To say Hellions had set some pretty high expectations for themselves with Opera Oblivia would …
Like an overblown, high-budget sequel to a long-running slasher film franchise, Cannibal Corpse are back with simple yet gratuitous violence on their 14th album Red Before Black. If Cannibal Corpse are your favourite band, you’re lucky you’ve never had to experience the “change in direction” album most metal bands fall victim to.
For what it is, this album pretty much rules. The riffs are muscular, the drumming is forceful, the vocals are roaring with ferocity. As for heaviness,he band live up to their sound and reputation yet again. With this meaty offering of brutal death metal, Cannibal Corpse pen some pretty catchy hooks (by their standards) on tracks such as Shedding My Human Skin and Heads Shovelled Off, both of which repeat their song titles as a call to mosh. Nonetheless, the band can still get scraggly and thrash out harder than most, particularly on Code of the Slashers and full throttle opener Only One Will Die.
Cannibal Corpse solidify themselves as one of the most reliable bands in metal.
What we expect from Cannibal Corpse, the cardinal sin still lies in their simplicity along with a one-dimensional approach to their music. Their heaviness is certainly engaging at first, but as a full listen, the album wears pretty thin. Each track struggles to find its own identity in the overall.Tracks near the middle such as Firestorm Vengeance, Corpus Delicti and In the Midst of Ruin are attempts at working some progressive guitar passages to keep engagement up, however their musical range is still limited and as a result a lot of this album feels a bit stale and flaccid.
Cannibal Corpse are quite clearly having a great time playing these songs, and a raw feel to the writing and riffage is welcome. Props should also be given to how cohesive the album is as a loud block of musical rage. But it’s not going to have much shelf-life for a non-cannibal corpse super fan, but that’s okay. They only care about the people who already love them anyway.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Code of the Slashers, Shedding My Human Skin, Corpus Delicti
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Obituary, Suffocation, Morbid Angel