In the same way as Iron Maiden, Kiss & Motorhead, you know what you’re gonna get with a Cannibal Corpse album. Sadly, like the aforementioned legends ‘Corpse have their detractors, people that criticise the band for their consistency. However there’s something you need to know about these critics / bell-ends…. they reside with their mum and live on a diet of Pop-Tarts and Hentai and that is scientific fact!
Likewise, whenever Cannibal Corpse are brought up you can guarantee some spotty little cockpot who wasn’t even born when “Vile” was released will spout some shit about how Chris Barnes era Cannibal is superior than the George Fisher fronted albums. Fun fact, apart from these halfwits being quite obviously deaf, bullshit spouting wankers Corpsegrinder has been commanding the ‘Corpse for TEN albums. Barnes managed four and has, for the last few SFU albums, had all the vocal menace and ability of an asthmatic duck being kicked round a squash court.
Anyway, back to “Red Before Black”.
In short, their 14th album is everything you want from Cannibal Corpse in every respect. From the fantastic victim POV Vince Locke artwork to the always amusing song titles (“Heads Shovelled Off” anyone?) this is quintessential ‘Corpse.
Musically it is of course a monster of a death metal album. The lads know how to write a throat grabbing opener and track one “Only One Will Die” is up there with “The Time To Kill Is Now”, “Devoured By Vermin” and “High Velocity Impact Splatter”. The album’s title track is next and is a complex yet catchy tour de force. There is no questioning these veterans’ musical chops. Rob Barrett and Pat O’Brien’s guitar work has always been impressive and along with the monster rhythm section of drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz & bass god Alex Webster the band are unbeatable when it comes to intensity and technicality. However what I personally really love about the band is they make it sound so effortless. No “oooh check me out” showing off just a juggernaut of death metal excellence that will crush you! “Scavenger Consuming Death” is a prime example of this. Vocally, front-man mountain and nonecahedron George is at the top of his game. He sounds fucking terrifying and on stage he looks fucking terrifying….. which is how I want my death metal vocalists.
The band has always managed to match their unrelenting ferocity with heaviness and “Corpus Delicti” & “Shedding My Human Skin” are slower tracks….. although this is Cannibal Corpse so that’s like saying a Gallardo is a “slow” Lamborghini!
The production on this album is once more handled by Erik Rutan who did a boss job on “Kill”, “Torture” and “Evisceration Plague”. The bombproof ‘wall of sound’ Erik creates adds to the utter savagery of the band and, despite Mark Lewis doing a great job on their last record “A Skeletal Domain” the band just sound that bit more muscular and foreboding with Rutan twiddling the knobs and it’s great to see / hear that he’s back.
If you’re a Cannibal Corpse fan you will love this record. Like the greats in rock & metal I mentioned at the start of this ramble, CC rarely, if ever, let you down.
When you order a Domino’s Pizza you know what you’re gonna get, you know it’s gonna satisfy and taste lovely, which why you order it in the first fucking place.
Critics that criticise the ‘Corpse for “sounding samey” are pissing in the wind…… I wanted a great Cannibal Corpse album. I got a great Cannibal Corpse album.
(10/10 Mark Eve)