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Cannibal Corpse | ‘A Skeletal Domain’

It’s a bit of a ritual at this stage, really.

Cannibal Corpse release another new album and for some reason, most of us get a bit excited at the prospect of ‘this one’ being different.

The usual Cannibal Corpse formula for albums these days is to have one or two excellent tracks on an album with the rest being, while extremely technically proficient, pretty much standard filler for the band.

One thing I will sing the praises of is the overall sound engineering. Webster’s bass hasn’t sounded as good in any recording before this. The tone is thick and heavy, and most importantly, completely audible, which is important as he is a phenomenal musician.

Opener ‘High Velocity Impact Spatter’ is a bit underwhelming, but has some nice especially nice riffs at around the 2 minute mark. ‘Sadistic Embodiment’ has a very strong ‘Show No Mercy’-era Slayer influence, solo included.

Wading through the expected filler, the title track is pedestrian and follows the usual slow-track formula used since ‘Gallery of Suicide’. ‘Headlong into Carnage’ is just as forgettable, as is ‘The Murderer’s Pact’, ‘Icepick Lobotomy’ and ‘Bloodstained Cement’. ‘Vector of Cruelty’ might be aptly titled if your idea of cruelty is to subjected to 3 and a half minutes of utter aural monotony.

The absolute highlight is ‘Kill or Become’, which is absolutely frantic, over-encumbured with riffs and has a high intensity which is infectious. I’ve had it on repeat numerous times, it’s that good.

‘Funeral Cremation’ is the moodiest and darkest Corpse track I’ve heard since ‘From Skin To Liquid’. I’m also shocked at Mazurkiewicz’s performance on this number as he actually sounds he gives a damn beyond using THAT drum pattern.

I’ve always felt that Mazurkiewicz was the main problem regarding the band ever really progressing in sound, because it’s obvious that the guitarists and bassist are lightyears ahead in terms of technicality, however I think there’s a bit more to it than just that.

In the example of the above track, even when I felt that Mazurkiewicz was pulling his weight, it became more evident to me that my biggest issue is with another member altogether: Corpsegrinder.

It’s no secret that Mazurkiewicz is largely the brains and workhorse behind everything, apart from Webster. The man writes quite a bit of the music and writes a large chunk of the lyrics. In relation to ‘Funeral Cremation’, Fisher’s staccato, machine gun-like vocal patterns are simply dialed in and I found that they actually ruined the track for me, for the most part. That track alone deserved a better performance than the one delivered.

Just what exactly does he even do in the band anymore? The only upside to him I can think of is that he’s got a reliable voice, the kind that anybody not into Death Metal could use a gateway, but does he actually contribute anything to the songwriting process?

Cannibal Corpse are certainly reliable, but I do wonder how long they can keep this formula up. They’ve done so well at being successful and it can’t be disputed that they are the biggest and most recognisable Death Metal band in history. How long will it be until their longtime, hardcore fans start to wane and grow tired?

They’re great to throw on the playlist every now and again, and even then, only a few tracks here and there from their latter-day material. They could easily have a pretty good compilation CD of, say, 12-15 tracks from ‘Gore Obsessed’-onwards.

Which, for 6 albums, probably doesn’t come across as glowing admiration for them.

Nevertheless, Cannibal Corpse do what they do and they make a pretty decent living from doing it. If they released an album with 12 tracks as good as ‘Kill or Become’ and ‘Funeral Cremation’, the follow-up release would have a lot to live up to.

Alas, at this stage it’s safer to bet that I’ll have another track or two to enjoy from it instead.

2.4/5 – Ricardo Angelone ::: 05/09/14

  1. Utter bollocks review…this is a storming album from Cannibal!

  2. I wouldn’t expect a fair review of a CC album on this site, how about you write about the songs?

  3. I agree with the reviewer.
    George has been stale for years.
    And Paul had always sucked as a drummer

  4. Paul isn’t upto the level of the others but he hardly sucks. Corpsegrinder is certainly a bit samey but it works. This album is generally a big step up from some of the other recent albums and is way way better than the mark given to it.

  5. I’ve listened through it a fair few times now as well.

    There are moments of undoubted new creativity, bringing fresh new life into things – brilliant snatches of amazingly difficult and intense riffing. As stated, Webster’s bass is monster. Some interesting vocal patterns too, as usual.

    After that though, and with repeated spins – what?

    It just isnt enough, and the ratio of killer to filler just goes the wrong direction. As with every Cannibal album for far, far too long now.

    As R says, “If they released an album with 12 tracks as good as ‘Kill or Become’ and ‘Funeral Cremation’” we’d really be talking. But they havent, and it has to be taken whole I think.

  6. Tezcatlipoca Says:

    Fair enough if you think the album deserves a more glowing review, H, but 2.4 is just 0.1 from dead-on average, which I feel this album pretty much is when compared to some of the amazing Death Metal released this year alone already.

    Corpsessed? Auroch? Dead Congregation? I’d easily reach for their releases above this, personally.

  7. Its a very good album. Its easy to bash CC. The album is a 4/5 – not a 2.4 !!! Its easliy better than torture, dont think they get the credit they deserve – you know what your going to get with 90% of most Metal bands before they release a new album but people seem to give CC grief because its not different from the last album- its like what do you expect !!!! Its a cracking CC album

  8. Just to put this mark in context by the way. The new Decapitated is about to hit. I’m listening to it now and it CRUSHES.

    Real invention, real motivation and real power. Totally different ball game to what’s basically a pleasant enough rehash of well worn styles from CC.

  9. Say it with me everybody ”I don’t like thing”.

  10. What an honest and refreshing review. I was hoping for something special from CC with this one but unfortunately I must agree with Ricardo. Gone the way of Slayer and other faded jaded stars I’m afraid.

  11. GargantuanTractor Says:

    Have to say this is the first Cannibal Corpse album that I have listened to straight through for a long time!!!

    There’s a rawness and darkness to it that has been missing since the bleeding and Vile.

    Lest we forget this is the bands 13th album in almost 25 years!! Most bands are well spent at that stage.

  12. Slit your guts Says:

    bullshit review.

  13. So basically, what I’m getting from all this so far is:

    Cannibal Corpse Fans: “The new Cannibal Corpse album is savage”

    Non Cannibal Corpse Fans: “eh, it’s not great “

  14. b o donoghue Says:

    Total bollocks of a review .its a dam fine album and paul as a drummer makes cannibal crush

  15. I am a fan but I agree with review this is an average album for Cannibal Corpse.

  16. Dear Sir,

    Upon finishing your review of the delightfully titled ‘A Skeletal Domain’ by those lovely fellows Cannibal Corpse.
    I wish to say to you that I do disagree and from hence forth..will make it my mission in life to besmirch your person at any and every opportunity.

    Good day to you sir.. I SAY GOOD DAY!!!

  17. I’m enjoying the fuck out of it. A step up from the last couple of albums.
    Re: Mazurkiewicz I think his drumming works. Could be a little more inventive in places but I don’t think a Roddy or Kollias approach would fit in CC.

    I think the review is bordering on harsh. Definitely worth more than a 2.4!! 4/5 at least for me.

  18. Not an obsessive CC fan but will check it out as “Vile” left an indelible dark mark on my soul. The review was at least obviously well considered and taken seriously. I think it’s important to keep standards with marks even if you’re marking legends. Bands don’t have to change their formula to remain killer long term but formulaic is obviously disappointing. Can’t wait to actually hear it now!

  19. I have avoided the last couple and was really impressed with this

  20. greaterfool Says:

    I have never listened to this band. In 30 years listening to metal I have managed to avoid them. Not sure why

  21. Lord of the Brush Says:

    You either like CC, or You don’t. That’s all about it. I can’t stop spinning this one. Killer to filler ratio may have been a problem in the past, but I’m a bit surprised to read about it in the review of the “Skeletal Domain”, since that’s the most catchy release with Corpsegrinder so far. There’s a hook in every single track. Guitar lines are very thrashy and melodic by CC standards.

    Also, Mazurkiewicz rules. This man may not be the fastest or the most proficient drummer in the metal scene, but He packs a punch. No tickling a snare, there’s an “oooomph” behind every single beat He plays.

  22. paulmcloughlin5 Says:

    more of the same but it works and works well and as a life long C.C. fan thats good enough for me,and every thing is played 100% not the best c.c. cd but a right fuckin good 1 it is.8out of 10

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