Cannibal Corpse

Red Before Black

Written by: RUB on 25/01/2018 21:39:13

Staying true to their nature, American death metal legends Cannibal Corpse are back again, roughly three years later, with a new album. Truth be told, I’ve always had a somewhat soft spot for this particular death metal band, which is kind of strange taking their brutal, take-no-prisoners brand of the genre into account. And fourteen studio albums down the line, not much is bound to change in the writing department either; the music is still a relentless pounding of blast beats, fast and piercing guitars and the unmistakable vocals of the infamous George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher. For this album, the band has once again re-united with producer Erik Rutan, who also produced “Kill” and “Torture” — both records that rank high in my book. With “Red Before Black” the majority of the songs are still written by the two remaining original members, Alex Webster on bass and Paul Mazurkiewicz on drums, which is rather easy to hear, considering the two previous albums which were also produced by Erik Rutan. As such, it is exciting to find out if their newest outing, “Red Before Black”, would rank anywhere near those efforts.

Kicking things off with “Only One Will Die” — a fierce track full of lyrics about hatred, death and violence — the band quickly underlines that the lyrical department hasn’t changed either. But then again, why fix something that isn’t broken? Overall, the songs are still packed with well-written riffs and hooks, and almost every song seems to fit a special pattern; whether it be the fast-paced kind heard in the title track or the slower type as presented in “Shedding My Human Skin” (at least in parts of it), the group still manages to vary it up throughout the album. Still though, some of the tracks are easy to discard rather quickly. The likes of “Remaimed” and “Firestorm Vengeance” are best described as decent, if not straight-up filler stuff, as they don’t bring anything new to the table. And when the album clocks in at 47 minutes or so, any kind of filler is really not necessary.

What separates this album from both “Kill” and “Torture” is that it lacks the obvious bangers that both of those records contained. It feels like it’s just another album to them to ensure that the band can tour yet again. And by all means — that’s fine, because they have written plenty of extremely good songs over the course of their 30-year existence. But without those obvious hits, this outing quickly falls short when stood next to the rest of Cannibal Corpse’s repertoire. It thus falls into the same category as its predecessor, “A Skeletal Domain”; not bad, just far from their best. But regardless, when they head out on their upcoming tours, no matter what tracks the band chooses to air from “Red Before Black”, they are certain to make the audience bang their heads into oblivion.

Download: Only One Will Die, Shedding My Human Skin, Scavenger Consuming Death, In the Midst of Ruin
For the fans of: Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Six Feet Under
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.11.2017
Metal Blade Records

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