Skinless - Trample The Weak, Hurdle The Dead - Relapse Records 2006
Running Time: 36:42
Even those who embraced 2003's musical essay in brutality that was From Sacrifice To Survival likely won't expect the total fucking annihilation wrought within "Overlord". High-pitched, blackened vocal scree more usually found on platters from Norway joins gutteral rumble, adding fire to the deathcharge of Skinless 2006. A foreboding sense of melody lurks within as well, but seems to be fighting a losing battle against such flammable material as the condemnation of war found in "A Unilateral Disgust", so downtuned and lurching are the guitars and bass of Carpenter and Keyser (respectfully). I'd like to send a personal letter of thanks to whoever kept a lit flame to the rectal cavity of new vocalist Jason Keyser during these recording sessions. His vocals are positively otherwordly here, his delivery on "Deviation Will Not Be Tolerated" yanked from some nether-realm of death metal previously only inhabited by the likes of Gorguts and Cryptopsy. The Maiden-esque chordings near the end of "Deviation..." quickly crumble into dust, recalling the occasional doomward spiral of latter-day Immolation. I've long said that an album is only as good as it's title track and, in this case, "Trample The Weak, Hurdle The Dead" slams belligerent rhythms against furiously executed riffwork, then tosses the whole burning mess into the fracas, laughing while the mushroom cloud looms in the distance. There's just not one bad song on Trample..., not one bullet that misses it's intended target. "Endvisioned" stomps forward, never once blasting, yet just as deadly for the juggernaut forces powering the apocalyptic attack, belying the melody sneaking around your flank for an unexpected invasion. The ending cover of Black Sabbath's "Wicked World" detonates, scattering timely lyrics and Wardian drum fills (courtesy new skinbanger Bob Beaulac) like so much shrapnel amid the devastation. I thought the "N.I.B" bassline during the coda was especially nice.
If From Sacrifice To Survival was a sniper's bullet aimed at your cornea, Trample The Weak, Hurdle The Dead is a nuclear warhead dropped onto your cranium. Obliterating.