Released on Maggot Stomp Records, Slave to the Scalpel is 200 Stab Wounds’ follow-up to their masterful debut EP Piles of Festering Decomposition. With it, you get nine new songs totaling almost 27 minutes. 200 Stab Wounds set the bar pretty high with their EP, so how does the new album stack up?
Opening track “Skin Milk” immediately sets the tone and proves the band is the real deal, it’s an unrelenting metal assault. Throughout the album you get more of the same, one savage attack after another. And I’ll just come out and say it, “Drilling Your Head” is a goddamn death metal masterpiece. “Paths to Carnage” shows a little bit of range, starting with a slow melodic respite before launching back into the blistering death metal. The opening interlude of Phallic Filth may go on a bit too long, but the song itself is amazing like the rest of the album. Vocals on Slave to the Scalpel have better enunciation than the EP, which makes it easier to sing along. And with lyrics like, “Dead in the cellar, the body slowly rots, maggots inside him, choking on the snot” you’ll want to, trust me.
I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I love Slave to the Scalpel. With this album, 200 Stab Wounds aren’t just paying homage to the past, they’re paving the way to the future. Death metal is alive and well, and this album proves it. One of the best metal releases of 2021. 5/5
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