Skewered are so 1992 it’s unreal.
In fact, this new album from the Dublin heavies formerly known as Necrosis is so rooted in the old school it feels like a history lesson. No bad thing: it’s as blunt, direct, uncomplicated and meaty as most other stuff from back then.
At the same time though, it begs the age old problem of how best to re-enact the sound of that era without just being dull. It’s a balance that the band teeter on throughout the length of these tracks.
They’ve gotten noticeably more confident since last time, though. A lot of that is down to the crisp and polished production, and it blows ‘Homegrown Brutality’ out of the water. Standout performances from the darkly echoed vocals (which really adds to the feel) and some very heavy riffwork make it a serious proposition.
Yet the band do fall down in some areas. One is the lyrics. Although its always interesting, and increasingly uncommon as the years roll by, to hear am Irish death metal band take on christianity, the over-familiar use of lines like ‘forgive me father/for I have sinned’ in ‘Ordained Abstained’ just sound tired. It’s been done to death.
Still though, tracks like ‘Born Into Pain’ and ‘Pear Of Anguish’ show that they’re capable of diversifying within their limited stylistic range. Granted it’s more like comparing ‘Vile’ to ‘Gallery Of Suicide’ than anything more mindblowing, but you can tell that with these two tracks in particular they’ve worked hard to craft something more arresting than the rest of the orthodox death metal on here.
Some of the drum rolls need a bit of work. Perhaps it’s the very triggered sounding snare that saps a little dynamism out of them, but occasionally they sound as though they’re scrambling to keep up with the rest of the music, and dont always fill out a roll quite properly. Yet that’s a minor quibble.
The band do well in creating an atmosphere of oppressive gloom with this album, which is more than is managed by a lot of blasting death metal. Yet perhaps their cleverness is that they dont actually blast that much at all.
I hate to sau it, but it’s hard to sum up enthusiasm for death metal like this. As pounding as it is, it’s so wholly derivative that in truth there’s not enough much to say once one has appreciated a few of the riffs and sampled the overall feel. It chunters along without truly electrifying, and while closer ‘Others May Die’ is one of the more vigorous and pumping numbers on the whole thing, it takes far too long to get there.
So they’ve improved a lot, and come on in the guitar and vocal department massively. The question is, to what end? If the band are so determined to stay withing such rigid confines, it’s hard to commend them more fully. Especially because unelss generic death metal is utterly blinding in it’s effectiveness, it’s so often a case of “Next”.
2.7 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 04/12/11