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Skeleton - Skeleton

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 11 July 2020, 10:31 AM

SKELETON is a Blackened Death/Thrash metal band from Austin, Texas.  Their full length self titled debut “Skeleton,” is a rip roaring good time of an extreme metal album.  With eleven tracks just under twenty-eight minutes in length it is both one of the longest albums in terms of number of tracks I’ve reviewed this year and also one of the shortest as far as total run time goes.  But it is quality not quantity that matters and this album gives plenty of quality in the form of dirty, sickening groove.  Their sound reminds me of early SKELETONWITCH but way more abrasive and violent.  Their sound also contains huge punk rock influence, in terms of both song structure and wild, fearless energy.

While I do wish the songs were longer with a more fleshed out structure, that clearly isn’t what the band was going for and the songs are still satisfying enough as they are.  While the bass, drums, and vocals all three turn in exceptional performances, this is very much a guitar oriented album. The evil, bleak vibe is there, the riffs are more thrash/groove focused and it lends the album a fast and furious vibe.  In essence, this album is the audio equivalent of three tornadoes ripping apart your body.

The first track that introduces us to the mayhem is the title track and namesake “Skeleton.”  It explodes without warning in a clustered fury of drums and mid paced riffs that are very slightly melodic.  Within seconds, everything is dialed up past eleven and it is full speed again.   The riffs, drums….all elements in play have tunnel vision for the single purposes of destruction of your senses. “Mark Of Death,” is built on a foundation of punk drum rhythms.  However, this foundation is holding up growls that are barked out in sort of a slur.  The riffs push it all together and perpetually forward to the next one. The tempo change at about 1:38 really gets the neck banging and the blood pumping.  I can just imagine the pit going wild if the song is ever played live.

Although there isn’t a bad track, some of the “longer” songs are the best on the album.  “At War,” uses its three and a half minutes for a much slower and methodical intro to its mayhem.  The drums drop mini explosions on top of the guitar while the vocals cut through it all.   About halfway through, the song very quickly ramps up to speed and lets loose a barrage of punk influenced metal riffs. The following song, “Taste of Blood,” is an exercise in punishment.  The riffs are thick and groove laden despite how fast they are moving, a one two punch that does the trick nicely.  At the 1:44 mark, the band hammers in the same riff over and over while the bass peaks out from behind.  The whole movement is hypnotic and slightly dissonant, especially for this style. The last two tracks on the album are my favorites.  “Turned To Stone,” has some of the best riffs on the album and the vibe is pure classic rock/punk before it goes into all out war with black metal being its weapon of choice.  It is over before you know but demands to be on repeat.

Catacombs,” ends the album with a clean, melodic intro that goes perfectly with the rest of the song and I feel it also opens up the band’s dynamics a bit.  The guitars take on a sort of wall of sound at this point that is honestly quite sweltering, a feeling and I didn’t expect from a band of this style.  The vocals are very raw for this track and the melodies that end the song are grimy and destitute. All in all, this is a short but very entertaining ride that doesn’t hold back nor ever ask for a compromise.  Once you hit the play, your body will be slammed through each tracks and when you finally catch a breathe at just under twenty eight minutes, I doubt you’ll be able to move one muscle from all the head banging.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1.  Skeleton
2. Mark of Death
3. The Sword
4. T.O.A.D.
5. Ring Of Fire
6. At War
7. Taste Of Blood
8. Victory
9. A Far Away Land
10. Turned To Stone
11. Catacombs
David Skeleton – Guitar
Victor Skeleton – Drums/Vocals
Cody Combs – Bass
Alex Guzman - Guitar
Record Label: 20 Buck Spin


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