Skinless - Only The Ruthless Remain review




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Reviewer:
5.7

28 users:
7.14
Band: Skinless
Album: Only The Ruthless Remain
Release date: May 2015


01. Serpenticide
02. Only The Ruthless Remain
03. Skinless
04. Flamethrower
05. The Beast Smells Blood
06. Funeral Curse
07. Barbaric Proclivity


You need four things to make an album, right? Something old: original vocalist Sherwood Webber, returning to duty. Something new: recent addition Dave Matthews on guitar (no, not that Dave Matthews). Something borrowed: most of these songs. Something blue: me after sitting through this.

Skinless are one of the biggest names in brutal death metal, for reasons that remain unclear to me; even their banner release, Trample The Weak, Hurdle The Dead barely moves under its own power, subsisting heavily on the images of other, better albums it projects into your mind. At their best, Skinless have always struck me as being "yet another death metal band," and this is not Skinless at their best. I have listened to this album countless times now, and I cannot recall one single occasion on which I noticed one song coming to a halt and the next song beginning.

"Skinless" has a pretty gruesome groove, though fleeting, as with all things good; soon, the unintelligible mass of harmonics, lightning runs, and double bass drown and consume it like the rest of the songs. If nothing about this can stand out amongst Skinless material, then it certainly has no hope of standing out amongst Skinless's competition.

Only The Ruthless Remain is akin to the experience of throwing slabs of raw meat at a concrete wall with your buddies. It's brutal work, and you'll get all bloody and look really cool and have whatever bragging rights accompany this venture. And if somebody on the street stops you to ask why you're covered in suspicious blood spatter and chunks of uncooked beef? You can say, "Hey, man, I was pitching cow flanks against concrete all day," and they'll say, "Man, that's brutal." But what have you accomplished? The wall isn't going to fall down. The meat isn't going to get cooked. After a while, it gets boring, and any sane person would say, "You know what? I'm going to join a prog band."

The stupidity of that metaphor in itself is a metaphor for this album. It's full of all the requisite trappings of an album, but it can't bring any of them together to make sense. It struggles and strains against mediocrity, but the songs simply fail to build something greater out of the basic materials they are presented with. What does death metal mean, however brutal, if it cannot be negotiated into a cohesive album with interesting and memorable songs that somehow establish themselves as more worthy than whatever else you could be listening to?


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 3
Production: 7


 



Written on 20.10.2015 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 170 users
20.10.2015 - 04:12
MetalDoomMaster
This website needs more brutal death metal reviews, thanks for this one.
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21.10.2015 - 01:31
Necrotion7
Ive always felt the same about skinless
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21.10.2015 - 02:38
Lord_Regnier
You know what? This review summarizes my general feeling towards Brutal Death Metal very well.
I mean, I like extreme music very much. I enjoy speed, aggressivity, inhuman vocals, etc. Yet I've always found Brutal Death as pointless, directionless music that leads nowhere and has no other goal than simply being brutal.for the sake of it. I believe no music is too brutal or extreme for me. It's just that I find it boring, dull, repetitive and not entertaining in any way.
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"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
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22.10.2015 - 00:51
Coconut Racecar
Skinless are one of the bigger names in brutal death metal? ... I don't think so. I don't even find them to be heavier than Cannibal Corpse in which case CC would be a much bigger name.
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22.10.2015 - 05:48
Absak
With the amount of brutal death metal I've listened to, labeling bands like Skinless, Dying Fetus, Hour of Penance 2008 onward and Prostitute Disfigurement 2008 onward as brutal death metal seems kind of silly to me. Hell, I'll even say that Benighted is regular old deathgrind, rather than brutal death metal/grindcore. I feel like calling something brutal death metal warrants a certain low tuning and crushing sound these days. When I think brutal death metal, I think of bands like 7 H.Target, Abominable Putridity, Cephalotripsy, Cerebral Bore, Condemned, Defeated Sanity, Devourment, Disgorge, Guttural Secrete, Infernal Revulsion, Katalepsy and Pathology to name a few. But on topic: I agree with the review, this album is boring and generic. I can only name a single death metal album that was more boring to me than Only The Ruthless Remain this year, and that was Crusade:Zero by Hate. Even the new Kraanium album is more enticing, but again: that's a different genre of death metal in my opinion.
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22.10.2015 - 06:00
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by Coconut Racecar on 22.10.2015 at 00:51

Skinless are one of the bigger names in brutal death metal? ... I don't think so. I don't even find them to be heavier than Cannibal Corpse in which case CC would be a much bigger name.

I've seen Cannibal Corpse labeled as brutal death on a few occasions before, which I don't happen to agree with, but I don't think you'd be far out of line in saying that they are heavier than Skinless these days. And when taken along with the following comment:

Written by Absak on 22.10.2015 at 05:48

With the amount of brutal death metal I've listened to, labeling bands like Skinless, Dying Fetus, Hour of Penance 2008 onward and Prostitute Disfigurement 2008 onward as brutal death metal seems kind of silly to me. Hell, I'll even say that Benighted is regular old deathgrind, rather than brutal death metal/grindcore. I feel like calling something brutal death metal warrants a certain low tuning and crushing sound these days. When I think brutal death metal, I think of bands like 7 H.Target, Abominable Putridity, Cephalotripsy, Cerebral Bore, Condemned, Defeated Sanity, Devourment, Disgorge, Guttural Secrete, Infernal Revulsion, Katalepsy and Pathology to name a few. But on topic: I agree with the review, this album is boring and generic. I can only name a single death metal album that was more boring to me than Only The Ruthless Remain this year, and that was Crusade:Zero by Hate. Even the new Kraanium album is more enticing, but again: that's a different genre of death metal in my opinion.


I think you might be justified in questioning whether Skinless even deserves the brutal death label anymore. Of the bands you listed, the ones I'm familiar with I'd comfortably say are heavier (and better). It had been nine years since Skinless's last album, after all, and things moved on quite well without them. The results of this album show that when they aren't some of the brutal-est kids on the block Skinless don't have a lot to offer. "Brutal" seems like a relative term anyway, so perhaps that label can evolve.

I'd also have to agree that Hate's new album is quite boring and even trumps this one in being generic.
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Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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25.10.2015 - 03:21
Coconut Racecar
Written by ScreamingSteelUS on 22.10.2015 at 06:00


-snip-



Skinless is kind of at a drop off where death metal ends and brutal death metal starts. If anything I'd consider Abominable Putridity one of the bigger/biggest names in brutal death metal since they are definitely fitting of the genre and quite widely known as well.

Haven't taken the time to listen to the album so I can't say whether I agree with the review or not but I honestly don't doubt it's accuracy. Skinless was never really a stand out band to me although I'm also not very picky, lol.

Just felt like adding that it seemed inappropriate to give them such a... Prestigious? Title.
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03.11.2015 - 12:17
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Coconut Racecar on 22.10.2015 at 00:51

Skinless are one of the bigger names in brutal death metal? ... I don't think so. I don't even find them to be heavier than Cannibal Corpse in which case CC would be a much bigger name.


since when CC plays brutal death ... only big name in brutal death I can name is Krisiun
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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04.11.2015 - 16:40
psykometal
A staff guy...
The bands you're describing as brutal, Absak, are actually slam. It's a different subgenre from brutal, even though it is sometimes referred to as slamming brutal death metal. Regardless whether you call it slamming brutal or just slam, it is still different from brutal.

I too have seen CC labelled brutal a few times, but that is totally wrong. They are indeed just regular death. I believe ignorant people just call them brutal because their lyrics are just "so brutal, man".
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~Zep, Database and Forum Moderation~

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