CANNIBAL CORPSE – A Skeletal Domain (CD)
Man, Cannibal Corpse never ceases to me amaze me considering they’ve been at their horror-inspired death metal for almost three decades. “A Skeletal Domain” is definitely one of the finest moments in their bloodthirsty career (no pun intended), as this 12-tracker shows their finest moments on the digital media. What is so striking here, Cannibal Corpse have written 12 songs, which could come from 12 different records, so, how many death metal bands are capable of pulling off such a feat? Not many, if any – unless you’re a band called Atheist. Vocally, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher has unleashed some of his best and sadistic screaming on a couple of the songs here, and this shit sticks in your mind like razor sharp spears. Fisher sounds more horrific and zombie-like on this album than any of his previous outings with Cannibal Corpse. He’s certainly got some demonic aura about him on this slab of misery and death.
Guitarists Rob Barrett and Pat O’ Brien just gut away at your flesh, tearing it to shreds with their tight guitar rhythms, sinister melodies, and a few solos that’ll throw the listener for a loop, as O’Brien plays some of his most melodic lead runs on “The Murderer’s Pact”, while Barrett just butchers the senses with his gut ripping rhythms in tow. Their timing on this album is tighter even more so than their previous recordings, but it is more to do with the way this album was written, as it breathes freely without any constrictions, yet feels so cohesive in sound. “Sadistic Embodiment” employs some mosh guitar rhythms, and it’s a track I can see people slamming to the point they knock their brains out on the club floor.
“A Skeletal Domain’s” core focus is on precision and speed at the appropriate moments, kind of like a good horror flick, whereby the bodycount builds up slowly, with more limbs and torso hackings than the audience can count. Moreover, the core rhythm and beat section of bassist Alex Webster and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz is spot-on, solid to the last drop of blood as good as these guys can spill. The bass guitar also stands out a lot more here, giving the drums that explosive sound, which does such a superb job of making everyone else in the band sound blisteringly heavy. It’s the bass tone, I’ve always enjoyed about Webster’s bass sound, it’s punchy yet so damn fluid, which has a lot to with his fingering technique employed since Cannibal Corpse’s first album, “Eaten Back To Life”.
Last but not least, the Mark Lewis production at Audio Hammer Studio has added a lot more depth to the band’s overall sound, which is definitely a welcome element to Cannibal Corpse’s sound. This production element makes these guys stand out, sound different all the while still maintaining their original style, tone, and brutality.
Check it out and let your grave become “A Skeletal Domain”. [Metal Blade] Sarjoo Devani