Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black Box Set from Metal Blade Records

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People who know me and who are frequent visitors to this site know I loves me some Cannibal Corpse.  Hell, their picture disc collection was some one of the earlier things I showcased on here.  I didn’t even launch my YouTube channel at that point yet!

With that said, I don’t think it’s a surprise when a limited box set of their newest album appeared for pre-order that I snagged it immediately.  It sucks that I had to wait for it to show up over two weeks after the album dropped but I guess that’s the risk you take.  Living in Canada doesn’t help because some companies send things quickly while another will mail something and it’ll take a month.

Here’s a quick run down of everything that came with the box.  For those who want to see more, there’s a video embedded at the end.  I warn you, in the video I say the large patch is a slip mat.  For some reason, I thought it was one when I took it out because many bands are including them in their box set.  I totally forgot it was a patch and advertised as such.  I’m surprised they made the patch that large, though!

The box set itself has some weight to it and doesn’t feel cheap.  I love the glossiness and it really makes the logo on the front really pop.  The back lists the songs on the album and the bonus album.

I’m a sucker for limited/bonus items.  It’s the collector in me.  Add my collecting tendencies with a band I really love and I’m a money dispenser, unfortunately.  The new album, which was a must buy anyway, comes with a bonus CD of cover songs (some I have already and some I don’t).  I thought it was just exclusive to this box set, but low and behold, it was released in the UK and can easily be purchased on Ebay. Grrr…

The big positive here, though, is the actual music. Hands down, this is my favourite Cannibal Corpse album since Kill.  I really liked A Skeletal Domain and Torture quite a bit, but if I was now going to put their discography in order, this would leap into the top five or six and I’m sure with multiple listens, it may go higher if nostalgia doesn’t win out.

I really do appreciate Cannibal Corpse’s formula of being true to themselves and their sound while still trying to experiment a bit.  I found most of their experimentation over the last four albums have been inserting even more of their technical prowess into their songwriting.  While Red Before Black does have it’s technical moments, and surely isn’t an easy album to play on any instrument, I find the band putting songwriting before their technical abilities to be the thing I really like the most.  The songs are catchy, to the point, and varied.  I also think this is one of Corpsegrinder’s best performances ever.

Even my buddy Brian, who has contributed a few times to this site, was blown away.  He likes Cannibal Corpse but he’s really one of those people that basically said, “meh” after Vile.  I know there are many people like that, too.  So when he tells me he’s blown away and is really digging the album, I can attest it’s really good and not just the fan-boy in me saying it’s good.

One of the bonus items in this box set is a sweat band for those musicians who wear them when playing live or still wears these things when working out.  It’s a cool little bonus, but not something I’d use. It’ll stay in the plastic.

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Another bonus that comes in this set is the album on cassette tape.  Like I noted in my review of the Master of Puppets box set from Metallica, I don’t understand the resurgence of the cassette tape.  They are the worst sounding out of all the ways to consume music  and they’re a pain in the ass.  I suppose there are collectors out there that really like this, so more power to ’em.  I think this set is the only way to get this edition, so I suppose that fueled sales.  If someone told me ten years ago that in 2017 you’d be able to get the recent Cannibal Corpse release on cassette, I would have bet my house you wouldn’t.

There’s a little certificate/card showing you what number of the edition you have and features a picture of the band on the back.  If this is so limited,  I wonder why the band or label couldn’t have gone the extra mile to have the band sign these for something extra special.

If you’re a collector of guitar picks, you get three in this set.  I’ll never use them because I like keeping them mint as a collectible.  I like when CDs and sets come with them.  I don’t know how much it costs a band to print things like this up, but I really like seeing other people’s collections of them.

Oh, stupid me.  Like I said, in my YouTube video at the end, I thought this was a slip mat for a record player. It turns out it’s just a large 10″ patch for people who love sewing things to denim jackets.  I still haven’t tracked down one because I never think about doing it.  I have a bunch of great patches from other limited editions but I think this would be rather large when you’d probably want a bit of diversity with your patches.

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Here’s the other main reason for the box set purchase: the Blood Covered album of cover songs exclusive to this set on vinyl.  That’s the collector in me again.  I really hope they keep this record exclusive for life because if they don’t, I’ll be pretty pissed.  That would mean the only exclusive items for this set would be stuff I could have gone without.

While the music, which is mainly what counts, is unbelievably good, I would have hoped for a little more with a box set for this price ($70 US, plus shipping).  I know, I know…I knew what I was getting before I bought it, but it boggles my mind, for this price, why Metal Blade couldn’t have also just included Red Before Black album on vinyl along with this.  If you wanted that as well, you had to shell out another $20 for it.  Being in Canada, that would have made the US shipping fee more, too!

These are still available on IndieMerch’s site but the stand alone records and this box set with the album are all sold out.  I still haven’t found this album on vinyl at any store here yet, so I’ll have to play the waiting game.

Enjoy the video and laugh at my mistake!

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