Skinless - Only the Ruthless Remain
Death Metal
7 songs (35' 35")
Release year: 2015
Skinless, Relapse
Reviewed by Andy

Skinless has progressed from a cartoonishly sick-humored death metal band to one with less ridiculous lyrics but still the chugging riffs expected of them. Only the Ruthless Remain is a whole lot like Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead, but without the war themes or -- somewhat disappointingly -- the wonderfully apropos samples that accompanied the last album.

The album consists of a somewhat muddy sound; the bass blends in with the guitars to the point that it's more like a single instrument, and Sherwood Webber's "Cookie Monster" vocals fit well with the style, though I've always felt like they're pretty generic, and this does nothing to change that. Only the Ruthless Remain has some decent riffs on it, even if they've been done before by other death metal bands, including some fast riffing that reminded me quite a bit of Cannibal Corpse's Stripped, Raped, and Strangled, and the next track, Skinless, is more complex in the guitar work, but just as brutal, with a better guitar solo and and a more driving feel to it.

We get some very slight sampling with The Beast Smells Blood -- just sound effects --, but nowhere near what we used to get, which is unfortunate. One of Skinless's charms were their sense of humor, and even after they got out of the business of writing songs like Tampon Lollypops, they always had ludicrous quotes by George C Scott's Patton character or Vince McMahon to liven otherwise fairly generic music up. This time around we have to rely on their more serious subject treatment, and nothing's quite that good there. Granted, there's some atmosphere to the slower, blockier Funeral Curse, but one could listen to any local death metal act opening for a more established act these days and hear something very similar.

All in all, the music is nothing to write home about and I have a feeling that I won't remember this album in about a week. This has always been their Achilles heel, and it looks like that hasn't changed here, but Only the Ruthless Remain is also simply less entertaining than previous efforts. Perhaps seeing one of their shows (which a lot of people say are very good) would change my mind, but for now I can't say this is of much interest.

Killing Songs :
Andy quoted 68 / 100
Other albums by Skinless that we have reviewed:
Skinless - Foreshadowing Our Demise reviewed by Khelek and quoted 92 / 100
Skinless - Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead reviewed by Adam and quoted 76 / 100
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