CORPSEGRINDER: ‘POSSESSED To Me Is First Death Metal Band. I Don’t Care What People Say, They Are, Period’


In a new interview with Revolver magazine, CANNIBAL CORPSE frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher shares his personal journey as a fan, from discovering BLACK SABBATH to a seismic moment watching DEATH‘s Chuck Schuldiner to his experiences in the early Florida death metal scene and his upcoming solo album.

He said: “Growing up you listen to BLACK SABBATH, then you have JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, then ACCEPT and SAXON, and then, of course in those same years you have POSSESSED starting out, VENOM, SLAYER, CELTIC FROST, VOIVOD, DESTRUCTION, KREATOR. Because to me, POSSESSED to me is first death metal band. I don’t care what people say, they are, period.

Speaking about how Chuck Schuldiner inspired him to sing death metal, Fisher said: “I saw DEATH play in Baltimore, Maryland, where I’m from, in 1987 or ’88. It might have even been a little bit later, but I’m not sure. I know that Leprosy had not come out yet. We had Scream Bloody Gore. And ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ was great, but I did not really understand the power of Chuck Schuldiner‘s voice until that show. And there was, like, 25 people there; there was barely anyone there. And they were supposed to play with this band called DEAD BRAIN CELLS — D.B.C. from Canada — and D.B.C. couldn’t play, so DEATH, I think, had a longer set.

“And I was literally standing right in front of Chuck Schuldiner; he was right there in front of me singing and playing. And when they played ‘Infernal Death,’ ‘Die! Die!’, when he did the high [note], that changed my whole world; that changed my world like BLACK SABBATH did. I said to myself, ‘I wanna sing like that. That’s what I wanna do.’ And I was listening to all these bands. I was probably singing stuff in my room, trying to be Jeff Becerra [POSSESSED] and Tom Araya [SLAYER]. When I saw Chuck Schuldiner, and then, all of a sudden, all these other waves of death metal bands started coming along, I knew that I wasn’t ever gonna be singing or singing, like, thrash; I was gonna be singing growling and death metal.”

Chuck is less of a growler than, say, what most modern death metal singers are, like Glen Benton [DEICIDE] or John Tardy [OBITUARY],” Fisher continued. “But those high screams, if you’ve ever listened to us, then definitely he has the biggest hand in me ever wanting to do those. Chuck Billy on [TESTAMENT‘s] The Legacy record, [the song] ‘First Strike Is Deadly,’ the scream on that and some of the other higher screams he did on those records, it was amazing. 

Rob Urbinati from SACRIFICE [as well]. But Chuck Schuldiner was the one. When I saw it live, I was, like, ‘Holy…’ ‘Cause he just stood there. It looked so effortless. He was singing like he was some 250-pound guy that could bench press 700 pounds and throw you across the street with one hand. And he’s a little unassuming guy — a nice guy. But he sounded like Satan. It changed my world. It made me really go, ‘Okay, I’m not trying to do this anymore. I’m gonna be a death metal singer. I don’t have any reservations about which way I’m going. I’m going this way and this way only.'”