By Lisa Marklinger
Metal Blade Records
On rare occasions, you find yourself in a ritzy-esque restaurant in the middle of nowhere, nothing-town rural northern Quebec. And in these irregular instances of miraculous, morbid awe, you might see caribou on the menu. Now, caribou, as a rule, eat a lot of fucked up things, so common sense would dictate that it’s very unlikely that it’ll taste anything like pig, chicken or cow and there’s no litmus test to prove whether or not this is even legit caribou meat. Considering how vague your expectations are, you suppose it’s going to be similar to venison but with a tangy smokiness and green-peppery, herbaceous elements. You take a bite and find yourself under whelmed in such a way that it makes you wonder whether you’d actually been slipped a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, mocking-burger. The texture is dry. Branlike. Crumbly; tenuous. The “meat” itself smells slightly similar to new shoes and fat-farmed GMO mushrooms. It tastes of stale grape leaves; cooped-up, despondent turkey; sunbaked, withered moss and perhaps … hmmm … is that …? Yes. Rotting cork. What a disgrace. Suffering through the entirety of the meal, you think back to the exquisite menu description, which lured you order it in the first place: Caribou meat burger, cooked medium-well; topped with Roquefort cheese, bear bacon, tomato relish, banana ketchup and field mushroom, shallot marsala marmalade. You were expecting the tastiest, strangest, messiest burger in the history of your burger experience, and all you got was a tasteless chickpea puck with a slab of clammy, mildewy bleu cheese, indistinct donair jerky; slathered, smothered and covered in a chili-sauce/tomato paste/condensed cream of mushroom soup concoction.
Dangling metaphors and analogies aside, this album lacked everything appetizing that keeps Corpse fans loyal to their fan-band confederation. This was unmistakably Cannibal Corpse, that’s for certain, but as far as enriching or fortifying or flambéing the shit out of this sub-genre or even merely their repertoire, this was cafeteria-grade foodstuff scraps, not the genius backyard butcher cuts you’re used to spoiling yourself with.A Skeletal Domain, Cannibal Corpse