Cannibal Corpse: A Skeletal Domain review

Whether you love them or hate them, there are few bands that have had a greater impact in metal history or caused more controversy over the years than Buffalo, NY living legends Cannibal Corpse, a band so vile and extreme that it’s members and their merchandise have been banned in several different countries over the course of their illustrious career, only added to their appeal with the average metalhead. After over 25 years of relentlessly pummeling ear drums to death, these titans of melodic death metal have never sounded better and are set to drop their 13th studio album via Metal Blade Records entitled A Skeletal Domain in conjunction with the release of the band’s first official biography Bible Of Butchery. The band have historically changed producers every few albums and after 3 albums with Erik Rutan they have done so again. This time opting to use Mark Lewis. Bassist and founding member Alex Webster said, “We do this to continue to push ourselves and the envelope to never create the same-old same-old.” Known for their morbid cover art, provided by Vincent Locke, the band have consistently rivaled the likes of Iron Maiden when it comes to badass covers and A Skeletal Domain is no exception. As you can well imagine the music on A Skeletal Domain is even more decimating than the brutal imagery depicted on the cover and “High Velocity Impact Spatter” and lead single “Sadistic Embodiment” are an immediate one-two punch to the solarplexes that will take your breath away, leaving you spitting up blood. The line “Fire up the chainsaw, cut their fucking heads off” pretty much says everything you need to know about “Kill or Become.” While songs like “Icepick Lobotomy” and title track “A Skeletal Domain” prove that even in their slower, more melodic moments, they still remain monumentally heavy. Elsewhere, the Titanic sized riffs of guitarists Patrick O’Brien and Rob Barrett and the monolithic slabs of double kick drummer and cofounder Paul Mazurkiewicz is pounding out in “Funeral Cremation” are underpinned by George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher’s formidable demonic growls. While “Headlong Into Carnage” is a guitar driven clusterfuck of noise that pulses like a throbbing V8 engine. There are even nods to vintage Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth in the gargantuan riffs and mind bending solos of tracks like “Vector Of Cruelty” and “Asphyxiate To Resuscitate. By stark contrast, “The Murderer’s Pact” and “Blood Stained Cement” are exercises in controlled aggression that sound like outtakes from the Wretched Spawn sessions and closer “Hollowed Bodies” is the unholy uterus that gave birth to the Wretched Spawn. Here’s the bottom line- two decades into their career, pioneers Cannibal Corpse may have released their finest album to date and have yet again re-set the standard for melodic death metal. Rating: 9/10 Eric Hunker