While Fleshcrawl may not be one of the most original death metal bands out there right now, but their past few albums have been a rather enjoyable romp through the olden days of death metal. Soulskinner is no exception to this rule, as the band manages to put together another solid album for their fans, even if this one does have some nice high and low points to it.
The first thing you will notice about this release would be the production quality of the guitars, which sound rather hollow, with a bass that is rather low as well. But aside the production quality, Soulskinner doesn’t really have any problems outside of some of the tracks just coming off a little too bland. The album kicks out with the title track, “Soulskinner”, which is an alright song, not really harboring anything special. “Dying Blood”, the next track, is about the same, but just seems a bit too much with it’s six minutes plus track length, giving it a bit of a drawn out feeling after the first three to four minutes. However, “Carved In Flesh” is really where the album picks up, as the music becomes significantly faster with some great, catchy guitars, drum work, and usage of both higher rhaspy and the band’s typical gutteral.
“Breeding the Dead” is another great song, like “Carved In Flesh”, but due to the somewhat poor production on the guitars, the chorus doesn’t quite work out well. The vocals also seem a bit off with the drumming if you really listen to the song. Other then that, the rest of the album just sounds like your typical Fleshcrawl album, but with a little more emphasis put into the songs that seems to be lacking from the first two. “The Forthcoming End” and “Legions Of Hatred” are just excellent bits of nostalgia of the early death metal days that will remind you of early Morbid Angel. “Forced To Kill” is another song that seems to break the typical Fleshcrawl mode, as it is just one hell of an assault, with fast paced guitars and drums, and a lot more ferocious vocally then some of the other songs on here.
So, if you have enjoyed previous Fleshcrawl albums before, then Soulskinner will definitely tickle your fancy. With it’s early death metal sound, this solid effort that is slightly hollowed out by a rather poor production quality on the guitars. Soulskinner is far from an five star album, but the heavier, catchier tracks like “Carved In Flesh”, “The Forthcoming End” and “Forced To Kill”, as well as their rather interesting cover of the Judas Priest track “Metal Gods”, makes for an album worth a couple of spins, even if it does start off a bit rocky.