Cannibal Corpse return with another death metal tome of unbridled brutality, blood, gore, and of course Corpsegrinder’s throat. Red Before Black is the band’s fourteenth album and Corpsegrinder’s tenth entry in the series. The band has always felt different with him at the helm, the songs more mature in structure, the music more than just the meat and potatoes death metal that Cannibal Corpse achieved infamy with in the early ‘90s, album art included.
Red Before Black is front to back savagery and with the same brain trust controlling the band for over 20 years, is anybody really surprised? Leading off with “Only One Will Die,” Cannibal Corpse hit the ground running and gory numbers like “Shedding My Human Skin” up the vile ante just that much more.
The guitars sound absolutely disgusting at times, with a riff strummed and listening to it die into a quieter section of song, is a masterstroke in the “no stone left unturned” style of death metal that this band has been churning out for nearly 30 years.
The band’s prior release A Skeletal Domain might have been Corpsegrinder’s best album since Bloodthirst, and Red Before Black is a more than suitable successor to it. It may lack the overall punch, but there is nary a Cannibal Corpse fan who would turn their nose up this one. This certainly beats Evisceration Plague and Torture.
2017 is a great year for death metal; with so many up and comers like Spectral Voice and Necrot on the rise and established acts like Decrepit Birth, Suffocation and Dying Fetus putting out solid to incredible albums of their own, so Cannibal Corpse will have some serious competition be year’s end. However, if this was one of your most anticipated albums of 2017, you won’t be disappointed. Long live death!
(released November 3, 2017 on Metal Blade Records)