23 September 2014

Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain



Here we go, another descent into the madness that is Cannibal Corpse. Having been going for two decades, this is their thirteenth album. And it's pretty fucking good for what it is - a straight ahead no-frills death metal onslaught. Abandon experimentation all ye who enter here. Quick recap time...

Cannibal Corpse were one of the more notorious bands from the early 90's Florida Death Metal scene due to their disgusting artwork and song titles (Note to self: Don't attend my daughters play group wearing the uncensored TOMB OF THE MUTILATED artwork shirt...). It was also at this time they were a slightly different band in style. Sure, it was still Death Metal but it was a bit sloppy in places. Nowadays (well, ever since 'Vile'), they are way more precision-like, more technical and clinical. It's definately a change that has kept them at the top of the pile for the best part of twenty years or so. George 'Corpsegrinder' Fisher is still vocalist and he still sounds awesome. Easily the best Death Metal vocalist on the planet. He can shriek, growl etc while somehow making the words audible. I've no idea how he does it but in a sea of YEEEEEUUUUUURRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH, it's definately commendable.

Opening with some guitar feedback/sustain notes on "High Velocity Impact Splatter", it tries to get a bit of atmosphere established before slamming into the main body of the song. As far as openings go, it's not as frantic as the last album (Torture - opener "Demented Agression" pretty much through you into the fucking grinder from the off) but I guess it's good to have a change. One of the things that hits you is that the production is great too. No longer "Produced by Scott Burns at Morrisound Recording Studios" (I've said it before - but that sentence used to be a badge of honour back in the early 90's. Alas, times change and new technology, techniques and other stuff has since came out and dated those particular production techniques. Don't get me wrong, they still sound formidible but they don't have the same impact. But at least it isn't Mutt fucking Lange burying everything under a synthesizer or Bob Rock making you sound like a glam band. Anyway, I digress. This album was produced by Mark Lewis at Audiohammer Studios, Florida and he does a great job.

The rest of the band are no slouches neither - I've already mentioned how great Corpsegrinder Fisher is, the guitarists (Pat O'Brien and Rob Barrett) are great too, managing to play those tight as fuck rhythms and with some great solos too! Bassist Jack Webster (A God among bassists) and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz lay down some proper rhythm section goodness. It's certainly something as unlike certain other bands from the Florida Death Metal scene, they don't feel the need to change a winning formula. So instead of singing about being part of the HARDCORE RADIKULT, they just go ahead and do what they do best. Maybe that's defeating the purpose of music as an artform, as all forms of art should not only be pleasing to whichever demographic they apply to, but sometimes it's best not to upset the apple cart. Or the fanbase - especially by releasing a double-CD-remix album of songs from perhaps your most polarizing album...

The songs on here all follow the standard template, all blastbeats whilst guitars and bass create whirlwinds and the vocals lead the charge. If done with the same level of conviction on here, then each release is sure to be a classic! Cannibal Corpse used to have a habit of nasty song titles based on shock-value alone. Now, they're still nasty sounding but not as nasty sounding. I doubt anyone will get too offended over the likes of "Icepick Lobotomy" or "Bloodstained Cement", but it does show that the band are more confident of pulling in listeners without resorting to shock tactics. Having said that, one could argue that the early songs are still more likely to pull the new fans in due to the shock factor - hey, that's what got me involved - of said lyrics, but with stuff like this further down the line, those new fans are going to be in for a treat.

Anyhow, the only flaw I've got with this album is that it's over too soon. But all good things must come to an end so with that, I'd like to wish you all a pleasent day/night and I apologise for the crude nature of this blog. I've been in hospital for the last week due to picking up an infection from a cat bite (Not my cat) so my blog skills need sharpening again. Normal service will be resumed.

Top track: Kill Or Become.

8/10 - Oh you have my attention, any maybe my money, time and heart.

Chris J.

Link to buy on Amazon.
Link to listen on Spotify

This album is also available on iTunes. Just a shame they can't give this away instead of that fucking U2 album...



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