Cannibal Corpse Confirm Erik Rutan as New Guitarist

Upcoming album 'Violence Unimagined' will mark his first with the death metal vets

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Feb 2, 2021

On the heels of detailing new album Violence Unimagined, Cannibal Corpse have confirmed that Hate Eternal's Erik Rutan has become a full-time member of the band, replacing Pat O'Brien.

Guitarist and producer Rutan — who had previously produced Cannibal Corpse albums KillEvisceration PlagueTorture and Red Before Black — joins the group after filling in for tour commitments following O'Brien's shocking 2018 arrest.

The band explained that Rutan became a full-fledged member in 2020 and made writing contributions to Violence Unhinged, which arrives April 16 through Metal Blade.

In a statement, bassist and founding member Alex Webster called Rutan's addition to the lineup "the most noticeable difference on this record," sharing that he penned three full album tracks.

"He's a great friend of ours, so on a personal level, he's been a perfect fit, as we knew he would be," Webster continued. "Beyond that, he's one of the hardest-working people I know, in music or otherwise, and he maintains a high-energy, positive demeanour 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."

Cannibal Corpse did not officially announce O'Brien's departure from the group. In 2018, the guitarist was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon and burglary of an occupied dwelling with assault or battery. At his court appearance, O'Brien wore an anti-suicide vest and was shackled to deputies.

Following O'Brien's arrest, Cannibal Corpse wrote in a statement that "Pat is getting the help he needs and appreciates the love and support from Cannibal Corpse fans around the world," adding that he "looks forward to a healthy return at some point."

Preview Violence Unimagined with first single "Inhumane Harvest."

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