at the time, they didn't even know it yet. "Butchered at Birth" is an album that speaks for itself.
GiantRex on August 26th, 2012
Baby - the Other White Meat
This album and I share a special relationship. Butchered at Birth holds the distinction of being the first death metal record I ever listened to in its entirety. Non-coincidentally, after this record took my death metal virginity, I would then give up on trying to like death metal for about three more years. Quite simply, I was not ready for this album. I should have known when my eyes glazed over staring at the grotesque cover that I wasn't ready for it. I had never encountered anything that was so unforgiving in its depravity. I couldn't wrap my mind around it. My young mind found it unsettling. Much to my surprise, and perhaps to my relief, I would discover long afterward that even to this day this album stands as a monolith of ugliness and inaccessibility.
I'll be honest - I don't like this album. I understand its significance, both aesthetically and musically, but I have never enjoyed it and I have my doubts that I ever will. However, I will give credit where credit is due; Cannibal Corpse gets major praise for fully separating themselves from thrash metal and for expanding (perhaps creating) the creepy sound of sickness now so common in death metal. As noted by the band members themselves in subsequent documentary films, Butchered at Birth is a major departure from the sound they established on their debut record, Eaten Back to Life. Almost every trace of their original thrash metal roots has been erased. Truly, they are among the progenitors of the genre.
My praise of the album essentially stops there. Butchered at Birth is high in significance and low in excellence. After numerous listens over the course of years, there is really only one track here that I think stands out at all, and it's the opener. "Meat Hook Sodomy" is an exercise in disgust. The opening section is unnerving, and the frantic riffing that follows it is frightening. As I see it, it's also a microcosm of the album. Everything you need to know about the entire record is on display in the first track. Frantic, sickly-sounding riffing is the norm. The majority of the riffs are not catchy or memorable at all. Relentless blast beats and chugging abound. The vocals are standard. The bass is... somewhere.
That brings me to another major point. The production on this album sucks. It's quiet, and that's exactly the opposite of what death metal (and metal music in general) wants to achieve. Hidden somewhere in this muted mess is the bass, which is just audible enough for me to acknowledge it exists. The drums are probably the most adequately produced of the instruments, but the snare sounds flat and static. The guitars are terrible. I don't want to go out on a limb and say this album has the worst guitar tone I have ever heard, because I have heard some remarkably shitty black metal and brutal death metal in my time. Regardless, the guitars are still way too distorted, too high-pitched for this kind of metal, and too whiny in timbre.
None of the songs are overtly bad, but nor are any exceptional. The opening track is a good attention-grabber, but the rest of the album just seems to chug and blast along like clockwork, only occasionally awkwardly slowing down. In some sense, this trait is part of the album's legacy. True to their image, their lyrical content, and their album art, the music Cannibal Corpse gives us here exudes a feeling of surgical precision. In a way, that's what makes Butchered at Birth so aesthetically interesting. Simultaneously, however, it also can (and often will) make the listener yearn for music with more varied composition and a sound that less strongly resembles fingernails scraping a chalkboard.
The merit of this album, as I see it, comes from its image and legacy, and not from the quality of its content. Anyone who has been interested in death metal for two days knows that there exist literally hundreds of bands who have based their entire careers on influences from Cannibal Corpse's early work. Though I am certain there are some folks out there who worship this record, I for one do not find myself visiting it nearly often enough to justify owning it and would be very disappointed if I went to a Cannibal Corpse show and saw the band perform any of the songs from this album live. Take it, leave it, or cut it into pieces any way you like.
1234SLAYER1234 on March 11th, 2012
Classic slab of brutal death metal
Most Cannibal Corpse fans are split into two camps: those who like George Fisher and those who like Chris Barnes. This album I would always pick as my favorate Cannibal Corpse album, as it combines brutality with catchy and memorable, yet technical riffs, which is what I look for in death metal. I am a huge fan of all Cannibal Corpse's material, but I would allways consider Cannibal's first four albums to be their finest.
The album opens with "Meat Hook Sodomy" where the listener is immediately crushed by one of the best tracks on the album, a great example of Cannibal Corpse's ability to write original tracks back in the 1990's (listen to the riff at 2.05). "Gutted" follows this trend with great memorable riffing, another highlight of the album. However, the only lacking aspect of this album is the production, as I find Alex Webster's bass to be too low in the mix in comparison to the very clear bass tone on "Tomb Of The Mutilated". This isnt a huge problem as the lack of bass in the mix is made up for by the tightness and crunchy tone of the guitars. Chris Barnes is at his best on this album in my opinon, before his vocal chords were destroyed by years of smoking cannabis (Bringer Of Blood anyone?).
The song that really made me buy this album was "Rancid Amputation" which I consider to be one of the best songs Cannibal Corpse have ever created, with tons of rapid double bass passages from Paul Mazurkiewiez, with the highlight of the song being 2 minuites in, my favorate Cannibal Corpse riff gets me windmilling everytime. Fans of Deicide would be interested to note Glen Benton's vocal part on "Vomit The Soul", being another choice cut from this album. Glen's short, but brutal vocal line on the song creates a truly evil feel to the song. Many people would be put off by the lyrical content of death metal, let alone one of the most brutal album covers of its time. However, I have never judged music on the lyrics, but on the musical content, and Chris Barnes creates some seriously vile themes on this album. Look through the lyrics and one would assume the guys in the studio just flicked through a medical textbook and picked out as many gross medical terms as possible, but not to the extent of being complete bullshit (the Mexican Disgorge, for example).
Overall, this album to me is Cannibal Corpse's finest moment with everything death metal needs - brutality, technicality, and ability to be memorable. Go buy this piece of death metal history.
Highlights - Rancid Amputation, Vomit The Soul, Gutted, Meat Hook Sodomy, and Butchered At Birth.
grain_silo on August 8th, 2011
Look At Those Babies...
“Butchered at Birth” is Cannibal Corpse’s first pure death metal album. Their first being some kind of hybrid between death and thrash; this album is pure, straight-forward death metal.
For some reason, the production gets a lot of flak, I’m not sure why. I think it sounds pretty good, not nearly as good as “Tomb of the Mutilated” and maybe a bit of a step down from their debut, but it still sounds really good. The guitars sounds really good, they are extremely heavy. The drums sound decent, the snare is kind of flat and the cymbals are kind of quiet at times. The huge problem I have with the production is that the bass is too quiet. Alex Webster’s bass needs to be extremely loud so we can hear how amazing he is and sadly, the bass is just not there.
The songs are quite different from their debut. They really decided to focus all their attention on making a death metal album instead of what they did on their debut. The riffs are heavier, the drums are faster, and the vocals are much more guttural. “Gutted” starts with an insanely heavy chugging riff and then goes into the blasting death metal that consumes most of this album. This song has a lot of heavy chugging riffs and is easily the best song on here just because of how heavy it is. “Living Dissection” has some pretty fast double bass and is straight death metal, not overly memorable but still a solid song. “Under the Rotted Flesh” is one of those songs that is just fast pretty much the whole song and can get tiring after a while. “Covered with Sores” is an awesome song with a pretty cool thrash part and some very heavy riffs. “Vomit the Soul” has Glen Benton from Deicide doing backing vocals and he does an amazing job and this song also has an amazing thrash part in the middle. “Rancid Amputation” has an amazing chugging riff. The title track is just so-so. It doesn’t really do much for me. “Innards Decay” is another shining moment from this album.
The riffs on this album are much heavier than their debut. They aren’t really more technical but just crazier in terms of speed and heaviness. The solos are just fast, all over the place solos that fit the songs very nicely. The drummer stepped his double bass skills up quite a bit but his drumming can get repetitive at times because a lot of the songs are extremely fast. The vocals on here are perfect. They are not as guttural as “Tomb” but are much more guttural than their debut. You can’t really understand what he’s saying for the most part but you get a few words occasionally. I think Chris sounds the best on this album.
Lyrically, this album is awesome. They are a more mature version of their debut and not sexually oriented like they are on “Tomb”. Mostly ripping out guts and eating them, but they keep the reader engrossed because of how disgusting they are.
The album cover is definitely my favorite album cover of all time.
I would recommend this album to any die hard Cannibal Corpse fan.
Best tracks – “Gutted”, “Rancid Amputation”, and “Vomit the Soul”
autothrall on January 16th, 2010
Yawn of the dead
And so the masters of carnage sought to surpass themselves in the category of butcher block, and so they did succeed...more or less, in digging for a deeper, darker tone and penning an even more repulsive set of lyrics to shock the death metal aspirant, who at the time was still trying to contend with the fact that his beloved thrash metal had been mutated into such a monstrosity, sweeping the country and the world in a haze of nihilistic, grotesque orgies. The problem is, Cannibal Corpse managed to write an album here that, while surpassing Eaten Back to Life in extremity, is somehow even more boring in retrospect, with very few riffs of note that I would ever specifically seek out for any fix. This is truly one of those records you will remember simply for its sickness and disdain for the vitality of life, and never really for anything bordering on musical merit, unless the only merit you seek is the chugging groove of bland USDM.
I'm afraid "Meat Hook Sodomy" is little more than a pretty name; because once you've gotten past the wall of guitar noises that introduce it, there is nothing more than a frenetic but uninteresting riff that swerves into a dull chug-a-long. At around 3:00, a Death-like, old school rhythm erupts, but the note pattern is simply not that interesting. "Gutted" struts along with another chugging rhythm that is nigh indistinguishable from many others the same band has written, not to mention the dozens of would-be's that were releasing albums at the time. "Living Dissection" is all too redundant, with yet another chug-chug-chug-chug-chug-chug that morphs into a half-decent, if forgettable old school rhythm. I'm probably giving the impression that I have some beef with the palm mute in metal, which is totally not the case, it's just too often that I hear this type of breakdown riff executed without any sense of taste or catchy rhythm, and these early Cannibal Corpse albums are some of the original culprits to spawn a gajillion lifeless copies that seem to believe that simply chugging and down-tuning a guitar makes an album automatically heavy. There is nothing heavy about being bored.
And so this pattern continues through a great deal of the remaining six tracks. "Under the Rotted Flesh" weaves a morbid atmosphere through some creepy riffs akin to Obituary, but it builds up to nothing, there is just no payoff aside from a few more typical bottom feeding riffs that lead into an exploding lead. "Covered With Sores" opens in a dull, bluesy death groove but soon transforms into the same slushy sort of spastic rhythm that occupied "Meat Hook Sodomy". "Vomit the Soul" has a great title, but more of those faceless riffs get lost in the shuffle and are difficult to discern from so many others. The title track is a little more technical and punchy, but by the "Rancid Amputation" arrives, I'm nearly falling asleep since it seems unlikely there will be anything of note to round off this album. "Innards Decay" strives to prove this statement false, and granted it's a lot better than most tracks on the album, with a killer warlike chug at :30 that again recalls Obituary, and a finale which borders on crawling death/doom.
Listening to Butchered at Birth is something like staring at a wall, or a zen rock garden. You seek a deeper pattern of meaning or enlightenment through its architecture, but whatever the stone or brick or branch reveals, this album does not. It's a pedestrian brutal bludgeoning effort which accomplishes little more than to reflect the callous indiscretion of a moldering corpse, the bleak face of death unflinching as the 5 men from Buffalo play around in your guts and organs, stopping to take a bite here or there if they think you will be tasty. Is it terrible? No. And neither is it important, especially from a band like this who clearly has what it takes, and will prove this in the latter half of their discography.
Highlights: waiting for the bonesaw to descend and cut you free from this ennui.
hells_unicorn on March 15th, 2009
How to butcher death metal.
There’s a divide in the death metal scene that largely manifests itself in the differing opinions on this album and its predecessor “Eaten Back To Life”. For most this is an ideological question as many in the older guard believe that the thrash roots of the genre are the source of its vitality, while the newer adherents to the sound look for brutality more than symmetry. Consequently, this album gets trashed for essentially abandoning practically any semblance of thrash in favor of a sound defined by atonal blurs of notes, arrhythmic shifts in beat, and a general atmosphere of gore and horror. Being a pioneering effort in unrestrained brutal death metal, “Butchered At Birth” does contain a remnant of the “Reign In Blood” character of death/thrash, but in such a concentrated dose that it doesn’t sound very close to it to an untrained ear.
As far as I’m concerned, this ideological divide misses the point completely, as this album’s fatal flaw is not in its stylistic attributes, but in its butchered (no pun intended) delivery. It’s hard to discern whether Cannibal Corpse was trying to draw out the punishingly low guttural vocal delivery of Chris Barnes or not, but the production quality of the music is so top heavy that it makes “And Justice For All” sound like a sludge album. The guitars, in particular, sound like an aluminum baseball bat getting destroyed by a sandblaster. The bass may as well not be present through 90% of this album, as it’s buried under a towering mountain of muddled double bass work and high end snare cracks. There’s a brief section at the end of the closing song “Innards Decay” where the bass creeps out of hiding and gets some activity beyond doubling the guitars, though it seems like its level in the mix was also boosted pretty significantly for some strange reason.
With a production this top heavy, combined with a drum production that is really dry sounding, the various lead parts tend to have a large amount of prominence in the arrangement. The guitar solos are mostly Slayer inspired chromatic note flurries with a fair amount of whammy bar noise, which when combined with a wetter mix of guitar effects, results in the leads almost completely cancelling out the prominence of the riffs in the background. The vocals accomplish the same thing without the need of effects or a busier collection of rapid notes, as they are so morosely guttural and low that they replace the bass as the album’s bottom end. Chris Barnes’ vocal delivery is consistent and punishing, which is actually a credit to a musically sloppy album, in spite of what old school death thrashers might say to the contrary. When accounting for the absurd subject matter depicted in the lyrics of this album, this is the sort of voice that you look for, as opposed to the righteously angry shouts heard out of Chuck Schuldiner on “Human”.
In addition to the obvious problems in the sound delivery, the biggest problem this album suffers for is that the songwriting is extremely flat and anti-climactic. The songs mostly tend to just come and go, without any real sense of exposition or closure. “Meat Hook Sodomy” starts off with a mess of guitar notes that synthesizes the sound of a chainsaw as Barnes proceeds to emulate the almighty bullfrog deity vocally, but then they just attack with a frenetic riff over a blast beat without any sense of build up to simulate the horror before being mangled by a psycho with a really perverse way of expressing his sexuality. There’s not really any sense of terror or suspense with most of these songs, just an endless barrage of sonic gore with poetic renderings of cadavers have their organs fed to them post mortem. At first this may induce a state of utter revulsion to those with virgin ears, but after a short while it turns into an unintentional yet self-defaming joke with a super-repetitive punch line, ergo something that isn’t even funny anymore after the 3rd time.
At the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with a really brutal assault on the ear drums, as I love a good flesh mangling snuff song as well as the next guy who’s well versed in the plotline of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and other assorted gore-steeped horror flicks. Nevertheless, this album is not a representation of it being done right. They say that the earliest versions of the wheel may have been a bit square-like, and this is a pretty clear example of one with well defined corners. Sure the album cover may look pretty brutal, but the musical contents on here are a turbo charged pile of high end mush with impressive lead guitar gymnastics, ergo the spiritual ancestor of deathcore with Kerry King doing guest slots. Cannibal Corpse would get better at this by the time they put out “The Bleeding”, but if you want old school brutality with technical intrigue that is better produced, better focused, and just all out perfect, check out Suffocation’s “Effigy Of The Forgotten”.
Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on March 15, 2009.
Noktorn on March 11th, 2009
This is Death Metal.
Any so-called death metal fan who claims to dislike this album should be ostracized and ignored. 'Butchered At Birth' is not only the first pure death metal record by Cannibal Corpse, it's one of oldschool death metal's finest hours in history. It's death metal distilled down to its basest and most hideous elements, and on that note, it's not surprising that many outright reject this music for being 'uncivilized'. Of course it is, it's death metal! It's as ugly and antisocial as it should be on this album, and thus manages to be one of the best death metal albums ever released.
While some level of thrash influence is apparent (at no point in Cannibal Corpse's career is it entirely forgotten), this is the first Cannibal Corpse album that I would refer to as essentially a death metal record. Blast beats make their first appearance; they're few in number and fairly slow, but they're certainly more than just fast thrash beats. Barnes' vocals are no longer a slightly guttural death/thrash shout, but a full-fledged and impossibly deep growl that defines death metal 'singing' as we know it. There's no gang vocals ala 'A Skull Full Of Maggots', no fundamentally thrashy riffing, and absolutely no melody anywhere- it's the very essence of oldschool death metal, and makes no concessions for anyone who would be bothered by this notion.
'Butchered At Birth' isn't really packed with Cannibal Corpse classics- and maybe it's for this reason that I love it so much. None of the songs are as inherently catchy as 'Hammer Smashed Face' or as technical as the material on 'The Bleeding', and none of the songs particularly stand out from each other as being amazing and unique. Instead of being a 'normal album' composed of a few great and memorable tracks surrounded by filler, 'Butchered At Birth' is one massive, indigestible block of black, horrendous death metal. This is the music you hear in your mind when you think of the term 'death metal', and the beauty of it is found in how pure and uncompromising it manages to be. Few death metal records even today are as triumphantly amelodic and staunchly barbaric as this seminal release.
In many ways this is the opposite of modern death metal: while in some ways newer extreme metal has become enamored with pop conventions such as catchiness, hooks, and cleanly cyclic song structures, but this flies in the face of all this. 'Butchered At Birth' carries itself as almost an antagonist to the listener, daring one to try and hear this music and survive, much less enjoy it. It's a sheer face of brutality communicated at every level. Riffs are tight combinations of atonal power chords or streams of tremolo notes, and the way the riffs interchange are extremely tight with a fill erupting in the space of a breath before a new set of notes begins to grind itself out. Drums are rigid and unyielding, hammering out sequences of snapping thrash and blast beats or lurching rock drums. The loss of the thrashy vocal style of the previous record shows an embrace of the antihuman and supremely brutal, like the band is trying to remove any and all traces of 'normalcy' from their music.
In short, this is exactly what I think death metal is supposed to sound like. It's not supposed to be a step further from thrash. It's not supposed to be preening and melodic, nor exceedingly technical and progressive in nature. It's not supposed to be music for 'normal' people with 'normal' tastes in music, and in many ways it embodies the sort of elitism and arrogance that the black metal scene so loves cultivating, and I love to see a death metal album without the high-fiving bro aesthetic that's so infected the scene. These elements make some people uncomfortable, mainly those who think that death metal should be angry sounding regular music for you to headbang to in the car on the way to your white-collar job. And so they are bothered by hearing this: one of the ultimate and hateful faces of true death metal, appreciated by the few who understand what the genre is about.
Torwilligous on December 13th, 2008
This is shit. So why do I rate it?
Cannibal Corpse! Whosoever thought up that name needs to be given a medal right now. It's just ridiculous, and also entirely fitting to the nasty and cheap music that assails us from within the gruesome grooves of "Butchered at Birth". For on this stomach-churningly repulsive collection, good taste and Cannibal Corpse stand diametrically opposed; whilst the notion of taste is concerned with elegance, subtlety and parsimony of elements, Cannibal Corpse are concerned with blood, guts and dead babies. There are honestly no redeeming features to "Butchered at Birth". Within, you will find no elegance, no subtlety and certainly no parsimony of elements. Nor even is there anything that could particularly be called creative, or even entertaining - this is brutal, ugly and stilted death metal without apology or respite. So, all this being the case, why in the holy name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have I deigned to give this review anything more than 10, or at a stretch 15%?
Because it works, that's why. This is death metal, not flower arranging; much like those old and horribly gory B-movie horror films, the very ugliness and lack of quality on display here is perversely fascinating. This comes not from being genuinely inept, as are 90% of the goregrind bands in existence; in that case, you could simply dismiss Cannibal Corpse as shit, and move on with your affairs. No, Cannibal Corpse are competent and precise musicians, who for some reason deliver competent and precisely played garbage. This is fascinating. They patently do not particularly give a shit about being entertaining or measured in their approach to music; only about battering you around the head with relentlessly grinding guitars and loud, bludgeoning drums until you run away screaming. In fact, "Butchered at Birth" exists solely to terrorise grannies, alienate people of weak and listless disposition and offend those who like their music to conform to some kind of standard - and, in this regard, it is entirely successful. From the vile and bad taste album cover to the vile and bad taste lyrics, everything about this collection of noises is vile and - well, I don't need to go on with this train of thought any longer.
To the music, if you can bear it. Here's the lowdown: the guitars play either chuggy or restless and angular chromatic riffs, the drums go TUNKTUNKTUNK a lot, frequently the band changes up the tempos or slows down into a bit of a groove, and sometimes atonal and cacophonous guitar leads masquerading as solos appear for no reason and hang around for a while, stinking up the place. Chris Barnes, meanwhile, makes deep, guttural and monotonous UGH UGH UGH noises, presumably vocalising the lyrics, and Alex Webster plays away to himself on the bass. Now, given his track record, he was probably playing something quite good - so the rest of the band decided to turn him down as far as possible. Makes sense, right?
Performances are competent, but as a whole sound rather rigid, dynamic-free and stiff, hacking down on your ears with the all the grace and poise of a halberd-wielding zombie attempting advanced surgical procedures. The production is cold, thin, taut and unattractive, with the guitars and drums cutting through the air like steel cords, and the vocals belching thickly forth like bubbles in a tar pit. The whole effect is grim, inhuman and 'industrial', not in the way of Nine Inch Nails, but in the deadened, cold and mechanical fashion in which the band go about their grisly business. Not pushing any boundaries of... well, anything; just nasty, pure and simple. It's honestly rather like listening to a musical interpretation of the day-to-day occurrences in an abattoir - the emotionless, uncaring process of assembly-line slaughter. Very fitting.
Then we get the song writing, and herein lies the key factor that prevents this from simply being total crap. Tempo changes are frequent and jarring, and there's just enough point-to-point variety in drum patterns - the principal driving force of these compositions - to keep your attention focused. The band does its job of making the slow (horrible) bits sound very wretched (and horrible), and the fast (horrible) bits sound very brutal (and, you guessed it - horrible). This is well, because "Butchered at Birth" would be without any effect at all if it consisted entirely of flat-out blasting; one would simply say 'this is awful' and switch off before the end of the first song. But Cannibal Corpse deliver their nastiness in steaming, gory chunks that are individually unattractive, but compact enough to be prodded and investigated without succumbing to dreaded effects of ennui. Just about the time you've had quite enough of one section, another one comes along to rattle your bones around like a coffin falling down a flight of stairs. Ghoulishly effective this may be, but pleasant it is not; this is brute-force composition, in which subtlety does not exist, and the only goal is to put sensitive and nuanced ears through the meat grinder.
"Butchered at Birth" is not appealing, well-wrought or even 'good' in any way whatsoever. Not only are the music and lyrics themselves brutish and nasty, but the execution is as well, and on every possible level Cannibal Corpse rape and defile your sensibilities with impunity. But! Whilst each individual component is just foul, these parts are sewn together, Igor-like, in a way which gives "Butchered at Birth" a creepy appeal. Horrible, sure; but, regardless - like the compulsion to ogle fatal car crashes - something inside me remains fascinated, compelled to listen and to appreciate. Other early albums by Cannibal Corpse are just as schlocky and nasty, and fun in their own ways, but here there is something more: a sense of alienation, of detachment, of depravity overstepping the mark of simple entertainment, and heading out into the wilderness beyond. I like that.
MetalSupremacy on December 12th, 2008
Cannibal Corpse's next step towards greatness
This is where it all started. Not where Cannibal Corpse started, that was with Eaten Back To Life, no, this is where Cannibal Corpse's road to the greatest brutality they could achieve was started. On this album, they decided to focus on making the songs extremely brutal and with even gorier lyrics than ever before, probably worse than anything else in the whole death metal world at the time(save for Carcass's Symphonies of Sickness album), and in most respects, this should have been a step forward for the band.
Was it? In many ways, yes. In others, no.
For some reason a lot of people on here don't seem to like this album, claiming it has "boring riffs" 'unimaginative songwriting" "terrible production" and that "Chris Barnes is a terrible vocalist". This being so even though this is one of the most highly acclaimed death metal albums of all time? I think the other reviewers have misunderstood Cannibal Corpse. It's certainly incorrect to think this album is inferior to Bloodthirst, which, while still a good album, is nowhere near as classic or as timeless as this album. However, instead of going over this anymore I'll simply address these complaints in my overall review.
First off, the riffs. Now, the truth of the matter is, in comparison to a lot of other death metal albums of the same era, such as Morbid Angel's Blessed are the Sick, Obituary's Cause of Death, Death's Human, Deicide's Legion, etc, this album does indeed have somewhat less interesting riffs than the aforementioned albums, on average at least. It starts out strong, with a great first song in "Meat Hook Sodomy", which, despite the complete lack of any guitar solos, is filled with good riffs. After a possibly overlong intro(1 minute and 23 seconds, roughly)of guitar noises and Chris Barnes grunting something unintelligible backwards in slow motion, the riffs and drums kick in, and they are brutal to say the least. The riffs here and on the whole of this song are some of the best riffs on the entire album. They sound really brutal and malevolent and Chris Barnes' extremely guttural vocals work great with them, even though they are so low that they are almost impossible to understand. After this song, things continue on a strong run with "Gutted" which is a great second song. After this, however, things start to go downhill. The next three songs are rather slow and not really that interesting. And this brings us to the next point, songwriting.
Usually the second album of a band is better written and has more interesting riffs than the first, as the band usually progress as musicians and get better at doing what they do, so one would expect the songwriting on Butchered at Birth to be better than the songwriting on Eaten Back To Life. But this is not so, actually. Eaten Back To Life has consistently memorable songs, and the fact that they weren't quite as brutal or as heavy as the songs on here didn't mean that they weren't still better. They had a load of interesting riffs there, and ironically, despite that album's supposedly "thrashy" overtones, Eaten Back To Life is actually faster in overall tempo than Butchered at Birth most of the time. This is one problem with Butchered at Birth's songwriting: it leans too much towards slower songs, and the only bonus to this is that it gives the album a somewhat creepy feel. But that aside, Cannibal Corpse has almost always been better at fast blasting songs than slow groovy ones. And the lack of enough fast songs on Butchered at Birth is probably the album's biggest weakness - in fact, it's the only thing that would really stop me giving the album a higher rating, along with the at times unmemorable riffs.
However, the songwriting isn't consistently bad by any means. The sixth song "Vomit the Soul" really picks things up, starting at a mid paced groove and then going into a much faster section. Glen Benton of Deicide's vocals appearing here only add to the greatness of this song. Here the riffs are much better and more interesting than they are on the third, fourth, and fifth songs. After this, the title track is also good, very fast overall(which, after the too slow third, fourth, and fifth songs is definitely a good thing), and the last two songs are also good. Thus the songwriting of the album isn't actually weak by any means - it's simply inconsistent. The album has a great beginning, a weaker middle, and a decent end.
Next, the production. I don't know what version of the album has a quiet production, but it certainly isn't mine. I own the remastered version and the overall sound quality is great. By great I mean it is at least loud, it certainly isn't quiet. In fact, I own the remastered edition of Eaten Back To Life too, and of Tomb of the Mutilated, and the remastered edition of this album is louder and heavier sounding than Eaten Back To Life by a significant margin. Certainly, the drums are even more pounding than before, the vocals are quite high in the mix but not too much so, and the guitars are extremely heavy sounding and quite dominant, thankfully. The only weak points of the production are in the bass guitar and the treble mixing. The bass guitar is unfortunately almost completely inaudible, a mistake which would thankfully be fixed on the next album. This probably isn't helped by the fact that the guitars have far too much treble, which has clearly been turned way too high in the mix, obscuring the bottom end of the guitars themselves and probably the bass too. As such the guitars have too much of a treble sound to them and not enough bottom end or bass. This is the only weak point of the mixing, but it's a significant one. It's hardly so bad that it ruins the sound of the album, though.
Finally, Chris Barnes' vocals. I think they are great. How anyone can say his vocals are just "mindless grunting" is beyond me. Actually, it isn't, they are probably just ignorant morons who don't understand either Cannibal Corpse or death metal. The most ridiculous thing of all is that they say George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher is a much better vocalist than Chris Barnes. Even though it was Barnes who helped to really pioneer the ultra low death grunt, along with Frank Mullen of Suffocation. Even though Barnes fronted Cannibal Corpse for years and was loved by all of their fans. There are tons of great things this man has done for death metal, but his vocals on Cannibal Corpse's classic albums(which includes this one)are easily his best. His grunts work great here. Do they sound intimidating? Perhaps not. Does this matter? No, because they work so well anyway. They fit the music just right. I can't imagine this album being done with any other vocalist.
Overall, this album is great. It really escalated Cannibal Corpse to real greatness with it's extremely sick and disturbing lyrics, it's completely disgusting and seriously disturbing(for some people at least)artwork, and it's overall heaviness and brutality. It may not be the fastest death metal album ever, or even the very most brutal, or even Cannibal Corpse's most brutal album of all(that prize belongs to Tomb of the Mutilated, in my opinion). But it doesn't need to be. What it does great is personify death metal. Cannibal Corpse took everything the public feared, and even more that the censors and PMRC feared, and made it even worse than they had already done with Eaten Back To Life. Here the album artwork is really offensive and horrific, with two zombies carving apart a dead woman and cutting out her unborn child to be eaten, and the corpses of many dead babies hanging in the background. That must have really got the band some attention way back in 1991 when it was first released, since it was that much worse than Eaten Back To Life. The lyrics are some of the sickest and most perverted "stories" in the whole of death metal history(although somehow the band managed to get even sicker and more perverted with the next album Tomb of the Mutilated), and they too undoubtedly got the band some attention. But fundamentally important is that despite a few problems, the music itself is still overall great. It is heavy, brutal, twisted, disturbing, disgusting, horrific, extreme beyond extreme and completely uncommercial - everything a true death metal album should be. And it was certainly even more of a breakthrough album for the band at the time than even Eaten Back To Life had been. It set the stage for the band's true masterpiece, Tomb of the Mutilated, which they would release only one year later.
This album is recommended for any fans of true death metal, and if you're a Cannibal Corpse fan and don't own this album, shame on you. It is one of the albums that personifies Cannibal Corpse at the peak of their power, almost on the same level as their even more masterful next album, it is fantastically brutal and gore-soaked in every way imaginable, the vocals are some of the lowest and most extreme death growls ever, and the heaviness was unmatched until the band released Tomb of the Mutilated. If you don't already own this album, get it now, and revel in the greatness of early Cannibal Corpse.
IrishDeathgrip on May 17th, 2008
Corpse goes Treble
I must begin my informing you, the loyal reader of reviews, that I do not think this is an awful album. Most people I've read reviews by seem to feel differently, but I want to stress that I do not dislike the songs herein.
To prove my point, I'll start with the positive. The vocals in this album, especially the song Meat Hook Sodomy, are a good draw. This was my first exposure to cookie monster grunts, and I was hooked. Other great vocal highlights of the album are Under the Rotted Flesh and Rancid Amputation.
The drums are intense, precise, and tightly mixed. Of course, they have little variation from the standard death fare of Paul Mazurekechsiwnxak (or whatever his name is), but they still go for it. The fills are neat, exactly as good as the previous, and the mixing of the drums gives you a good feel of each piece of the kit.
The bass... well, I'll leave that for a different half of this review.
The guitar riffs are played just right, on both channels, and are often minor-sounding progressions. Nice and atmospheric (or, as much atmosphere as is possible in a Metal Blade release). Guitar highlights include Meat Hook Sodomy and Vomit the Soul.
Now, a couple of songs worth going into... Gutted, great execution, although relatively mid-paced. If you can't tell, I love Meat Hook Sodomy, and Butchered at Birth is fucking amazing as well. Vomit the Soul has a Cannibal Corpse Guest Encore by Glen Benton, lending his toilet-flush growls to the mix.
Here we go CONS! The drums are always going into blast-beats, but they are the same speed everytime... sort of fast. Listen to it hard, man. They really aren't that fucking brutal. It's stuff that most hardcore punks coulda pulled off. Don't get me wrong, Paul Whatshisfuck was a badass, but he never bothered to pick it up, or even slow it down to a slower blast bleat. Not so brutal, folks. The bass... is fucking nonexistent. Don't bother listening for it, because other than a close examination which allows you to discern a couple of clicks of the fingers, you will get nothing.
And here's my big problem, speaking of bass... The entire album was mixed with the treble turned all the way up. It sounds creepy, it's a haunting album, but it just reminds me of a kitchen knife among swords as far as depth goes. Not thick, not sludgy, just over-polished.
The songs themselves are great, and peformed flawlessly on the album. When played in live recordings (especially bootlegs of Chris), they sound really fucking amazing. But here, it's just the mixing that takes away from the album. Not to mention that a couple of the songs are basically clones of each other.
The greats... Meat Hook Sodomy, Gutted, Under the Rotted Flesh, Butchered at Birth, Rancid Amputation.
The flops... Living Dissection, Innards Decay
The_Haunted_Angel on April 25th, 2008
Yeah, so as I was getting into the extreme metal scene, I inevitably came across Cannibal Corpse. After looking through their discography, I settled, as you do, on the one with the goriest and most shocking front cover. But in all honesty, the front cover is really where the best part of the album ends. I put it on, and sort of got bored of listening to it after a while. I've listened to the album a grand total of about four or five times... each time I get into it a lil', before realising that it is the same thing over and over... distortion.
Yeah, a lot of bands I listen to love their distortion (such as Nile, a death metal band that shits all over Cannibal Corpse) yet ol' CC just seem to hit the distortion pedal, play power chords, mute them every now and then to give it that brutal touch, whilst the songwriter tries to find the most explicit lyrics that would make people over 40 years of age gasp in horror.
I would buy another Cannibal Corpse album, but from what I've heard, most of it sounds the same as this. I'm being absolutely serious when I say this: The best thing about Cannibal Corpse is their artwork and lyrics. The former is shockingly cool, the latter is just hilarious.
There's not much to really say about this album. It is just distortion from beginning to end, with little variation compared to bands I usually enjoy. The reason I rated this album so high (if you can call it that) is because it is possible to just about get into it, before you realise after about 15 minutes that you've been listening to the same song only played in different ways.
DawnoftheShred on August 5th, 2007
In my opinion, the gorier brutal subgenre of death metal was always at its best when the bands didn’t take their subject matter so seriously. The genre was always at the forefront of speed and brutality, but there was a time when it was fun too. Take Cannibal Corpse’s Eaten Back to Life. That album was fucking evil, but it was pretty damn riotous at times. It was a social commentary: CC could write nasty songs about maggot-filled corpses and vehicular manslaughter and still sell albums. But somewhere along the line, someone came under the impression that the viler the subject matter, the better the album. Thus began the perpetual gross-out war that continues to rage to this day: legions of death metallers attempting to outdo one another with tales of grotesque violence and obscene perversion, racing to see who can get banned from which country for what reason. The music is often inconsequential now; it’s all about who can write the sickest lyrics. Who’s responsible for this trend? Well, I like to blame Cannibal Corpse, Chris Barnes, and this album.
CC’s bark has always been worse than their bite. They’re no more homicidal than Venom were satanic, nor Motley Crue were transvestites. It’s a gimmick; it was modern day shock rock to the early 90’s metal community. But Butchered at Birth was so notorious that it blurred the line between fantasy and reality. Infamously banned in Germany, as well as a slew of other countries, the album gained a cult following for the nastiness of its lyrics and its brutal presentation of them. And with songs titled “Meat Hook Sodomy” and “Butchered at Birth,” one does not have to deeply examine the album to discover the reason. But I don’t have a hang-up over the lyrics; I’m not easily offended. My problem with this album is that the band was so concerned with making it brutal that they forgot to make it listenable.
In that sense, maybe it is still social commentary. CC could write nastier songs about hacking up fetuses and raping the dead mother and still sell albums. But this time around, they took it to a new level by trying to do it without a solid soundtrack to back up their lyrics. They failed miserably. Oh, did they fail. I can count the interesting riffs from this entire album on one hand. Bob Rusay and Jack Owen crank out nearly thirty-six minutes of monotonous riffage straight out of the pee-wee death metal playbook. Whether it’s a dissonant chromatic blast section or a sludgy breakdown, it’s always boring, with few exceptions (plus the guitar tone is absolutely atrocious). Neither one of them can write a good solo either, with a handful of spastic, irrelevant leads to be discovered over the course of the album, only to be forgotten instantaneously. And honestly, this would be bearable if it weren’t for the stifling production. Considering that bands like Kreator and Destruction had brutal, raw as fuck albums recorded just a few years prior, perhaps it was the poor production, not the cover art and lyrics, that resulted in this album’s fifteen year ban from Germany. The two loudest things on the entire album are the near minute and a half of guitar noises that open “Meat Hook Sodomy” (after which the song is considerably quieter) and the terrible fucking snare sound, which is constantly being sounded. Alex Webster, the most talented member of the entire band, cannot be heard without straining a trained ear through the ensuing wall of noise. Okay, Paul Mazuki-whatever is a pretty good drummer, but Webster is nearly without comparison. So it’s not just a shame that he can hardly be heard, it’s a goddamned crime.
And that leaves us with only Chris Barnes to comment on. And he fucking sucks. Utilizing a deeper death growl than on their debut, he delivers the lyrics thoughtlessly. No need to discuss the fact that the words are indecipherable without being followed with a lyric sheet, because Barnes sounds so completely un-intimidating throughout that it far overshadows that misstep. Yes Chris, your voice is deep. So is Barry White’s, and I’d be much more fearful of him kicking my ass for disliking his perpetual balladry than you, even though you speak of murder most foul. The only time the vocals don’t blow are briefly during “Vomit the Soul” (starting at 0:51). The evil layered vocals sound like something Glen Benton would do if he was doing guest vocals on this song (which I later discovered, WAS something Glen Benton would do, as he does guest vocals on this song). But aside from that section, Barnes is unbearable, un-aggressive, and terribly monotonous, much like the rest of the album.
This is dullard’s metal; appropriate for the insomniac, possibly amusing for the casual listener, and quite practical for the born idiot. Pitifully mediocre, even while the genre was not yet in full swing, with lyrics much better read than listened to. And with but a handful of unique riffs hardly worth hunting for, it’s pretty much lacking in redeeming value as well. Stick with Eaten Back to Life; at least there they still had a sense of humor and an ear for a memorable riff.
elotro on January 21st, 2007
Albums that changed the way I eat ice cream, vol.1
Admittedly there is very little on this album that could be considered good. From beginning to end it's mostly an indistinguishable cacophany of post-Anthrax snare pounding, detuned palm-mute chunking, and Chris Barnes, meandering their way through a succession of repetetive two- or four- bar phrases which were seemingly thrown into the air and then pasted together however they landed on the ground. Even after fifteen years, you could 'drop the needle' at any point on this disc and, unless it happened to land on Glen Benton's guest vocals in "Vomit the Soul" or on one of the two majestic riffs buried in "Meat Hook Sodomy" like rare jewels in a hunk of disgusting clay, I would probably have no idea where we were.
However, it is the very peculiar quality of this shapeless mass that makes it unmistakable compared with anything else from 1991, or before. In their relentless, if homogenous, tri-state brutality, Cannibal Corpse invented a unique new sound, something that no one had tried or thought of or smoked enough weed to accidentally create before. After listening to this album once from beginning to end, regardless of my bemused disappointment in its aesthetic narrowness, I undoubtedly came away with a new color to add to my palette. (The muted picking patterns I use in the section of "Queen's Gambit" following the line "Pawn takes rook..." are directly inspired by my memory of this, the first Cannibal Corpse album I ever heard.)
Granted, their next album, Tomb of the Mutilated, displayed a marked increase in their musicality, as far as coming up with riffs that actually matter and putting them together in ways that make sense. But that was 1992, and by then plenty of bands were putting out solid albums, among which Tomb of the Mutilated does not particularly stand out (plus, there appears to be a deliberate attempt to make the bass guitar more audible in the mix on this release, and it doesn't sound good. At all.). Despite it's limitations -- or perhaps, as they say, because of these -- Butchered at Birth was exemplary, ranking among those few works that must be acknowledged as genre-defining. Until this time, I had always preferred the vanilla-based varieties of Ben & Jerry's, like Cherry Garcia, or that one with the caramel clusters in it. Seeing Cannibal Corpse at the Palladium in '92 made me appreciate the chocolate-based varieties. Especially Chocolate Fudge Brownie.
Satanic_Warmonger on August 3rd, 2005
Cannibal Corpse - Butchered at Birth
I just bought this album, i already have Eaten Back To Life, Tomb Of The Mutilated, and Live Cannibalism, but now... I have this to add, Butchered At Birth. Possibly one of the best Cannibal Corpse albums out there! You can expect your typical unchanged Cannibal Corpse style from Butchered At Birth. There is no such thing as "its becoming weak" or, "why did they have to change their style?!" A band like Cannibal Corpse just keeps on impressing and delighting its fans!
Now lets begin with the album...
Meat Hook Sodomy: Upon pressing play you instantly come across with this weird guitar noise, lasts for a bit, just a sound of the hum of a guitar.... Then you hear a demonic sounding voice, alot like the ones you hear from a Disgorge (us) album. Youre still sitting there, just listening to him say nonsense in this evil gut sounding tone. Then the drums break thru! Its Cannibal Corpse!!!! This is followed by the evil vocals of Chris Barnes, death metal god in my opinion. I really liked this track because of the length, its just a long headbanging opener. You can really enjoy the drums, the psychotic sounding guitar riffs. Pure Cannibal Corpse!
Gutted: The starting riff is just awesome, simple yet awesome sounding. Like the previous song instantly the intro is pushed aside by the pounding drums of that shirtless maniac! Again the vocals of Chris Barnes does not get old. However, the riffs sound about the same, yet still keep a hold of its amazement. The 2:05 mark is killer, then followed by that same intro type riff. This album truely does not let up!
Living Dissection: Yet again Cannibal Corpse opens up with the haunting/murderous riffs and drum pounding. Getting old isnt it? This track wasnt very memorable but still, a very good track. A few headbanging sections like the previous tracks. Towards the end Cannibal Corpse starts to go very slow pace, then... BLAM! Straight back to the speedy violence that is the Living Dissection.
Under The Rotted Flesh: The hoping for this song is very noticable, it sticks out alot yet also reminds me of stuff from Vile. This track is also in my opinion one of the more slow paced songs of Butchered At Birth. Some very good singing done by Barnes also, hardly any quick paced singing, just lots of strong deep grunts. 2:47 mark there is a very good solo also, followed by a yet more slow paced deadly Cannibal Corpse (good time to start headbanging!). And after that another guitar solo!!!
Covered With Sores: Ah, here we go, another good track like the opener Meat Hook Sodomy! I remember watching this song live on one of their live/video albums, it was good on the dvd and its just as good on Butchered At Birth! This song is very fast, builds up, then all of a sudden, starts to go slow, then fast again! 1:50 mark is kool. I think all who listen to Covered With Sores will find the same enjoyment as i did!
Vomit The Soul: This song sounds alot like the others, im beginning to think Cannibal Corpse recycles their riffs alot, anyone else agree hehehe... One of the good things about this track is the addition of Deicide vokills. By the way, another amazing riff towards the end followed by even more help with Deicide!
Butchered At Birth: Here we are, a good track! None of this recycled riffs or anything of that such on this 7th track! But, why so short of a time length?! The lyrics for Butchered At Birth are the same violent/necro/gore. Yet still sends the listener into awe...
Rancid Amputation: Luckily this album is coming to a close, Cannibal Corpse really isnt becoming anymore original... The first minute of this song is awesome! That strange sounding riff is hypnotik!!! Good, clean riff at 2:30 mark, very impressive and fits well in the song.
Innards Decay: This last track almost makes me want to listen to this album a second time in a row! For some reason they always want to make sure the listener is satisfied (just like they do live!!!). Some excellent drumming thrown in also. Track becomes extremely headbanging at 1:40 mark, some slow trudging death metal with deep slow paced grunts. But, like all other songs, this is replaced with the ever constant SPEED!!!! By the way, a small riff towards 2:40 second mark i believe, nothing special...
I guess thats it for my review of Butchered At Birth, i really enjoyed this album, anyone who says this is awful obviously cannot handle this!!!!!
the_MoRTiCiAN on November 9th, 2003
Intense, Raw, Brutal and one of CC's best!!!
Butchered at Birth is an excellent death metal album and one of Cannibal Corpse’s best. It comes from a time when CC and Chris Barnes were at their most brutal. The vocals, the lyrics and even the CD cover art are super brutal. This often caused CC to be banned from playing in many countries and their records (including cover art) censored beyond belief.
This record is full of awesome death metal and is second only to “Tomb of the Mutilated” in raw brutality. An excellent release recommended to all death metal fans, and a must own for all CC fans.
The record starts of with the menacing Meet Hook Sodomy, which has one of the most vicious and brutal sounding intros of all time. From there, the record picks up a voracious pace (Living Dissection, Covered with Sores and Butchered at Birth), pummeling the listener with raw blast beats, heavy riffs, and intense growling that could make a zombie shit its pants!!!
Best Tracks include:
Meet Hook Sodomy, Gutted, Covered with Sores, Butchered at Birth and Rancid Amputation!!
Butchered at Birth track list
|1||Meat Hook Sodomy||05:49|
|4||Under the Rotted Flesh||05:04|
|5||Covered with Sores||03:17|
|6||Vomit the Soul||04:30|
|7||Butchered at Birth||02:44|
Butchered at Birth lineup
|Chris Barnes||Vocals, Lyrics|