CD Review: Cannibal Corpse “Red Before Black”

“Red Before Black”
Cannibal Corpse
Metal Blade Records
Producer: Erik Rutan
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Cannibal Corpse returns with their 14th full-length studio album titled “Red Before Black” an album which clearly shows the soon-to-be thirty-year death metal veterans are unstoppable! The album serves to not only to reiterate this but to once more raise the stakes, making it very clear who sets the standards when it comes to compelling music this is equally brutal and complex. With 2017 seeing a slew of stunning new releases from death metal’s old guard “Red Before Black” stands strong and is a fitting statement for a band whose career spans almost three decades.

Not for the faint of heart “Red Before Black” is the latest offering from death metal heavy weights Cannibal Corpse and much like previous releases from the Buffalo, NY natives the band burst out of the gate going directly for your face! Tracks like album opener “Only One Will Die” and “Heads Shoveled Off” feature bombastic blast beats and thunderous double bass courtesy of Mr. Paul Mazurkiewicz while tracks like “Code of the Slashers” and “Shedding My Human Skin” feature some of the most guttural, demon summoning growls by George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. With the guitars and bass acting as the proverbial cherry on top of each of the albums 12 tracks “Red Before Black” is one of the bands strongest releases in the past 5 years.

Chances are if you are already reading this then you what Cannibal Corpse is about and are familiar with their sound. If not but, you are looking for some balls to the wall death metal then do yourself a favor and grab a copy of “Red Before Black”! As a band progresses through their career often times sounds and styles change but in the case of Cannibal Corpse the band’s latest offering is equally if not more aggressive than the band’s debut, proving that just because a band gets older doesn’t mean they have to slow down or soften up.

Track Listing:
1.) Only One Will Die
2.) Red Before Black
3.) Code of the Slashers
4.) Shedding My Human Skin
5.) Remaimed
6.) Firestorm Vengeance
7.) Heads Shoveled Off
8.) Corpus Delicti
9.) Scavenger Consuming Death
10.) In The Midst of Ruin
11.) Destroyed Without a Trace
12.) Hideous Ichor

CD Review: Cannibal Corpse “A Skeletal Domain”

Cannibal Corpse
“A Skeletal Domain”
Metal Blade
Produced By: Mark Lewis
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Death metal fans rejoice, Cannibal Corpse is back with a new album. Everyone else, thumb your nose and shake your head. Cannibal Corpse is just shy of 30 years of throat crushing music and in poor taste lyrics, so it’s no surprise that “A Skeletal Domain” is more of the same that we’ve seen in the past. While this latest release is a lot better than the middle of the pack of their work, there’s nothing too monumental that puts itself among the best of their discography.

This new release keeps what I love most about Cannibal Corpse intact: The songs are perfect amount of time, as well as the album, and it’s a feverish blood rush of blasting drums and screeching guitars. Lyrics have always kind of come second tier in Cannibal Corpse and it’s not because they’re unimaginative, but because the usual suspects of violence are once again on display. Icepicks, revenge, murder and emotionless savagery are tools of the lyrical trade in their music.

The real hook for “A Skeletal Domain” is the guitar work by Pat O’Brien and Rob Barrett. You’d think after 13 records they’d start to lose a bit of those creative juices, but O’Brien’s stirring solo on the track, “Funeration Cremation” is downright mischievous. Their dueling solos on “Headlong into Carnage” are something of nightmarish dreams. Alex Webster is also key when strumming the bass since the bass is slowly becoming a lost art in the metal scene. After listening through the album, you have to wonder what kind of wicked arthritis is going to set into those shredding fingers of theirs.

Once again the annunciation skills of George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher make him the best in the business. “Kill or Become” may be one of the real peaks of his work on this album has he performs the most brutally clear chorus pieces in a while, that’s quite catchy and violently foreboding. Just the songs I’ve listed may be the only ones I listen to again once I hit the play button.

I’m in no way doubting that this CD will get some mileage along with my car as it plays through the speakers, but there’s a nagging worry that it’ll be a forgettable album altogether, save for those few songs. Forgettable isn’t a bad thing, but at times this album feels humdrum and not something legendary like “Gore Obsessed” or “The Bleeding”. I think for first time listeners, which there’s always some out there; it’s definitely a breath of fresh air in a sea of bands foregoing brutality on all levels for a low tuned guitar and generic beatdowns. No matter what they put out, I’m always eagerly awaiting the next dose of brutality.

Track Listing:
High Velocity Impact Splatter
Sadistic Embodiment
Kill or Become
A Skeletal Domain
Headlong into Carnage
The Murderer’s Pact
Funeral Cremation
Icepick Lobotomy
Vector of Cruelty
Bloodstained Cement
Asphyxiate to Resuscitate
Hollowed Bodies

Blu-ray Review “The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse”

Actors: Lee Perkins, Marshal Hilton, Maria Olsen, Michael Villar
Directors: Justin Paul Ritter
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: ANCHOR BAY
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Run Time: 88 minutes

Film: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1/2 out of 5 stars

“The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse” is a feature film version of the cult underground Dynamite comic series, “The Living Corpse Exhumed” by Ken Haeser and Buz Hasson. I have been to many comic conventions and have seen these guys there. The animation is terrible. The voice cast is amateur and almost laughable. The zombie genre has some pretty high standards recently and this film just doesn’t meet those. I found myself actually tempted to turn the film off many times as well, which is rare for me. This might work well with the convention scene but otherwise steer clear!

Meet John Romero, the decaying corpse with a conscience, wracked with guilt and ready to kick ass. In his first frenzy of undead hunger, he’ll infect his own wife and slaughter his young daughter. But now this reluctant brain-eater must brawl his way through the wretched fiends of Hell itself to protect his surviving son from the horrors of the living. Get ready for a limb-ripping, flesh-chomping animated battle from beyond the grave, based on the hit underground graphic novel from Dynamite Entertainment.

The Blu-ray presentation of “The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse” is not as bad as the film itself. Even though I was not a fan of the animation the CG still looks decent despite its very low production feel. The Dolby True HD 5.1 audio track also works well with the film’s sound design, but nothing that blows you away for sure. The score is very mellow and not that memorable either. The only special feature on the release is a downloadable PDF for a “The Living Corpse: Haunted” comic. Come on people, this is an example of a good comic series getting ruined by a low quality poor film version.