Skinless – Only The Ruthless Remain (Relapse)

Genre: Death Metal

The first Skinless album in eight years – and one which boasts the band’s classic late 90s line up – Only The Ruthless Remain has been hotly anticipated. And thankfully, the veteran New Yorkers don’t let anyone down on their fifth full length.

OK, it doesn’t have the same impact as recent comebacks by the likes of Carcass and At The Gates, but Skinless know how to throw a death metal party… and their time away from the limelight hasn’t dulled the ability to write gnarly little ditties like The Beast Smells Blood (one of this record’s many highlights).

Some of the leadwork is absolutely sensational , cutting through the crushing riffs like a chainsaw through butter, and drummer Bob Beaulac appears to be more machine than man, such is the intensity of his rhythmic barrage.

Granted, the production could have been stronger, but you could still use Only The Ruthless Remain to punch holes through concrete walls.

A welcome return, then, from one of DM’s most impressive acts. Richard Holmes

RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Skinned Alive