If anyone is worried that the departure of long-time vocalist and fiery front man Sherwood Webber would mean the demise of SKINLESS' patented sound, trust me, you needn't worry. On "Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead", replacement Jason Keyser (brother of bassist Joe) does an outstanding job with his sickening guttural growls and maniacal screams. Stylistically, this new slab of vintage death metal has much more in common with the excellent "Foreshadowing Our Demise" than the more expansive, even experimental, fare of 2003's "From Sacrifice to Survival". And those glorious movie samples that vanished on the last effort are back and oh so fitting. This is a true return to form. Noah Carpenter's trademark riffs, the devastating breakdowns, memorable arrangements, and all out destructiveness make "Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead" one of the elite death metal albums of 2006.
As soon as the sample from one of the "Planet of the Apes" movies (I can't recall which one) introduces album opener "Overlord" and the avalanche of guitars, drums, and bass comes rushing down the mountainside, you just know that SKINLESS has returned to its defining sound. And the quality remains high right on through to the amazing cover of BLACK SABBATH's "Wicked World". Songs like "A Unilateral Disgust" are filled with incendiary riffing and some of the most punishing breakdowns you'll ever hear on a death metal album. SKINLESS excels where so many others have failed. The songwriting is fantastic, the unit is tight beyond belief, and the brutality is delectably cranium crushing. And man, those grooves are deadly.
You'll find no messing about with genre expansion or experimental tweaking here. "Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead" is simply a great death metal album that takes an old school form and delivers it with pure lethality. Death metal fans are strongly advised to add this one to their collections as soon as humanly possible.