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Skinned – Shadow Syndicate

Shadow Syndicate
by Erik Akos at 28 April 2018, 3:24 AM

SKINNED is an American Death Metal band from Fort Collins, Colorado. They’ve been around for quite some time, having been formed in 1995 and with 4 full-lengths released so far. Their upcoming album, "Shadow Syndicate" is coming out on May 4th of this year, and I’m here today to tell you my thoughts about whether or not I can recommend purchasing it.

Based on the band’s image, the artwork, song titles etc., I was expecting Death Metal with a bit of an "artsy” or more "advanced” edge. My expectations weren’t fulfilled however. The music here is in fact a little more interesting than the typical gore-themed bands of OSDM, possessing more dynamic and unpredictable songwriting, less groove, a more clean and not-so-thick production and even a song ("We Are The End”) that I would say is kind of Black Metal, especially instrumentally.

As for the vocals, I’m really not a fan of the burpy growling they were going for here, especially with the mix having the vocals much louder than the instruments. I felt really mixed about the record. For every aspect I enjoyed, there was another that I had more problems with. I’ll say this: The LP is definitely above average DM in terms of everything (except for the vocals) but as a metal album of its own, it doesn’t stand quite as strongly. It’s a real shame that they had several nice ideas (the piano section in "Wings of Virulence", the Black Metal elements I talked about before) that they just dropped in there somewhere and never took them in an actual direction. Not too safe, but still in that comfort-zone. Certainly worth a listen or two, but I wouldn’t spend money on it.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 4
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Wings of Virulence
2. As their Bodies Fall
3. Mental Deconstruction
4. We Are the End
5. Black Rain
6. Shadow Syndicate
7. Hollowed Earth
8. Led to the Trains
John Meyer – Vocals
Travis Weickum – Vocals, Guitars
Adam Quijano – Guitars
Greg Keenan – Bass
Connor McLaughlin – Drums
Record Label: XenoKorp


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