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.
High Velocity Impact Splatter
Kill or Become
A Skeletal Domain
Headlong into Carnage
The Murderer’s Pact
Vector of Cruelty
Asphyxiate to Resuscitate