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Cannibal Corpse - Red Before Black

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Only One Will Die
Red Before Black Video
Code Of The Slashers Video
Shedding My Human Skin
Firestorm Vengeance
Heads Shoveled Off
Corpus Delicti
Scavenger Consuming Death
In The Midst Of Ruin
Destroyed Without A Trace
Hideous Ichor

Type: Full-Length
Release Date: November 3rd, 2017
Label: Metal Blade Records
Categories: Death

MetalBite Review by Yener on 5/13/2019 10:08:50 PM

Cannibal Corpse are back with their fourteenth full length album, and unlike other bands who may still be struggling to find their own feet and sound, the boys from Buffalo have no problems whatsoever in this regard. Their sound is set in stone. Has been set in stone for ages. For the past five albums, Cannibal Corpse has merely been perfecting it.

I’m happy to report that there have not been any lineup changes. The Corpse line up is one of the best in death metal; what I consider to be an all-star lineup. You have the mighty Corpsegrinder on vocals, Alex Webster on bass, Pat O’Brien and Rob Barrett on guitars, and Paul Mazurkiewicz on drums. While Paul really cannot compete with many of death metals finest drummers on the scene right now, he doesn’t really have to. Because like Cannibal, his style is set in stone as well. It would be hard to imagine a Corpse without him.

One thing I need to get off my chest is that I really dislike the album cover. I’ve seen better, and I’ve also seen worse, but it just looks too cartoonish to me. I would have preferred something more brutal, as I don’t think it represents the sound or the songs on the album very well.

The band waste no time and get straight to the point with “Only One Will Die”, and first thing you will notice is that the album sounds superb, sound quality wise. Erik Rutan has done it again, getting everything heavy as fuck and also clear as glass. This was designed to melt the skin right off your bones. 

The album is a good mix between slow, groovy Corpse (which I love) and also faster stuff, which I also love. Most of the album is around mid-tempo though, which is perfectly fine, as it just makes everything sound so much heavier.

Speaking of heavy, one thing I need to make note of in regard to this album. Some of the songs are tuned down to G#. I don’t know if you know what that means, but basically it means that everything sounds heavy as fuck, to an almost ridiculous degree. Pat is using 14-56 string gauges on this thing for fucks sake. That is just downright mental. On songs like “Firestorm Vengeance” the guitar sound just kicks you right in the face. There’s not a lot that can prepare you for it, it just sounds absolutely sick and filthy.

Performances throughout the album are all top notch. I can tell that Pat has basically tracked almost all of the rhythm guitar parts on this, because they are air lock tight. Corpsegrinder gives another convincing and stellar performance, Alex is well, Alex - the dude is a legend, and he pulls out all stops on this album. Even Paul, who is usually regarded as being the least interesting member of the band, puts in quite a fine performance, changing it up with his drum parts as much as he can. It’s quite refreshing to hear what h does on some of these tracks.

Song writing, as one would expect, is solid. The album grooves, grinds and pummels you for a solid 46 minutes. 

While I can and will always appreciate a new Corpse album, were fourteen albums into it now. A part of my brain is wishing that they would try something different. Not crazy different like changing their sound entirely, but perhaps different arrangements or concepts. That said though, there are some very creative lyrical ideas on this disc. “Heads Shoveled Off”? Hell yes. But music wise, after 3-4 songs everything just seems to kind of blend into each other, because there is not enough variety in here to keep you interested in a full 40 minutes. More tempo variations or fucking around with the general flow of the album, as opposed to concentrating on individual songs for example could be an idea. But that said, it’s not my band. But if it were, I’d be exploring some new territory by now.

All in all, this is probably their best offering since 2006’s Kill, and that album was an absolute monster. While it’s not as memorable, there are certainly some fine examples of death metal on here, as the mighty Corpse are not known to let down their fans, like ever. You just won’t see it happening.

Overall, this is definitely worth picking up. If you’re a die-hard Corpse fan you have this already and love it, as its just really solid, no fucking about death metal. For newer fans, there are some real gems on here and should help convince you that yes, indeed Cannibal Corpse are still as badass as ever.

Rating: 9 out of 10