Year of release: 2017
Released by: Metal Blade Records
Rating: 8,5 / 10
"Everything has its time," says Simon the hamster, and I share this opinion. Since CANNIBAL CORPSE absolutely do not need promotion from my humble Belarusian webzine, I did not hurry up with the review of their new full-length. I waited until my limited 2CD edition arrived, and then calmly listened to it. There was not the slightest doubt that Cannibals will "do that" again. Paul Mazurkiewicz said something about a "dirty sounding and old school album," but everyone knows that the price for such statements from a major band worth as much as Chris Barnes's assurances that he will finally release a real Death Metal album. The only difference is that Barnes brazenly lies and releases shit, and CANNIBAL CORPSE, whatever one may say, never fall below the level which the vast majority of modern deathsters will never achieve.
The fundamental difference between "Red Before Black" and the previous album is that it is very thrashy. "A Skeletal Domain" was a modest attempt to glance in one eye at the territory of a technical death. An attentive listener could discover there a lot of unconventional solutions, which were lost in the usual roar of the cannibal meat grinder, but nevertheless gave the music a special shade. On the new album, these decisions are thrown into the abyss - "Red Before Black" is fast and brutal onslaught, and it is simply created for headbangers. I think this is the initiative of Mazurkevich, who has never been able to play blast beats properly, and now he also has health problems. Old-school rhythms of "Red Before Black" are really easy for a drummer with his experience. However, these songs are not so primitive. They are perceived with ease, but some have an extremely interesting story both from the lyrical and from the musical side. For example, "Shedding My Human Skin": it is made up of scattered pieces with completely different rhythms and moods (there is even a full melodic fragment), but somehow it manages to work. It's not the first time when Cannibals mix things that cannot be mixed, but never has it been done so actively in the framework of just one track. The album as a whole indulges in variety: as usual, all the musicians took part in the composition of songs. Only Fisher limited himself to vocals, but sang with redoubled anger. On the previous album, it was felt that his voice was a little hooked, but you do not notice it here. Eric Rutan (backing vocals on the first track and a guitar solo on the tenth) also took part in the recording. He also produced the record, making a trademark CC sound that crumbles the stones and bursts the eardrums. Again I repeat (and I never tired of that) the verdict: Cannibals still give the heat!
The "Blood Covered" bonus CD, for which I purchased a limited editioncontains all the covers recorded by the band after Barnes' departure, and it is released as a 2CD digipack. There is no "Zero the Hero", but there are "Sacrifice" (SACRIFICE), "Confessions" (POSSESSED), "No Remorse" (METALLICA), "Demon's Night" (ACCEPT), "Bethany Home (A Place to Die ) "(THE ACCUSED)," Endless Pain "(KREATOR)," Behind Bars "(RAZOR). All these songs are contained on other releases, but half of them are almost impossible to acquire. The last three covers, for example, were released as part of the box set "15 years killing spree", and you do not want to know this boxed set costs today, believe me. Meanwhile, covers from CANNIBAL CORPSE are uniquely beautiful, and I often dream that someday they will create a side-project, where they will address the thrash not so much superficially as on "Red Before Black", but fully. The album in the vein of POSSESSED, recorded with the sound of Cannibals, would be an invaluable piece of art.