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A venerable American death metal and grindcore outfit, New York's Skinless began coughing up guttural slabs of kinetic, groove-laden brutality in the early '90s. Building off the sonic malevolence laid down by extreme metal pioneers like Suffocation and Obituary, the band lethally mixed satire and savagery, sometimes playing off of the ludicrous song titles of grindcore heavies like Carcass and Cannibal Corpse, while maintaining their own skewed critique of society. The group went through numerous personnel changes before the release of their 1998 debut, Progression Toward Evil. They spent the next decade earning a reputation as one of the heaviest and most uncompromising bands of their time, delivering memorable live shows -- often with props and mascots -- and a string of acclaimed full-lengths like Foreshadowing Our Demise and From Sacrifice to Survival, before calling it quits in 2011, and then reversing engines in 2013 with the classic lineup intact.
Founded in 1992 by guitarist Noah Carpenter, the band issued a pair of demos before settling on a dedicated lineup consisting of Carpenter, vocalist Sherwood Webber, bassist Joe Keyser, and drummer Bob Beaulac. They made their debut in 1998 with the independently released Progressions Toward Evil, which became an underground hit and eventually caught the ear of Relapse Records, who quickly added the band to its roster. The well-received Foreshadowing Our Demise, their sophomore effort and first outing for the label, arrived in 2001, and was followed up speedily by the Miscreant EP. By then, the band had begun adding some discreet melodies and varied rhythms to their full-speed assault, which lent a little more -- but not too much -- polish to 2003's From Sacrifice to Survival.
Released in 2006, the typically hard-hitting Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead would mark the studio debut of vocalist Jason Keyser (brother of bassist Joe Keyser), who took over for Sherwood Webber in 2005. It would also be his last time fronting the group -- he would eventually go on to front tech-metal enthusiasts Origin -- as Skinless would spend the next seven years away from the studio and only play out sporadically, resulting in their official demise in 2011. Two years later the group reconvened and added second guitarist Dave Matthews, who made his debut alongside Carpenter, Keyser, Beaulac, and Webber on 2015's Relapse-issued Only the Ruthless Remain, which held true to the brutal death sound of the band's early days. That same lineup returned for the group's sixth studio long-player, the aptly named Savagery, which arrived in 2018, again via Relapse Records. ~ James Christopher Monger
- New York, NY
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