Lucky number 13?

Cannibal Corpse celebrate their 25th anniversary with their thirteenth full-length album ‘A Skeletal Domain’. The next few weeks and months will prove if the number thirteen will bring them luck in form of the commercial success they had with the three previous releases that all made an entry in the US Billboard charts. Then again Cannibal Corpse don’t need any luck. They are the battle-hardened death metal monster we know for a long time now. ‘A Skeletal Domain’ is now the fourth album in the same line-up. This should make for a strong album as the band knows exactly what they are doing. To freshen up things a little the band worked together with producer Mark Lewis for the first time.

The opener ‘High Velocity Impact Splatter’ starts with menacing guitars and then hits into the first riff. This is how Cannibal Corpse should be – aggressive, brutal and to the point. The super-fast ‘Sadistic Embodiment’ then follows and sets the tone for the album. There is more to it than just the usual death metal massacre. The songs on ‘A Skeletal Domain’ are more elaborate and surprise with a lot of attention to detail. Cannibal Corpse are taking it to a new level without forgetting their roots. This is the strength of a band in their third decade of existence. They have the freedom and confidence to combine ultra-heavy death metal riffs with slightly groovier parts without compromising brutality. Death metal fans must be in heaven when George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher growls ‘Fire Up The Chainsaw’ In the third track ‘Kill Or Become’. The remaining nine songs stay on this level of high quality and come with gems like ‘Asphyxiate To Resuscitate’, a track which is rather unusual for Cannibal Corpse with its almost jazzy references.

The musicianship on ‘A Skeletal Domain’ is absolute world-class as you would expect it from Cannibal Corpse. The rhythm section is the core foundation of this band. You would say that this is true for any band but it is even more important for Cannibal Corpse. Paul Mazurkiewicz (drums) hits harder than most of his colleagues (and according to producer Mark Lewis the drums weren’t sampled). Alex Webster on bass is outrageously good. His bass play is rips right through the tracks. That, in combination with the sound he produces, makes him one of the greatest of the genre. The guitars are sharp and create the brutal atmosphere of a modern death metal album. George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher is at his best. His vocals are more diverse than ever before. ‘A Skeletal Domain’ is a lesson in modern death metal. It successfully walks the fine line between introducing new features and still satisfying the long-term fans.

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