A violent carnival of pain and suffering
Cannibal Corpse’s 14th release Red Before Black compared to any of their previous releases is much of the same, but in the best way possible. There comes a point where a band finds their own unique sound after years of lineup changes, experiments, and changes in management, then it becomes about honing the newly found edge that they have created. In the case of Cannibal Corpse, that blade was honed decades ago and has been slicing into audiences worldwide album release after album release. Red Before Black just so happens to be the latest addition to the proverbial carnival of pain and suffering that the band has hosted over the years, better looked upon as a continuation of their work as opposed to something new.
The track listing is incredibly robust, with several individual members converging with arguably their best individual performances of the release on “Code of the Slashers” very early on. The track begins with a slow intro featuring a simple palm muted guitar riff made more complex by the timing of the double bass on the drums, before breaking loose into an all out frenzy shortly after the one minute mark. The instrumental break leading into the guitar solo is superb, and the solo itself lends to the frantic slasher movie vibe the band was trying to illustrate throughout the track.
Pat O’Brien and Rob Barrett at the forefront of the show, their synchronized melodies lay the framework for yet another top notch Cannibal Corpse album. Songs like “Firestorm Vengeance” and “In the Midst of Ruin” are excellent examples of O’Brien and Barrett in top form working together. Every guitar section from the intro, to the verse, to the solo features incredibly melodic and well thought out rhythm and lead guitar tracks that each maintain their own presence while compiling into an incredibly aggressive and melodic guitar section.
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher continues to push human anatomy to it’s limits with his forceful and petrifying vocal style. Fisher’s vocal expertise is on full display throughout the entire album but the most prominent examples of his prowess lie within the verse sections of “Code of the Slashers” and “Destroyed Without a Trace” most of all.
14 albums into the band’s history, Cannibal Corpse has nothing left to prove. Their influence in the death metal community as well as their passion is evident at every turn and seems to be the driving force that pushes them over the incredibly high bar they have set by their efforts time and time again.