Skinless

From Sacrifice to Survival

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Already a decade into their career, New York's Skinless finally seem to be hitting their stride, and with 2003's From Sacrifice to Survival -- their third album and their second on the Relapse label -- the group takes another important step forward in their development. Building upon their previously tentative experiments with less frenetic speed-zones, the band and veteran producer Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Cannibal Corpse) turn their attention to constructing cleverly executed time-shifting dynamics. The result is that songs like "The Front Line of Sanity," "Deathwork," and the title track find Skinless becoming increasingly successful at standing out from the mindless grindcore masses. Not that they've compromised much in the way of vicious aggression, mind you; unless you're looking for an endless (and senseless) barrage of double kick-drums and buzz-saw guitars, the album's carefully structured diversity makes for a much more interesting and surprise-filled listening experience all around. Call it a sell-out if you will, but high caliber, melodically enhanced deathcore is much more like it, and it's a fair prediction that Skinless have only just begun to tap their potential.

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