CANNIBAL CORPSE — Red Before Black

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CANNIBAL CORPSE - Red Before Black cover
3.78 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2017

Tracklist


1. Only One Will Die (3:24)
2. Red Before Black (3:12)
3. Code of the Slashers (4:45)
4. Shedding My Human Skin (3:28)
5. Remaimed (4:13)
6. Firestorm Vengeance (3:43)
7. Heads Shoveled Off (3:37)
8. Corpus Delicti (3:29)
9. Scavenger Consuming Death (4:33)
10. In the Midst of Ruin (3:25)
11. Destroyed Without a Trace (4:01)
12. Hideous Ichor (4:33)

Total Time 46:23

Line-up/Musicians


- Alex Webster / Bass
- Paul Mazurkiewicz / Drums
- Rob Barrett / Guitars
- George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher / Vocals
- Pat O'Brien / Guitars

About this release

Metal Blade Records, November 3rd, 2017

Thanks to Vim Fuego for the addition and UMUR, adg211288 for the updates

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CANNIBAL CORPSE RED BEFORE BLACK reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Red Before Black" is the 14th full-length studio album by US death metal act Cannibal Corpse. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in November 2017. It´s the successor to "A Skeletal Domain" from 2014 and features the exact same lineup who recorded the predecessor. Cannibal Corpse are by now an institution on the death metal scene, and one of the most commercially successful artists on the scene too, but when you reach your 14th full-length studio album, it´s always interesting to hear if a band as seasoned as Cannibal Corpse can keep up the pace. There´s also a question of not stagnating artistically, and most artists would probably struggle with that at this point in their career...

...but that´s not really the case with Cannibal Corpse. Sure the quality of the songwriting has been a slightly (only slightly) up and down on their now many studio albums, but there has always been a certain standard that they have never sunk below. You can always count on excellent musicianship, a professional sound production, and consistent material, and nothing has changed in those departments on "Red Before Black".

Stylistically we´re treated to the brutal death metal sound, that is unmistakably the sound of Cannibal Corpse. George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher´s brutal growling vocals and occasional higher pitched scream, technically intriguing and powerful guitar riffs, the occasional screaming guitar solo, and the ever solid and hard hitting rhythm duo of bassist Alex Webster and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz. The gory lyrics (and another signature Vince Locke cover artwork) are also in place.

"Only One Will Die" opens the album in great style and establishes right away, that we can expect to be bludgeoned as always. From then on it´s one solid death metal track after another. Some faster, some heavier, but always of a good quality and in a few cases memorable. They could overall easily have been more hook laden though, and thereby also memorable longer after the album has ended, because that´s not exactly the case, and it´s not an album you remember many songs from. It´s not a major issue considering the brutality level and the fact that a one-dimensional songwriting style isn´t anything out of the ordinary on other contemporary releases in a similar style. At least Cannibal Corpse have a signature sound, and they deserve praise for that.

"Red Before Black" was produced by Erik Rutan, who has previously produced several of the band´s albums, and he has created a powerful, raw, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well. So upon conclusion "Red Before Black" is another quality death metal release by Cannibal Corpse. It´s not one of their most standout releases, but it´s consistent in quality and style and an overall solid release. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
Vim Fuego
With a band like Cannibal Corpse, it would be entirely reasonable to expect to find a body buried in the back yard, or a disfigured sibling kept locked in the attic, but it just hasn’t happened. Despite the themes of murder, mutilation, cannibalism, tracing back to the band’s earliest days, there are no true life horrors like "St. Anger", "Cold Lake", or "Risk" lurking anywhere in their back catalogue. The days of a tour de force like "Butchered At Birth" or "Tomb of the Mutilated" seem to be a long time ago, but “Red Before Black” proves that the same band which recorded those slabs of maggot riddled carrion still exists today.

Metal has evolved since the heady days of the early 1990s, and Cannibal Corpse have also evolved, while still keeping the essence and vitality which made them unique. This is a band which started out playing death metal and is determined to keep playing it until the bloody end.

“Only One Will Die” blasts off, no horror movie or acoustic intros needed, and it’s death metal bliss. Ah, fuck, you know what it’s like. Hammer smashed face drums, monolithic bass, hatchet to the head guitars, and vomit the soul vocals, and the aural horror show is back for another instalment. “Code of the Slashers” is one of those songs which should become a live favourite, with an impending doom crushing opening riff, followed by Corpsegrinder’s bestial vocals, and then a fast section kicks in. It’s uncompromising as fuck. It’s hard to imagine five guys all aged around 50 are still making such fucking brutal, complex, crushing, unearthly, thunderous music, but they are.

“Remaimed” is, if anything, heavier than “Code of the Slashers”. Once again, it seems Cannibal Corpse are going to sacrifice speed for the sake of heavy, but the song changes gears effortlessly between the two. And that’s one of Cannibal Corpse’s great strengths. They make this seem easy, when it’s anything but. Screaming “head shovelled off!” at the top of your voice along with Corpsegrinder is great fun, and that is exactly what “Red Before Black” is all about, albeit a dark sort of amusement. There are still plenty of elitists out there who wrote off Cannibal Corpse a long time ago, and can’t or won’t change their opinion. The band’s crime? Becoming too popular through their controversial artwork and lyrics, and even popping up as “thrasher band Cannibal Corpses” in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. That’s like judging a beer by the bottle and not what’s inside. Fuck ‘em. They are the ones missing out on some of the finest crafted death metal there is, and the band’s longevity has proved beyond doubt that any hint of gimmickry is long gone. Cannibal Corpse is no longer the most brutal and vicious band around (and fuck off once again to the elitists who say they never were) but fucking hell, how many bands are still creating such killing riffs 14 albums and nearly 30 years into a career? And look at the regularity of those albums too. There are no half decade gaps anywhere in the discography. This is a band that lives, breathes, and shits death metal. “Red Before Black” is for the fans who do the same.

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