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A dormant domain - 72%

EzraBlumenfeld, January 10th, 2019

Of all the bands I would ever expect to change styles, Cannibal Corpse is definitely near the bottom of the list. They've easily fulfilled that expectation: A Skeletal Domain is really no different than any of their earlier, stronger albums. In fact, at this point they've become more of a nostalgia band than anything else; their previously-shocking brand of gore-ridden death metal has faded to a shadow of the terrifying force they were with Chris Barnes on vocals, and their most recent albums have failed to restart the controversy machine that used to hone in on everything they put out.

While musically this album could have made the grade back in 1993, it fails to leave much of an impression as a 2015 release. Between the blast beats and typical death metal riffs, it's really nothing special. The lyrics are even a watered-down version of what they used to be.

Cannibal Corpse's lyrics and song titles were once horrible enough that could've made Ruggero Deodato gasp, with narrated accounts of gruesome murders and repulsive sexual violence that would easily earn a real-life perpetrator several life sentences. Nowadays, the band seems to have run out of ideas, focusing mostly still on grisly killing but with far less detail or passion. At this point, it seems that the lyricists have run out of ideas and what they do churn out seems forced.

Productionwise A Skeletal Domain is spotless, but that's not really a good thing; the raw, biting guitars and natural drums from their classic album are replaced with simulated amplifiers and obvious samples that eliminate much of the music's human element.

I think the music here is fine, but the lyrics are stale and the high-tech production is irredeemable. I wish that more fresh ideas were being put into play on this album, or that they would continue to create death metal of simply unrivalled brutality; yet, their time has passed. With Cannibal Corpse, you know what you're gonna get.