Cannibal Corpse – “Red Before Black” Album/CD Review

Red Before Black

Hands off the chopping block, kids.  Cannibal Corpse has returned with 12 new tracks for their 14th full-length album, Red Before Black due to be released November 3rd on Metal Blade Records.

From Metal Blade: “Many words come to mind when you hear the name Cannibal Corpse, but one truly defines the soon-to-be thirty-year death metal veterans: Unstoppable. Returning with their 14th full-length, the monstrous Red Before Black, serves  to once more raise the stakes.” (excerpt-bio by Dan Slessor).  

Returning to the role of producer is the one and only Erik Rutan and thankfully so.  Let’s face it, the production on Red Before Black has been slightly hit or miss since Erik’s absence.  One noteworthy thing regarding the production -the left and right mix is excellent as it provides at certain moments, a great perspective of one guitar in one ear and one in the other.  Take, for example, the album closer, “Hideous Ichor.”

All of the essential Cannibal elements are here in Red Before Black; the razor-sharp guitar slicing, George “Corpsegrinder”‘s rhythmic vocal stabbings over the top of the music… etc.  The “power tool” ballad (as I call it – There always seems to be a utensil involved, does’t there? – barbed wire, hammers, knives etc.) in this case is “Heads Shoveled Off.”  This track is a perfect example of the inclusion of the trademark Cannibal groove (Paul Mazurkiewicz’s ride symbol with the steady guitar slashing); example, :25 – :42 into the song.  The album is predominantly break-neck speed from the opening of “Only One Will Die” to the end of the disc.  The slowest you are going to get on this is perhaps parts of the first single, “Code of the Slashers.”  The most technical may be a portion of “Firestorm Vengeance” with the sick guitar work.  Don’t worry.  They haven’t gone off the deep end into “math metal.”  So everything is there and dare I say that they are doing it just as well if not better nearly 30 years into their career.

Speaking of careers, at this point it’s not a matter of gaining attention through imagery and lyrics that some deem offensive nor is it getting banned or through other controversy.  It’s about once again solidifying the Cannibal Corpse trademark stamp on the genre.  They’ve built the monolith, pounded it into dust and made a permanent print.  Cannibal Corpse has helped define a genre both musically and aesthetically.  Red Before Black is their way of making sure you know that there is no intention of stopping any time soon.

As ironic as it sounds, Cannibal Corpse is still around to prove that death metal is indeed still alive. So go show some support and see them on tour.

Cannibal Corpse line-up:
Alex Webster – bass
Paul Mazurkiewicz – drums
Pat O’Brien – guitar
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher – vocals
Rob Barrett – guitar

Please visit: – where the record can also be pre-ordered in the following formats:
–digipak CD (US exclusive)
–limited edition 2CD digipak (EU exclusive)
–jewelcase CD (EU exclusive)
–box-set (limited to 1500 copies): limited edition 2CD digipak, ‘Blood Covered’ white / red marble vinyl, cassette, back patch, sweat band, guitar picks, and poster in a black cardboard box (~12.5″ x 12.5″ x 1.25″)
A number of colored vinyl LP ltd. editions are available as well.

Photo courtesy of Metal Blade Records

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