The unstoppable CANNIBAL CORPSE have topped themselves once again with the release of A Skeletal Domain available now worldwide via Metal Blade Records. Thirteen albums and twenty-six years since their inception, the group shows no signs of quieting down. After witnessing the carnage they unleashed upon the Mayhem Fest, I jumped at the opportunity to review one of my favorite Death Metal bands and I was excited and somewhat anxious to see what Mark Lewis would do with this new offering seeing as he has produced many of the best metal records that have been released in the past couple years.
The title “High Velocity Impact Spatter” says so much immediately as it opens this behemoth up; the production is very crisp and Alex Webster’s bass lines were the first thing to catch my ear as per usual and are completely devastating in the mix throughout. Keeping the intensity high, “Sadistic Embodiment” captures the essence of the corpse with some not-your-run-of-the-mill death riffs. Next we fire up the chainsaw on “Kill or Become” and I notice that old school groove rearing its head as well as ripping guitar solos that can also be found on every other track, just what the doctor ordered!!
As the title track starts I am reminded of Gallery of Suicide which is where I got my first taste of CANNIBAL CORPSE when my friend’s dad randomly gave me the disc and I never looked back. Some of Corpsegrinder’s vocals are layered on this one placing the high shriek over a lower growl which is quite different and I love every bit of it. Bringing back a hint of the old days of thrash, “Headlong into Carnage” completely slays and includes a good ol’ duel of guitar solos executed thoroughly by Pat O’Brien and Rob Barrett. Clocking in at just over five minutes, “The Murderer’s Pact” caught my attention upon first listen by showcasing some very outstanding musicianship with odd timings, harmonized tremolo riffs and neo-classical soloing proving that not just anyone can write the perfect death metal track.
Following suit, the intro section to “Funeral Cremation” peculiarly reminds of “Into the Everblack” by label-mates The Black Dahlia Murder which I find to be completely awesome to have that sort of element included in this progression; if you have the ear you will hear what I’m talking about. A fan favorite around the Amps & Green Screens headquarters would have to be “Icepick Lobotomy” and rightfully so. I’m going out on a limb and saying that I believe this track defines the album; it is an amalgamation of everything you should love about them and then some. “Vector of Cruelty” has some of my favorite passages that consist of Paul Mazurkiewicz’s drum parts dropping down to modest drum kicks with some classic ride cymbal action that complements all of the guitars remarkably.
A personal favorite arises in “Bloodstained Cement” by giving me just what I had been longing for which is a track that has that same headbanging but chunking disgustingness that I had heard in the likes of “Scourge of Iron” from Torture. The human metronome (Paul) shines once again on “Asphyxiate to Resuscitate” with more odd time signatures and rhythms and has what I will call a Death ‘N’ Roll feel; I can’t get enough!! Unbelievably it’s already time to close, “Hollowed Bodies” hits hard with more blasting madness and psychotic riffing and soloing; how can I be left wanting more after all of this chaotic fury? No other death metal band can do this. Period. Looks like I will just have to listen to it again, and again.
I will admit, I probably enjoyed this record a little too much. I’ve listened to it countless times already and still can’t get enough; it’s not even the fact that I am a longtime fan, I just know a good fucking record when I hear one! CANNIBAL CORPSE once again prove that there is nothing wrong with sticking to your guns while still having room to grow. You will not be disappointed.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM