CANNIBAL CORPSE – RED BEFORE BLACK (METAL BLADE RECORDS)
Cannibal Corpse released their 14th album courtesy of Metal Blade Records on Friday; this latest release is titled Red Before Black and it is basically 12 tracks of pure unadulterated speed and ferociousness. Let’s just say, these guys are still bringing the osmium level heaviness that they are known for. Despite being around nearly 30 years, the word mellow cannot be used in the same sentence with Cannibal Corpse; they continue to bring the brutality and goriness that earned them their death metal gods status.
Red Before Black does not slowly build up to the savagery that it is, the first track “Only One Will Die” is immediately in your face. The guitars slapping you in the head like a ton of bricks. Before you can come to your senses, vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher takes that shit to an entirely new level of intensity with his throat-shredding vocals. “Only One Will Die” is fast, faster than Ricky Bobby, but yet still has a raw groove to it. Basically you can’t help but rage; it is extremely angry, which shouldn’t be a surprise since that basically sums up Cannibal Corpse. And who isn’t fucking angry? I’m angry. Let’s break some shit.
My personal favorite track on Red Before Black is number tres, “Code of the Slashers”. The track opens with melodic guitar riffs that have a quiet, tight speed metal style picking and then the blast beats that Cannibal Corpse is best known for opens that shit right the fuck up. The shifting tempos of this track, as well as “Shedding My Human Skin” and “Remaimed” add a touch of George Clinton funk variety to the furor that is Red Before Black. Well, that is if George Clinton were using bath salts and then given a intracardiac adrenaline injection.
Being a legend is not easy, it can be difficult to remain true to the classic sound that you are known for (and fans love), while still growing as artists. Bassist Alex Webster thinks they’ve done that with Red Before Black:
“We’re always looking for ways to move our sound forward while maintaining the style we’ve developed over the years,” Webster says. “I think we managed to do that with Red Before Black – it has some new ideas, but you’ll also hear things on this album that would sound at home on our earlier releases. We want to grow as a band while staying true to our roots.”
I agree with Webster, Cannibal Corpse has managed to maintain their ferocity, while adding some melodic and catchy elements to their repertoire. And no, melodic and catchy doesn’t mean they sacrificed heaviness or sold out on Red Before Black, it simply means they have about 1 minute 10 seconds of groove and melody mixed in with 45 minutes 17 seconds of pure, no holds-barred Cannibal Corpse brutality.
Red Before Black is raw, powerful, fast, heavy, brutal, and angry with hints of melodic groove sprinkled in for shits and giggles; everything a death metal album should be and exactly what fans should expect from legends such as Cannibal Corpse. Red Before Black is possibly some of the best work yet from the band, which is not an easy feat seeing how this is CANNIBAL-FUCKING-CORPSE! Let’s just say these guys won’t be shaking their fists at the neighborhood kids to get off their lawns anytime soon, they are 30 years young and still bring the fucking pain. 2017 has been amazing year for death metal and Red Before Black just leapfrogged to the top of my ‘fuck shit up’ playlist so make sure it as at the top of yours too!
Bloodrock Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 axes
Only One Will Die
Red Before Black
Code of the Slashers
Shedding My Human Skin
Heads Shoveled Off
Scavenger Consuming Death
In the Midst of Ruin
Destroyed Without a Trace
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher – Vocals
Rob Barrett – Guitars
Pat O’Brien – Guitars
Alex Webster – Bass
Paul Mazurkiewicz – Drums
Written by April Baggins for Bloodrock Media on November 6, 2017