Cannibal Corpse, ‘A Skeletal Domain’ – Album Review
Cannibal Corpse have served up another fine dish of meat and potatoes brutality. With more than 25 yearly notches in their belts, the legendary death metal band remains committed to a mission statement of relentless and punishing death metal with 'A Skeletal Domain.' The album marks their 13th trip to the studio and does not fall victim to the traditionally unlucky number. Hey, this is metal; we revel in that type of thing.
After 12 albums, one would imagine that Cannibal Corpse have exhausted all the possibilities when it comes to murder, rampage and bodily dismemberment. The band once again bring gruesome tales to life for the sole purpose of extinguishing it, as evident on songs like 'High Velocity Impact Splatter,' 'Icepick Lobotomy' and 'Bloodstained Cement,' which sounds like the aftermath of the first track mentioned.
The heavyweights get down to business quickly with 'High Velocity Impact Splatter' letting fans know exactly what to expect from the band that helped start it all. George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher explores more dynamic vocal patterns than on the last two efforts, 'Torture' and 'Evisceration Plague.' The lyrics are intelligible as always and still maintain that deep guttural sound we seem to take for granted with the hulking frontman. Corpsegrinder is not only a legend in regards to the gutturals, but his agonized high shrieks, as well, which come into play on the fret-frenzied opener.
Cannibal Corpse start to hit their stride three songs into the album with 'Kill or Become' and the title track, 'A Skeletal Domain,' which fade into each other seamlessly. The ebb and flow of the band's riffing is executed to perfection here, giving credence to the importance of listening to the album as a whole, rather than select songs.
Inching towards the end, fans are treated to another one-two punch with 'Vector of Cruelty' and 'Bloodstained Cement.' Both songs utilize some Morbid Angel nods in the riff department while the band plays for the sense of groove over riff in other places. Groove is something that is not easy to pull off successfully, but Cannibal Corpse prove their veteran musician status over the course of the album in their excellence in this category.
The mainstay rhythm section is one of the true highlights here. Alex Webster is regarded as one of metal's elite bassists -- and for good reason. Each one of his notes cuts through the mix with such clarity that will have bassists everywhere spinning this album more than usual. Drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz puts on one of his most savage performances to date, working symbiotically with Webster. His sense of pace and dynamics really drive the music and brings the album to the next level.
‘A Skeletal Domain’ proves why Cannibal Corpse are still such an integral part of the metal world. In a genre that sometimes seems to have been beaten to death, the band can still churn out some of the best new death metal and add what we can only hope to be new live staples to their ever-expanding list of fan favorites.