Cannibal Corpse
Red Before Black

If there was one band I feel like I could copy and paste a review from a prior release, change to song titles and call it good, it would be Cannibal Corpse. And sometimes that’s not necessarily  bad thing, and that’s the case with Cannibal Corpse‘s 14th studio album. Despite all the pre album talk of “letting riffs breath” and this being the band’s “tightest and catchiest record” and  cliches of “staying true to our roots and growing”, Red Before Black is as much of a certainty as death and taxes. its a Cannibal Corpse record.

Even with a 3 year wait not much has changed from 2014’s A Skeletal Domain or even 2012s Torture or 2009s Evisceration Plague. And in fact Red Before Black has more in common with Torture and Evisceration Plague as Erik Rutan has returned to produce, after a switch to Mark Lewis and a cleaner tone for A Skeletal Domain. The result is a punishing sound that might be the heaviest sounding Cannibal Corpse  album the band has released in the last decade.

Don’t let the cover of artwork fool you, this is still Cannibal Corpse in the song writing department, and the songs that Rutan’s production adorns is classic Cannibal Corpse. George Corpsegrinder Fisher is still Georgin’ and the core of Rob Barrett, Pat O’Brien, Paul Mazurkiewicz and Alex Webster is still as efficient as they were 25 years ago mixing good ol’ fashioned US blast beats and plenty of churning, beefy passages, which are always welcome, and carry even more weight with the Rutan Production.

If I were to cut and paste prior reviews, it would be here where I list the fast songs and the slow songs, right? Well yeah, they are all here and all delivered with the band’s veteran, honed skill and energy.  “Only One Will Die” is your typical tooth kicking album starter, and the title track is another shredding track before “Code of the Slasher” renders a massive, slower intro, allowing Rutan’s sound to really shine.  And these moments are the albums standouts as  parts of “Remaimed”,  “Firestorm Vengeance” (Jesus those opening chords…..) and  a few utterly devastating bars in “Corpus Delicti”. In fact, even the fast songs, seem to have some sort of crushing moment in them, as if everyone knew that the production would absolutely slay.

Fear not- there is plenty of classic Cannibal Corpse blasting, but it seems almost secondary to the many pummeling grooves. The aforementioned opener, “Heads Shoveled Off” and “Destroyed Without a Trace”  are good tracks, as is the  other wise forgetful “Scavenger Consuming Death”, but when the band hammer down a fucking devastating groove about 3:00 in, it’s goddamn crushing. There’s is far more groove on this release than any other CC album, and it’s a great thing ‘cos other wise songs like “In the Midst of Ruin” and blistering closer “Hideous Ichor” would be just more Gore Obsessed, The Wretched Spawn and Kill mediocrity. Instead, they show a band that is some how more vital , visceral, relevant and heavier than they were a decade ago.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
November 6th, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: AR

    I am really liking the thrashier touches on this album, as well as some of the massive grooves you mentioned, but overall, another good CC album. Not mind-blowing, but worth a trip. And, as far as Fisher-fronted CC goes, I don’t believe they’ll ever top Bloodthirst, just my opinion, but man that album rips.


  2. Commented by: Triple Thrash Threat

    Shedding My Human Skin!!! Now that is a fucking track. Great album!


  3. Commented by: Dave

    Probably in my top 3 Cannibal Corpse albums, and I’m not just saying that because it’s new. (The other two are Kill and Torture). The “Rutan era” of Corpse has been my favorite, and I include Skeletal Domain in this even if it wasn’t produced by him. For this album, the trash elements give it a savagery and anger that has refreshed this band even more so.


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