Cannibal Corpse is an American death metal band formed in Buffalo, New York in 1988, now based out of Tampa, Florida. The band has released fifteen studio albums, two box sets, four video albums, and two live albums. The band has had little radio or television exposure throughout its existence, although a cult following began to build with the releases of their early albums, including Butchered at Birth and Tomb of the Mutilated . As of 2015, they achieved worldwide sales of two million units for combined sales of all their albums. In April 2021, Cannibal Corpse received their best "first week" sales of all-time and first Top 10 on the Billboard Top Album Sales Chart as Violence Unimagined entered at No. 6 with 14,000 copies sold.
Bassist Alex Webster came up with the name Cannibal Corpse. They have had several lineup changes since their inception, with Webster and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz as the only constant members. The members of Cannibal Corpse were originally inspired by thrash metal bands like Metallica, Slayer, Dark Angel, S.O.D., Sadus, Sodom, Kreator, D.R.I. and Sacrifice, and death metal bands such as Possessed, Autopsy, Morbid Angel and Death. The band's album art and lyrics, drawing heavily on horror fiction and horror films, are highly controversial. At different times, several countries, such as Germany and Russia, have banned Cannibal Corpse from performing within their borders, or have banned the sale and display of original Cannibal Corpse album covers.
Members from earlier Buffalo-area death metal bands Beyond Death , Tirant Sin , and Leviathan established the band in December 1988. The band played its first show at Buffalo's River Rock Cafe in March 1989, shortly after recording a five-song self-titled demo tape. Within a year of the first gig, the band was signed to Metal Blade Records, apparently after the label had heard the demo tape that the manager of the record store at which Barnes was working sent in. Their full-length death metal debut album, Eaten Back to Life, was released in August 1990. Inspired by and seeking the new commercial and recording opportunities of the emerging Florida death metal scene, the band relocated to Tampa.
The band has had several lineup changes. In February 1993, founding member and guitarist Bob Rusay was dismissed from the group and was ultimately replaced by Malevolent Creation guitarist Rob Barrett. In 1995, during recording sessions for a new album, singer Chris Barnes was dismissed because of personal differences with the rest of the band and was replaced by Monstrosity singer George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher. Barnes went on to perform with the band Six Feet Under and, later, Torture Killer.
In February 1997, Barrett, who had replaced Rusay on guitar, left Cannibal Corpse to re-join his previous bands Malevolent Creation and Solstice. Pat O'Brien, who first appeared on Cannibal Corpse's 1998 release Gallery of Suicide, replaced Barrett. Founding member and guitarist Jack Owen left Cannibal Corpse in 2004 to spend more time on his second band, Adrift. He joined Deicide in late 2004. Jeremy Turner of Origin briefly replaced him as guitarist on 2004's Tour of The Wretched Spawn. Barrett re-joined the band for a concert at the Northwest Deathfest in Washington in 2005.
Writing for the follow-up to Kill began in November 2007, as indicated in an interview with bassist Alex Webster.Evisceration Plague, Cannibal Corpse's eleventh studio album was released February 3, 2009, to a highly positive response from fans. They also released a live DVD in 2011 entitled Global Evisceration. Cannibal Corpse released its twelfth studio album, Torture, in March 2012. Two early bands of the members reunited for one respective benefit concert each for Tony Lorenzo of the group Sons Of Azrael in January 2012.