Dennis : Skinless obviously wants to play major league death metal. So far the band has released two excellent Death Metal CDs ("Progression Towards Evil” from 1998 and "Foreshadowing our Demise” from 2001) and has played many, many live shows all over the world, all of which contributed to their good reputation as an ambitious Death Metal band from New York. Skinless are prepared to take the next step up. They managed to "contract” John Longstreth who played with progressive Death Metal bands such as Origin and Angel Corpse before. Together with "top manager/producer” Neil Kernon, who worked with major league teams like Cannibal Corpse, Judas Priest and Nevermore before, they recorded their third CD "From Sacrifice to Survival”, with which they qualified for the play offs this month.
And it seems Skinless is in the winning mood. "From Sacrifice to Survival” is one deadly killer CD! Compared to the first two albums Skinless have made a lot progression. It is just incredible how much a drummer can make a difference. It is quite clear that John Longstreth has given Skinless the necessary boost upwards with his incredibly tight and inspirational drumming. The music of Skinless has become more varied too, taking influences from Death Metal, Grindcore, Black Metal, hardcore and even sludge. Sherwood uses more variation in his singing and at times he even uses clear vocals. Also, productionwise this third Skinless record kicks ass too. It is not my intention to talk negative about the past two records, because I love those records, but "From Sacrifice to Survival” is of a totally different caliber and sweeps the floor with all that Skinless has done before. Ok, I have to admit it needed a few spins before I understood what was going on on this CD, but I have learned to appreciate the new face of Skinless, and I can't stop listening to this record. "From Sacrifice to Survival” has surprised me positively and Relapse should be proud to have this band on their roster. Commercially it may not be the next big thing, but musicwise this is an enrichment to the genre.
Skinless is also a band that gives credit to all those who worked on this record. Not often do I see a band posing on a picture together with their producer (Neil Kernon) and engineer (Bret Portzner), and their thanks list seems to be endless. The booklet and the cover art look very neat and finally, a preview of their upcoming DVD can also be found on the enhanced part of the CD. "From sacrifice to Survival” is highly recommended to all extreme metal fans!