Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain [Death Metal]
As usual, song by song:
- High Velocity Impact Splatter - first of five songs written by guitarist Pat O'Brien, it's actually surprisingly easy to tell who wrote which song here. A very powerful introduction, and some fantastic vocals by George Fisher (who would have thought, huh?). O'Brien's riff in the verses is fantastic.
- Sadistic Embodiment - again, written by O'Brien. This however, is a very average song, which only picks up when the tempo drops.
- Kill Or Become - first of two songs written by the other guitarist Rob Barrett, and he seriously brings the grooves on this album. Why he has not written more is a topic of discussion for another blog, I guess. Fantastic solo, great galloping riffs, and a surprisingly exhilarating moment when Fisher screams "FIRE UP THE CHAINSAW!". One of the best songs on the album.
- A Skeletal Domain - third number by O'Brien. So far not stopping the momentum of the album, groovy sections interlaced by blastbeats. The emphasis of this album is groove, as opposed to technical mastery on 'Torture, the band's previous album. Whatever was done to Fisher's vocals in the mix is really working so far. This song is also considerably sinister.
- Headlong Into Carnage - first song on the album written by bassist and founding member Alex Webster, and it really shows, since Webster was the main writer on previous albums. An average mid-paced song though. I would not count it as filler straight away, it does well enough to be above that, but isn't is memorable as the first four songs.
- The Murderer's Pact - again by Webster. Very black metal-ish vibes around the chorus. The riffs here are so tight. This song caught me off guard, quite a variation from Cannibal Corpse's standard fare. A very strong song.
- Funeral Cremation - More Webster. It's clearly filler. You start to wonder why Webster hasn't sprung out on any bass solo yet.
- Icepick Lobotomy - second song by Rob Barrett, and my personal favourite of the album. Great riffs, catchy chrous, and a great change of pace in the middle. Cannibal Corpse can't get better than this.
- Vector Of Cruelty - Webster's fourth song. Very uninspiring.
- Bloodstained Cement - The last Webster song. Tapped my foot a bit here and there, but there is really nothing much to add. Again. Webster's refusal to break into bass wankery confuses me, that would have been a lot more interesting that this song.
- Asphyxiate To Resuscitate - Co-written by Barrett and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz. This song is a little more vicious, and as with Barett's other songs, there is a hell lot of groove. Not a bad song, though it does leave something to be desired.
- Hallowed Bodies - O'Brien's last song ends the album on a rather high note with an absolutely ferocious riff. Guitar driven and brutal, this wipes any bitter aftertaste left by the previous few songs.
Some things to note when viewing the album as a whole; nothing to expect from George Fisher, he is serviceable here. Guitar directions are surprisingly welcome on this album, bass springs through every note played here. Great mixing, terrible mastering at DR4 (highly compressed). However the production itself isn't bad when discounting the numbers. Paul Mazurkiewicz's drumming pulls the whole band down because he plays the same repetitive thing again and again. Bummed because he was getting better on the last few albums.
Still not as good an album as 'Torture', still not as good as 'The Bleeding' (the best Cannibal Corpse album ever made). Not a bad album per say, but not close to being a good one, seeing as half the songs were filler.