The Bleeding is the fourth studio album by American death metal band Cannibal Corpse, released in 1994 through Metal Blade Records. It is the last album featuring singer and founding member Chris Barnes and is the first album featuring guitarist Rob Barrett. According to Soundscan numbers, The Bleeding is the fifth top-selling death metal LP in the United States, amassing over 98,300 copies sold. The Bleeding is also Cannibal Corpse‘s most successful album to date, and their first entry on the Billboard charts.
A video was made for the song “Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead”. A re-mastered version of The Bleeding is available and features new cover art, a bonus track (“The Exorcist”, a Possessed cover) and the music video of “Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead”.
This album signified a few changes for Cannibal Corpse, primarily the change in speed. The reason for this was because Barnes had decided he wanted to pursue a different musical angle. For this album, he chose a more “groove” style similar to what he was doing in Six Feet Under over Cannibal Corpse‘s previous material which focused more on blast beats and speed. Vocally on The Bleeding Chris had also decided to go for a more “decipherable” approach instead of his previously inhuman grunting he had executed on previous Cannibal Corpse albums. This same “groovy” death metal style was later the foundation for vocalist Chris Barnes‘ new band, Six Feet Under.
The album is also notable for a much more technical approach for the guitar work, and a more prominent bass.
The original 1994 cover art, a departure for a Cannibal Corpse album, appeared to depict a tapestry of raw flesh and muscle, rather than it featuring graphic violence. The uncensored cover art for the 2006 reissue, however, reveals the original artwork was merely a part of a greater whole. In reissue artwork, a man is standing in an intimate gathering of zombies, with an expression of ecstasy on his face. The man has been stripped of skin from the chest down. The corpses are entwined with a veiny, blueish growth that is reminiscent of a root system. The exposed muscle and bone of the man’s lower body exhibits a fresh growth of this ropey-material, suggesting he is becoming one of them. The original 1994 cover art was simply a close-up of the skinless ribcage and musculature of that man’s midsection.
1. “Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead” (Chris Barnes, Scott Burns, Jack Owen, Alex Webster) 3:30
2. “Fucked with a Knife” (Barnes, Burns, Webster) 2:15
3. “Stripped, Raped and Strangled” (Barnes, Rob Barrett, Burns, Owen, Webster) 3:27
4. “Pulverized” (Barnes, Burns, Owen, Webster) 3:35
5. “Return to Flesh” (Barnes, Burns, Owen, Webster) 4:21
6. “The Pick-Axe Murders” (Barnes, Burns, Webster) 3:03
7. “She Was Asking for It” (Barnes, Barrett, Burns, Owen, Webster) 4:33
8. “The Bleeding” (Barnes, Burns, Owen) 4:20
9. “Force Fed Broken Glass” (Barnes, Barrett, Burns, Owen, Webster) 5:02
10. “An Experiment in Homicide” (Barnes, Barrett, Burns, Owen, Webster) 2:36
11. “The Exorcist” (Possessed cover, (Mike Torrao)) 4:36