Friday, October 3, 2014

Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

Cannibal Corpse, the quintessential American death metal band, don't really require an introduction or explanation. They released their 12th studio album a couple weeks ago, so let's talk about this new record, A Skeletal Domain.

First things first, Cannibal Corpse don't release bad albums. Like several other veteran death metal outfits, consistency has been a major hallmark of their career. Unlike many of those bands, though, if there was a weak time in Cannibal Corpse's history, it was their earliest albums. In their early days, the band took a heavy but perhaps overly simplistic approach, and original vocalist Chris Barnes was not terribly impressive. There are those who may argue this, but in my opinion Corpsegrinder has always been easily the better frontman, and the band has been much better off with him. Additionally, the band's general level of musicianship has continued to improve over the years, taking their original core identity and building on it bit by bit.

It should come as no surprise, given everything I've just said, that I liked this album. Sure, it's not exactly revolutionary. It is, however, a pitch-perfect example of Florida death metal, presented by one of the scene's most significant acts. As always, Fisher's  ferocious vocal delivery is spot-on, the songs are just catchy enough to balance out the heaviness, and every instrument plays its part. The drumming is relentless, the crunchy riffs get your head banging, the bass fleshes out the bottom end, and the rabid soloing just enhances the powerful chaos of the material.

The closest thing to a complaint I could lodge, which is pretty much par for the course with any band this well-established, is that there's nothing terribly original about this album. It sounds pretty much the same as their previous release. There's nothing wrong with that, Torture  was a good album, but it does prevent this from really jumping out and grabbing me the way some other recent records have.

This is not the best death metal album I've heard this year. It may not even be in the top 5. It's a rock solid record, though, with more than enough meat to satisfy hungry fans of the genre and of the band.

Grade: B+

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