Thursday, October 12, 2017

Single Review: SKINNED We Are The End

We Are The End
First single from their upcoming full length Shadow Syndicate
Blasting, brutal death metal at its most outstanding, with an additional hint of black metal. The Colorado band has been pounding their way to infamy since 1995. As indicated by our first taste of their next studio effort, they endure as vehemently torturous as ever. I had just been watching Silence Of The Lambs and its sequel Hannibal; thus I was in the proper frame of mind to sample what the band is cooking up for the soon-to-be-released Shadow Syndicate. I wasn’t disappointed as We Are The End opened with accelerated hyper blast from Jonathan Valdez, who pushes the track with the abandon of Flo Mounier of Cryptopsy. I’ve invariably drawn that comparison to Cryptopsy since being stirred by None So Vile back in 1996 or ‘97. Valdez’s finesse at surmounting the quickest blast is unhindered by his time and diligence in the band. Observing his performance through the tempo changes, he dispenses impermeable transitions as guitarists Travis Weickum and Matt Ackerman and bassist Greg Keenan present clever guitar progressions that range from barbarous to dissonant and back again, then on to crunching and on to hypnotic. Not a trace of groove to be heard, just straightforward commanding aggression where it proves hard not to pay attention to the band’s expertise. The low-pitched death metal vocals and caustic black metal vocals are apt at complementing each other without fighting for attention; this reminded me of what I once heard about the lines between those two genres having thinned over the years. The lyrics aren’t as hard to make out as one might reckon. At three minutes and forty seconds it seemed a little too brief for me, but you could say it’s to be expected when you evaluate the endurance the entire band shoulder through the song. Updates on the release of We Are The End are at the official Skinless website. -Dave Wolff

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