From the deepest corner of the forsaken plain of extreme metal, a sudden explosion of noise is disrupting the deathly still atmosphere. For the last quarter of a century, Cannibal Corpse, one of the many founders of this realm of music, has kept the gold standard of death metal in good standing and has delivered a dozen of the fiercest audio assaults known to man. Now, album number thirteen crawls from the darkest of shadows, like a putrefying hand sent to grab you by the throat and drag you through the abyss like a divine comedy amusement park ride. “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” whispers a nameless voice as you descend into a level of brutality that only few bands have been able to create, a domain where no sun shines: A Skeletal Domain.
Your trip into a level deeper than anything even Dante Alighieri could imagine begins with “High Velocity Impact Splatter”, which sets the stage for what is still to come. Face melting solos, punishing double bass, growling bass lines, and some of the most ferocious vocals ever spewed by vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher are caked on every track like flies on a carcass. After seeing life through the eyes of a psychopath in “Sadistic Embodiment”, you will then travel to the chamber of the minions of metal and witness their initiation into the world of the extreme through the lyrics of “Kill or Become”. If the words “Fire up the chainsaw” aren’t proof enough that the song takes its lyrical cues from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the gnashing guitar work from Pat O’Brien and Rob Barrett should be.
At the heart of A Skeletal Domain is the title track, where you will behold the desolate wasteland it is named after. But beware, should you choose to walk alongside the subjects of the kingdom of the dead, you may find yourself thrown “Headlong into Carnage” and become caught in an unescapable whirlwind of guttural vocals and spine shattering riffs. “Is there no way out?” growls a tormented voice. If you find yourself asking this question in “The Murderer’s Pact”, the answer is not without performing the ultimate sin.
If you have made it this far, the howling winds now fill your ears as “Funeral Cremation” begins. Take warning, the weak of heart and stomach will not last through the gruesome lyrics and terrorizing music that illustrate the slow and steady decaying process. High above the domain is a dark building that houses the insane, and within these walls, “Icepick Lobotomy” is the only form of treatment should the brain melting riffs and drum lines not cure your inner demons. “No joy will ever last” screams a victim of the “Vector of Cruelty” before his unseen voice is drowned out by the bass lines of Alex Webster.
The road out of A Skeletal Domain is long and made of “Bloodstained Cement”, where the marks of those who suffered the pummeling drums of Paul Mazurkiewicz and Fisher’s gut wrenching roars are left as reminders that some people simply can’t handle this much metal. Between the crushing “Asphyxiate to Resuscitate” and the thrashing “Hollowed Bodies”, the final stops on the journey back to the surface, it is clear that nothing can stop the grinding machine of Cannibal Corpse. With the help of producer Mark Lewis, whose impressive resume includes The Black Dahlia Murder, Carnifex, Whitechapel, and more, your journey through A Skeletal Domain is sure to be nothing short of intense, devastating, and memorable. Please enjoy the ride and remember to keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times, as you may lose them otherwise.
Look for A Skeletal Domain in stores and online September 16 via Metal Blade Records