American death metal masters Cannibal Corpse have been ripping, shredding, growling and pummeling their way through the years with sick live shows and brutal album releases. This fall, Metal Blade Records is scheduled to drop a brand new collection of originals by Cannibal Corpse. Titled A Skeletal Domain, this is the band's thirteenth full-length album to date. So...all of you rabid fans of Cannibal Corpse's longtime cult following, feel free to get stoked, because this vicious twelve-song beast will be unleashed from its cage on September 16, 2014.
A Skeletal Domain features original members Paul Mazurkiewicz (drums) and Alex Webster (bass), along with the second longest members Rob Barrett (rhythm guitar from 1993 to 1997, and then from 2005 to the present), Fisher (vocals from 1995 to the present) and Pat O'Brien (lead guitar from 1997 to the present). And these new songs - not limited to but including "High Velocity Impact Splatter," "Sadistic Embodiment," "Icepick Lobotomy," "Bloodstained Cement," and "Hollowed Bodies" - prove that the musical craft belonging to these headbanger legends of death metal is just as strong as ever, perhaps in some ways even better. These songs, in other words, are as sharp as a scalpel, as fluid as the blood draining from a wound, as ultra-violent as serial murder, as thunderous as the hooves of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and as tight as extreme fetishists in hanging bondage rigs.
Rather than work with Eric Rutan (Kill, Evisceration Plague, Torture), with whom Cannibal Corpse did their last three albums, the band opted to do the Skeletal Domain material with Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, DevilDriver) at Audio Hammer Studios. And, as with all of Cannibal Corpse's releases to date, A Skeletal Domain is being released by Metal Blade Records.
While I have been considerably more involved in the punk and hardcore scenes over the years, there are a few death metal bands whose songs have admittedly served as guilty pleasures for me, like Macabre, Suffocation, and Cannibal Corpse. Cannibal Corpse more so than the others, as they were the first true death metal I had listened to. I first stumbled upon them on a brief beach vacation in Maryland when I was fifteen. My friend and I were in a car going to some destination or other, and the driver, whom we called Death (because he was a huge metal fan), was blasting the Butchered at Birth album. I was in awe of this music. It was so fast and heavy, so vastly different and oddly technical than what I was accustomed to, and just so impossibly aggressive. As soon as I returned home to Pennsylvania I bought a copy of Tomb of the Mutilated, which remains my favorite Cannibal Corpse album to this day...next to The Bleeding, of course. In fact, it was the next best thing to what was the beginning of my lifelong love for horror films, representing all that I appreciated about them, namely gore and bad taste. After all, Cannibal Corpse has always been a very controversial band.
Eventually, in the late '90s, I finally attended a Cannibal Corpse show at a small venue in Northeastern Pennsylvania, shortly after vocalist Chris Barnes was replaced by George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, and the Vile album was the band's latest offering. It was a very memorable experience, to say the least. And listening to A Skeletal Domain reminds me just how memorable an experience it truly was.
Long live death!