A few years ago New York Death Metal heavyweights SKINLESS returned to the fold with a crushing new album. Fast forward to present day and they are back again with their pulverizing new disc Savagery (out now, Relapse Records). Choosing to stick to their own style of Death Metal these five New Yorkers have again delivered nothing but in your face metal. Opener “Savagery” starts the album off strong which is needed considering this thing clocks in at just under 40 minutes. Vocalist Sherwood Webber displays his guttural vocal approach right out of the gate and keeps it going strong. What is even more impressive is the way Sherwood is able to keep time with the drums and basically shape his vocal approach around them instead of going too slow or too fast.
This album is a fucking roller coaster of sound, having its fair share of both fast-paced in-your-face brutality and slow rhythmic moments that give you a small chance to catch your breath before bringing back the breakneck speed. The best example of this would easily be “Siege Engine.” The track’s multiple time changes leave the listener dazed and confused in the best way; one second the song is balls to the wall and then the next it slowly chugs along only to pick up speed maybe 30 seconds later. The band keep it slow for the first part of “Skull Session” before ripping into a combination of thrash and death metal which leads into a wonderful albeit short solo by main guitarist and founding member Noah Carpenter.
The album slows down again as it fades into “Reversal of Fortune”, a short instrumental track that sounds like it belongs on Master Of Puppets, which is great for the band as it shows diversity within their writing style. This could easily be contributed to the fact that the band’s classic line up reunited back in 2013 and decided to bring in additional guitarist Dave Matthews to help expand their sound. There really isn’t a weak song on the record, even the two short ones pack a punch and nothing clocks in over five and a half minutes, Savagery truly packs a punch even with two instrumental tracks wedged within its 40 minute run time. Overall this album is something any fan of metal in general will easily be able to sink their teeth into.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Siege Engine”, “Exacting Revenge”, “Cruel Blade of the Guillotine”
-BRIAN “TORCH” IDELL