Chris Barnes (ex-Six Feet Under (USA); vocals), Bob Rusay (guitar), Jack Owen (guitar), Alex Webster (bass) and Paul Mazurkiewicz (drums) founded what many consider to be one of the most offensive and grotesque bands ever to step on stage; the absolute extent of the Death Metal style. Signed to 'Metal Blade', they quickly released Eaten Back To Life (1990), with more grotesque album titles like Butchered At Birth (1991), Tomb Of The Mutilated (1992), Hammer Smashed Face (1993) (a mini/EP featuring Pat O'Brien taking over from Rusay), and The Bleeding (1994) following; each depicting equally grotesque cover art and lyrics. The latter featured replacement Bob Barrett on guitar and George Fischer taking up vocals. They even managed to be featured on film, playing their Hammer Smash Face track in the Hollywood film Ace Ventura Pet Detective (although listed as "Cannibal Corpses"). An EP by the same name (Hammer Smash Face) was released in 1993. More grotesque lyrics were found on Vile (1996), so much so that a cleaned up censored version was also published.
Vile (1996) would see the last of Barrett who lest to rejoin his previous acts Malevolent Creation and Solstice; he was later replaced with Pat O'Brien for Gallery of Suicide (1998). Bloodthirst (1999) was another gruesome tale, with a live album emerging as their latest to date titled Live Cannibalism (2000). Musically, they continued to progress in the Death genre throughout their career and Gore Obsessed (2002) was no exception.
Founding member and guitarist Jack Owen in 2004 to spend more time on his second band, Adrift; he later joined Deicide in late 2004. Jeremy Turner (ex-Origin) replaced him as second guitarist on 2004's Tour of The Wretched Spawn. Barrett rejoined the band in 2005 and was first featured on 2006's Kill.
Evisceration Plague (2009), Torture (2012) and A Skeletal Domain (2014) followed, the last coincided with the announcement of which was quickly followed by the release of their authorized biography Bible Of Butchery, written by the British author Joel McIver.
Cannibal Corpse took an almost cartoonish tongue in cheek approach to the genre (it was so grotesque they had to be joking), with titles like Meat Hook Sodomy, Necropedophile and the infamous Entrails Ripped From A Virgin's Cunt!!! It was no wonder they were met with controversy during their career! Their artwork was not immune either, especially on Butchered At Birth and Tomb Of The Mutilated until the gruesome Vincent Locke cover art was replaced often with just a plain white cover as was in the USA and Canada. In several countries, including Canada and the USA, many record shops would sell you a copy with the original artwork if you were savvy enough to know the right manager, and even then only via 'under the table'; the artwork was not outlawed, but was forbidden to display.
Other bans: Until 2006 they were forbidden from performing anything from their albums up to an including Tomb of the Mutilated in Germany, the albums were also banned upon release from being sold or displayed.
As of October 23, 1996, the sale of any Cannibal Corpse audio recording then available was banned in Australia and all copies of such had been removed from music shops; ten years later, several released were re-packaged but were still restricted to those 18 and over. After discussion of banning them from touring, Australian comedy act The Chaser did a lounge music version of Rancid Amputation on their show The Chaser's War on Everything, claiming that the music, and not the lyrics, was the problem.
Six of the eight planned shows from the band's 2014 Russian tour were canceled after protests from local Orthodox activists. The show in Nizhny Novgorod was stopped halfway through the set, after police entered to search the venue for drugs. The concert in Saint Petersburg was canceled at the last minute because of unspecified "technical reasons"; fans began rioting, and 18 were arrested. Band members stated that Russian authorities threatened to detain them if the band performed again because they did not have the correct visas.
Again, in the USA, in May 1995, then-US Senator Bob Dole accused the band, along with hip hop acts including the Geto Boys and 2 Live Crew, of undermining the national character of the United States.