A day after announcing their new album, Violence Unimagined, death metal veterans Cannibal Corpse have officially announced Erik Rutan as their new guitarist. The band has also unveiled  first single “Inhumane Harvest” in advance of the new LP’s April 16th release date.

Rutan, who is the frontman of Hate Eternal and an in-demand metal producer, replaces troubled guitarist Pat O’Brien. The latter made national headlines in late 2018 for a bizarre incident that saw him burn down part of the Florida home he was renting, attack a neighbor, and charge at a police officer with a knife.

During the investigation, more than 80 firearms and three skulls were found at O’Brien’s dwelling. The band had supported O’Brien in the months following the incident, but his status in Cannibal Corpse had remained uncertain until now. Rutan had previously filled in during the band’s live shows in 2019 as O’Brien dealt with his legal issues, which still remain unresolved.


“I think the most noticeable difference on this record will be the addition of Erik to the band,” stated Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster. “He wrote three full songs for the record, music and lyrics, and his song writing and guitar playing have added something new, and I think his musical style integrated into ours very well.”

Webster continued, “He’s a great friend of ours, so on a personal level, he’s been a perfect fit, as we knew he would be. Beyond that, he’s one of the hardest working people I know, in music or otherwise, and he maintains a high energy, positive demeanor in challenging situations where other people might go in a negative direction. This energy and great attitude rubs off on the rest of us as well. That’s really a perfect situation to have when you add someone to a band, or any kind of team: someone who’s great at what they do, and also inspires the people around them.”

In addition to playing guitar on Violence Unimagined, Rutan also produced the LP, marking the fifth Cannibal Corpse album he’s produced overall. First single “Inhumane Harvest” is a classic slab of death metal brutality, with Webster commenting, “I think we all pushed ourselves a bit technically on this [album], with [drummer] Paul [Mazurkiewicz] probably pushing the hardest. This album is probably the most drum-intense album we’ve done yet.”


Take a listen to “Inhumane Harvest” below, and pre-order Violence Unimagined in one of several bundles via Metal Blade or digitally via Amazon.

Violence Unimagined Artwork:

Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined

Violence Unimagined Tracklist:
01. Murderous Rampage
02. Necrogenic Resurrection
03. Inhumane Harvest
04. Condemnation Contagion
05. Surround, Kill, Devour
06. Ritual Annihilation
07. Follow the Blood
08. Bound and Burned
09. Slowly Sawn
10. Overtorture
11. Cerements of the Flayed