I've had a soft spot for Skinless since my college years, when I saw them live a few times promoting their first two albums. Only The Ruthless Remain sees the return of Sherwood Webber's guttural vocals, as well as the first appearance of second guitarist Dave "No Relation" Matthews. The band always had a knack for groove, and the production (by longtime engineer Brett Portzer) gives it free reign. Gone are the tampon lollipops and goofy intros; Skinless have grown up, and only death remains. [$8.99]
Following the well-received Moksha, Cloud Rat seem poised for bigger things. Qliphoth shows the band isn't willing confine itself to one genre, combining grind with discordant Converge-ish hardcore, screamo and shoegaze. Another solid release from this under-rated band. The album is available as a "name your price" download.
Canadians VHS have an interesting concept, drawing as much inspiration from the direct to video horror movie culture of the Eighties and early Nineties as the death metal of the same period. Rewind or Die! should bring a smile to the face of anyone who spent a week-end bonding with friends over the dubious charms of Troma or Full Moon Features. Even the barebones production is a nice parallel to the limited budgets of classic B-horror. [The album is available for pre-order for $5.55 CAD].