Cannibal Corpse emerged fully formed out of Florida's famous death metal swamp with this one. All the trademarks are in place, from the B-horror movie album cover art to the ludicrously over the top lyrics -- "Brains devoured in a frenzied slaughter, thirst for gore nothing more/Bile is dripping, puss from wounds, as the coroner drinks it down." Chris Barnes growls his vocals like Satan on a diet of razor blades and paint thinner. The playing is uniformly savage and, alas, uniformly one-dimensional. On paper Cannibal Corpse are the perfect death metal act, but in reality, their pursuit of lyrical and musical extremes was something of a joke from this first release on. Too many tempo changes; too much monochromatic double-bass slugging; not nearly enough variety, texture, or interesting guitar work. Cannibal Corpse's single-minded devotion to their cause is admirable; too bad the results of that dedication are not very interesting. Eaten Back to Life isn't much more than death metal for dummies. Try Deicide (whose vocalist Glen Benton guests on background vocals here) instead.
AllMusic Review by Leslie Mathew