On this special New York themed installment of the Arsies, we enjoy a solid 94 minutes of veteran-on-veteran violence, starting with Overkill's 17th studio album, White Devil Armory. The great thing about this band is their rock-solid consistency from album to album, a formula that they've been perfecting for decades. The latest incarnation is guaranteed to bolster their already formidable live set, with a notable addition in a persistently militant stance throughout the album. Of course, this may be the root cause with the only possible misstep of the whole album, the regrettable deep cut Freedom Rings. Otherwise, another fine performance from the perennial thrash machine.
Another band long accused of a formulaic sound are Cannibal Corpse, but on their 13rd album A Skeletal Domain, their sound has a freshness and reinvigoration that are conspicuously absent with White Devil Armory. The trademark Cannibal Corpse grindcore darkness is in full effect, but there's also a vitality here that's been lacking for a long time. Also, the production values are much better (while still preserving the band's rawness). And so, while the Overkill is a satisfying success, the Cannibal Corpse is more of a triumph for the band, and therefore more of a triumph for us.
Tune in tomorrow, when I come up with another ironclad determination on the relative merits of Fallujah and Anaal Nathrakh.