Remember Old School? That movie was all about partying, but for the old crowd that was out of school. In the movie the old guys realized that the glory days can still be lived and that they could even party harder than most teens in high school. That is how Cannibal Corpse is with their new release, A Skeletal Domain. Instead of just bringing booze, the 26-year-old band brought along their unique brutality laced with a modern-day mixology for one of their most stellar releases yet.
There’s no doubt that the band has been an icon for the death metal genre, and with this album, they still bring the thrash influence to their sound. Lead off track “High Velocity Impact Shatter” ignites the album with technical riffs and George Fisher’s roars. The verses are highly technical, featuring quickly paced blast beats with guitars racing across the fretboard.
The guitars shine across this entire record. “Kill Or Become” has O’Brien and Barrett bouncing chugs and technical parts off of each other. And just when I thought the technicality could not be outdone, an atonal solo shreds through the mix with blast beats accompanying it. Cannibal Corpse is not messing around on this LP.
“The Murderer’s Pact” has one hell of a groove. The double bass drum pounds with the snare snapping at a perfect head-banging pace. The guitars are in a constant open-note chug, switching back and forth from tremolo picked leads to this unique riff. “Icepick Lobotomy” is another track where the thrash influence spirals out of the main theme of the song. Around the 1:38 mark is when the band takes their death metal brutality and give life to an ‘80s thrash riff. The riff sparks with bass drum kicks, being one of the catchiest parts the album has to offer, being accompanied with bouncing leads and perfected growls before spawning back into the chug to finish the track.
A Skeletal Domain sounds perfect as well. The band decided to go with Mark Lewis (August Burns Red, Whitechapel, The Black Dahlia Murder) this time around for production. His more modern approach to albums has made Cannibal Corpses sound incredibly fresh, still packing that same carnal edge the band has been known for. Take the song “Bloodstained Cement” for example, the track is structurally one of the most hectic songs, but sounds clean while still remaining heavy. The breakdown at the middle and end sound bigger than your favorite metalcore band, with Fisher letting out tortured screams to pack in urgency. Lewis also allowed for the bass to be audible, giving depth to songs like “Sadistic Embodiment” and “Hollowed Bodies.”