I really don’t need to introduce Cannibal Corpse but I am going to do it anyways: They are icons of the genre, the biggest known death metal band, the highest selling death metal band, the hardest working death metal band who has been doing this consistently for nearly 30 years straight. This band is known to take gore themes and give them a more horrific twist with songs like “Entrails Ripped From A Virgins Cunt” & “Addicted To Vaginal Skin”. Using the past stories of real disgusting murderers to straight up being imaginative and sickening, their themes are always disgustingly brilliant and the music has always been satisfyingly crushing. From the brilliant debut album “Eaten Back To Life” to “A Skeletal Domain”, Cannibal Corpse have always quenched my death metal thirst. The same applies for their 14th studio album: “Red Before Black“, the barbaric lyrics and riffs just never stop and even after 30 years of song writing, touring and releasing 14 albums…..they still have it.
You know what to expect: fast paced high velocity riffs with face melting solos and pounding drums. Vocals are of fast pace as well as Corpsegrinder screams and bellows his lyrics with power and aggression. You also get a couple of slow tempo tracks, just like the earlier released track “Code of the Slashers”. This technique has been used on every album since they released the highly popular song “Evisceration Plague”, which they then followed up on the following album with another slow pounding track called “Scourge of Iron”. “Code of the Slashers” will definitely be the bands slow song staple for awhile now. Red Before Black is filled with faster songs, as it’s the bands specialty, with fast thrashy riffs combined with hectic death metal moments happening all over this album. I thought I heard the band do it all but they STILL have tricks up their sleeve. Red Before Black will guarantee that you bang your head!
The band’s songwriting is still brilliant but I want to point out that Red Before Black just seems to be more relentless and in your face with the songs this time around. A Skeletal Domain was dark, sinister and wildly had some masterful musicianship within it, in Red Before Black, the band seems to pull itself back into the frenzied ways of their song writing. There is such a relentless pounding of music on this album! Cannibal Corpse seem to somehow have the absolute best guitar tone out there as well. No matter if the songs are slow, fast or they are face shredding me with solos, the guitar tone is just amazing. Bass tone (and mixing levels) are pleasantly prominent and out in force. To be honest, Cannibal Corpse has always embraced the usefulness of having good bass guitar tone and levels in their albums, especially in recent albums, and this record is mixed so fucking perfectly. Every instrument can be heard independently. I kid you not, I can specifically listen to either guitar and I can focus on one instrument and not be bothered by another one. Want to listen in on drums? You can without having the guitars overpower it. The tone, recording and mixing is to die for on Red Before Black. The music is so punishing and fun to listen to; accept the violence.
I want to leave you with this: do not skip this album. Every single time they release a new album (which seems to be every 2-3 years) I am fearful that I will be let down. I mean….they have to slow down or suck eventually right? It seems like bands just DO that. Not Cannibal Corpse. They improve. They churn out more wretched spawns for us to cannibalize and devour. More interesting riffs. More unique ways to kill someone. More imaginative atmospheres of death. Red Before Black is a no brainer for us long time fans and is a damn good album to check out if you are new to the band or the death metal genre.
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: November 3rd, 2017
Fav Songs: Code of the Slashers, Shedding My Human Skin, Firestorm Vengeance, Heads Shoveled Off & In the Midst of Ruin