SKULL COLLECTOR is a rather unknown underground brutal Death Metal act from Belguim, that has been around since 1995, but have only released two albums (2007 and 2009) and an EP back in 2003. Either they don't spend very much time with their band and music, have had a lot of problems releasing or recording their material or are just damn right lazy. Whatever the cause may be, it is as indifferent as the levtover salad rotting in my room since last tuesday. They still manage to deliver the goods with their newest release "Home Of The Grave", at the same time making a good joke off an old proverb. Now that's clever!
Normally, the specific genre known to many as "Brutal Death Metal" is full of very, very blunt death metal that goes on and on, reaching only the end of its own empty sack, then starting all over again. Now, SKULL COLLECTOR are one of those bands that do not sound bland or boring, but continue CANNIBAL CORPSE's proto-brutality ruthlessly, only better. While listening to the latter may cause serious stupidity, if you grab this CD, you may even find it funny at times. Most notably the waterted down melodic riffs are immediately crushed by grinding, heavy and extreme fast riffs, creating a very weird, almost satirical atmosphere. De facto, "brutal" Death Metal has always been a very satirical genre, since their disembowled, horrific and very graphic in detail music, has maintained a very comical status. The sound is mostly blurry and the vocals really sound like cookie monster's revenge. Luckily, 2009's "Home Of The Grave" has its roots in the classic Thrash/Death tradition, with a hint of grinding experience à la old-CARCASS. The chaotic assembly of song structures builds itself crudely to assault the listener's ears with ruthless brutality and fine aggression.
A feast for the old-school fans and an ear candy for anyone bald enough to enjoy extreme music at its finest level, SKULL COLLECTOR is one of Belgium's finest, when it comes to decomposed, disstructural madness, focusing heavily on how they do it, instead of what they do. without any remorse or care for casualties, this record crowns itself to an apparatus of ultimate destruction and deconstruction, but under no circumstances regression, like many other acts today. The technical level on which this is achieves if also remarkable, being sloppy, because of the production, but still standing tall and majestic. While song structures seem to override and overhaul themselves, they progress not in a linear manner, but burst into many directions, creating a tumult and devouring any at all mediocrity or colorless spectra. This is a must have in any Death Metal fan's collection (giving you are a collector, of course).
(Online August 16, 2009)