Thursday, 16 November 2017

Cannibal Corpse "Red Before Black" (2017)

You shouldn't think of this as a musical "review" of sorts, this blog is about the musical journey, exploration, discovery and how my relation with Death Metal's most infamous band most is surely exhausted. Approaching thirty years as a band they have offered up classics, stinkers and a fair amount of variety but they and both the genre seem to be stagnating from an evolutionary perspective. Stylistically its the same formula, approach and brutal mindset repeated year after year, failing to make it feel exciting or adventurous anymore. Given my disappointment with "A Skeletal Domain" I was going to pass this one by, that wouldn't of been a bad idea.

I first put the record on during a very adrenaline fueled mood. The bludgeoning pelt of the drums racing along, the thunderous menacing roar of visceral shouts howling at their victims and the blistering, razor sharp distortion guitars shredding carnal madness had me head banging like a loon. To good to be true? Mood can always effect an experience but it only took four or five tracks for the intensity to die down as it became monotony. My absence to this sound gave me a rush of excitement but once that settled and the record drew on, the business as usual reality came to be so.

Red Before Black edges forward again with a slightly more intense sound than its predecessor. Everything a little tighter, more intense and kudos to Corpsegrinder for somehow maintaining that inhuman roar through the years. The music is technically cutting, littering the album with all manor of intricate riffs and challenging music but its all packaged within that same Cannibal Corpse intensity they refuse to let up from. Tempo changes and slightly "expansive" twists are always chained down by the identity they have stuck by relentlessly. Whenever a moment comes that it might sound like the song could open up, or go down a new avenue its always pulled back to that blast beat led pummeling that has become utterly boring for me.

I'm glad I enjoyed it for a brief moment but past that first listen its been nothing but a slug of unexciting brutality that feels so pointless in the bands decision not to challenge themselves or move on from what they perfected years ago. Even though I love this sort of music, there is only room for so much before it becomes hard to get into anymore. I wasn't expecting them to move forward and I got exactly that, the only positive I can give them is the production, probably their best aesthetic to date.

Rating: 2/10


  1. Since my Death Metal tank is only half full I enjoyed this album. But i can understand why you weren't too Into it.

  2. There are some bands that are so synonymous with the niche they cut out for themselves that it almost would be strange for them to alter their sound and abandon that niche. Cannibal Corpse are such a band for me. Like you say, it's a good Cannibal Corpse record, technically flawless, consistent. If you go into it expecting just that, it's a great record. But it isn't anything it's not trying to be.

    1. It might be strange but being so dead tired with them I would rejoice to hear them try something different artistically

  3. you say they didnt go out of the box doing a sound that theyve mastered years ago but i cant disagre any more theyre known for death metal and they do just that however a few songs on this album compositionally arent death metal at all like red before black and only one will die from a music theory stand point and notes on a page its almost like blues met thrash metal! its hard to pick up in the song but its what gives it that almost up beat feel in what is death metal and this is a sound that has never been done before in cannibal corpse and death metal genre completely i would give this album a 9/10 myself only reason being is heads shoveled off is basically stripped raped and strangled or hammer smashed face (the list goes on) with different lyrics its as you said the formula they mastered years ago