Over the years of listening to death metal, I have yet to be let down by any release by Cannibal Corpse. Arguably the biggest death metal band today, and after twelve previous releases, I wondered how much longer until a lackluster album would be released. Well, I have bad news. The streak continues! The thirteenth release from these titans, A Skeletal Domain (Metal Blade), has brought more violent, gory goodness that only Cannibal Corpse can create. However, what made this album stick out and not sound like “just another Cannibal Corpse album” was the sheer evil and eerie direction that the instrumentals and lyrics take you. A Skeletal Domain from start to end is a roller coaster of terror, aggression, and more blood than a pit of zombies.
It has been tough to mark down which songs have been my favorite as every song has its own feel and personality to it. I will mention a few, but keep in mind that I enjoy the rest of the tracks on record. It might be that I love (and laugh) at these song titles as well. The first single released, ‘Sadistic Embodiment’, really sets the course for the album. This track showcases what Cannibal Corpse is all about and then some. ‘Funeral Cremation’ was another stand out track for me with easily the creepiest opening to any song of theirs to date by ever so slightly dipping into the world of Blackened Death Metal. The guitar riff has given me goosebumps with every listen which is a rarity nowadays in a quite monotonous heavy metal world. The very next track may be my favorite off the album and certainly one of the best titles, ‘Icepick Lobotomy’. This song brings the brutality one would expect from death metal, but also stays groovy enough to keep your head banging. One last track I’d like to recommend is ‘Bloodstained Cement.’ This track starts off on a speed kick that is guaranteed to help your inner lead foot press the gas pedal just a tad harder. Then the song takes a heavy turn and actually makes you believe you are smashing some poor souls face off of the sidewalk.
A Skeletal Domain has shown the world that Cannibal Corpse is still on top of their death metal game and just how evil these guys can be. This album will certainly be in my considerations for album of the year in about three months from now. Despite all of the praise I have given this newest release, it didn’t make me say “Wow!” out loud as often as, say, Kill did. Having said that, I love the direction this album went and am happy to know that even after thirteen albums, these death metal gods are still capable of spreading their violent blend of metal. Cannibal Corpse has once again proven to me why I do not waste my time listening to Six Feet Under.