Having not heard anything from US death metal veterans Skinless in quite a few years, listening to Only The Ruthless Remain, their first album in all that time, has made me realize how little I actually listen to death metal these days. Other than the odd spin of a Cannibal Corpse album, I can’t think of the last time I actually put on a “meat n’ veg” death metal album like Only The Ruthless Remain.
Well, I’ve spun through this seven track offering a few times now and have to admit that the ruthless element of the title certainly holds some water as Skinless batter through the likes of “Flamethrower” and “Funeral Cause” with, if I’m being honest, consummate ease. The problem is that listening to a band battering through seven, ten, six, five, whatever number of songs these days just isn’t holding my interest anymore.
For sure, Skinless are utterly fucking devastating and the guttural bellows of frontman Sherwood Webber are up there with some of the more traditional death metal vocalists I grew up with but, at the end of the day, Only The Ruthless Remain is nothing more than a solid, predictably relentless slab of brutality. It’s played at a ferocious pace from the off, the musicianship has little you can fault it on but, as is often the case with traditional death metal, the end result no longer leaves you thinking – “wow, this is the pinnacle of heavy music.”
I feel kind of guilty reviewing this album so negatively, especially when 25 year old me could have lapped this shit up all day long. So, looking at it through two sets of eyes, the 25 year old me can’t recommend this album enough, however the one in his early forties had quite simply lost interest after a few tracks.
02. Only The Ruthless Remain
05. The Beast Smells Blood
06. Funeral Cause
07. Barbaric Proclivity
Run Time: 35:40
Release Date: May 29, 2015
Check out the video for “Barbaric Proclivity” here.