Album Review: Red Before Black-Cannibal Corpse


 Cannibal Corpse. We all know these guys right? “Yeah, sure we know these guys,” you all respond with enthusiasm, and I salute you. Problem is, I heard one voice mumble what sounded like a “NO” to me. Really? You haven’t heard of Cannibal Corpse?

My first reaction to said NO would be to say get the fuck off this site and go knit yourself a teddy bear or something. Maybe take up golf or whatever makes you a happy sod. I don’t really give a shit. Whatever it is, make it productive. Or not. Just go away..

On second thought though, we are all here for the same reason are we not, and that is to talk about Metal, so let’s get some quick background down and then onto the main feast.

Since formation in 1988, Cannibal Corpse have had one thing on their mind only. That is to brutalize the listener, this being you, with nothing more than the heaviest form of Death Metal that not only intends to pummel you into the ground, but also shock you to the core with its lyrical content.

I, for one, will be the first to admit that being a massive fan of Death Metal in general, some of their song titles alone kept me away from them for some time. Yes, you my all say that most Death Metal outfits can be quite disgusting at times, but these guys REALLY took it to another level, with songs like ‘A skull full of Maggots’,‘Hammer Smashed Face’‘Meat hook Sodomy’ and ‘Fucked with a Knife’ just to name a few.

Personnel disruptions came and went, probably the most publicized being the ousting of vocalist Chris Barnes, who was replaced by a man with a very large neck, which no doubt gave him the ability to roar like Ten Tons of Bastard named George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, the aforementioned singer going on to join Six Feet Under. None of these changes led to any great change in the sound nor the intent of Cannibal Corpse to deliver the goods.

Where most bands approaching there 30th anniversary might have run out of steam and become a shadow of their former selves. After 13 studio releases, these fine not so young Cannibals actually started to improve after the release of their 2006 album ‘Kill’

Seems that sticking to one producer for a while began to pay off, and it has payed off very well. Nothing like a bit of stability band wise and production wise to give a band the room to just do what they do best.

I was more than impressed with their last release ‘A Skeletal Domain’ (2014), bringing with it some of the catchiest riffing I had heard in a long time from many a Death Metal band, and a super crisp production that really showed of the growing ability of our Corpse friends to write songs that will stick in your head for days.

Fortunately, on this release they decided to not stick with that sound, and go for a more raw production, and by the lord below it has worked a treat. One could almost call it more Organic (Cannibalism jokes aside), because it really does bring out a more brutal and unforgiving side to a band that pretty much wrote the handbook on this kind of thing.

Guitarists Rob Barrett and Pat O’Brien lay down some of the meatiest riffs known to mankind on this release, and fellow band members Alex Webster (Bass) and Paul Mazurkiewicz (Skin Duties) make no slouches of themselves either in keeping pace with the mighty vocals of the aforementioned Corpsegrinder.

Cannibal Corpse continue to up the ante on this album, from the sickly track names to the extremity of their music, one wonders where these guys can go from here. Forward into infinity seems to be the answer by the sounds of it.

Long live the Corpse. All hail the Kingdom of the Cannibal.

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