By Dr. Abner Mality

This bag of bones hails from Austin, Texas and has come up with a debut fit to wake the dead. This bunch is really onto something. They draw inspiration from the elder days of the 80’s, but unlike about 90% of those who do so, their music is not just a slavish imitation of the bands from that time. Rather, it seems to pull from the heart of what made old black metal and early punk metal great and weave that into an alloy of darkened steel.

The key to SKELETON’s success is its simplicity and brevity. Nothing is overthought or overdone. The songs get in, do their work, and leave; the same can be said for the album itself. As for the sound, think of early first wave black metal melded with Gothic punk. If you want to have one name for comparison, I’d make it AMEBIX. But there’s more to it even than that. I also have to compliment that production here, which is faultless. Clear, gloomy and very heavy, with especially thunderous drumming and just the right guitar tone. Each and every track has got killer hooks that you can remember. The track “Skeleton” opens with a thrashy pace, “Marked For Death” is metallic punk purity, the short and sweet “Toad” jabs you right in the jugular. But my favorite cut has to be “At War”...the slow riffs that start this just give you goose pimples and when the speed cuts in, it creates a furious rush!

The later tracks seem to bring more of the Gothic sound to the fore, especially on closer “Catacombs”, where for the first time you can clearly hear more of a 90’s black metal influence. Throughout the album, the vocals are harsh, but not the typical death growl or BM scream. Again, they fit the music perfectly.

This SKELETON is not content to rest beneath the Earth. It has risen to bring hell to the world!