Cannibal Corpse, a band that needs little introduction, have released a record full of energy, proving the band certainly does have something to say in 2017.
It is easy to write Cannibal Corpse off as has-beens that already had their heyday, and now just keep churning out record after record for cash. After all, the band has been around for almost 30 years now, and they are still tirelessly writing music in the vein of what they initially pioneered. For some of their albums, it can certainly be said that there isn’t quite enough there to make it stand out from the pack. But this record offers up a welcome return to their roots that has old-school fans stoked.
Instead of continuing in the vein of heavier, faster, less melodic and more intricate and brutal, almost verging on slam, the new Cannibal Corpse record takes a step back and hits listeners with hardcore thrash, rather than a barrage of extreme heaviness and aggression. The single from the record, “Code of the Slashers,” is good old-fashioned Cannibal Corpse silliness with extremely catchy, thrashy riffing to go along. The video they released for this track is gruesome but goofy, showing that the guys really did have every intention of not taking themselves too seriously with this one.
The title track, “Red Before Black,” is catchy and slightly more relentless, and “Heads Shoveled Off” has the kind of blunt-force appeal of catchy, classic anthems like “Hammer Smashed Face” or “Fucked with a Knife.”
This record is definitely recommended for Cannibal Corpse fans, and even those who love their early records, but began to lose interest when they churned out the heavier, slam stuff. It is also worth nothing that while there are definitely a few throwback moments here, the record isn’t a cheesy walk down memory lane with none of their newfound energy and aggression. It is still fast and heavy, and still packs a serious punch.