"Chasing The Dream"

By Colonel Angus

I consider myself lucky to have grown up just as the NWOBHM and Thrash were getting started.  Those were exciting times and going to the record store (sadly, almost a thing of the past) meant coming home with some new music by a band that you had never heard before.  Skull Fist has brought me back to that time when metal was fun and exciting.  Now I will say that these guys from Canada are not inventing the wheel or anything new but they are taking some of the best elements of the above mentioned genres and blending them into one hell of a record.  "Chasing the Dream" is a mix of thrash metal and traditional metal but not always in the same song.  The album sort of alternates between the two starting with a balls to wall “Hour To Live”.  Then the next tune “Bad For Good” goes into more traditional metal territory.  This pattern follows through most of the disk until the very end where you get a cool little instrumental called “Shred’s Not Dead” and “Mean Street Rider” which both fall into the traditional metal category.  The guys in Skull Fist also show their influences pretty clearly within all of the songs like Master Of Puppets-era Metallica in the title track, Iron Maiden in “Call Of The Wild” and Judas Priest in “You’re Gonna Pay”.  The whole record is solid from start to finish and I would be hard pressed to find fault in any of the tracks.  Even the production has that great 80s metal vibe.  I’m glad bands like Skull Fist are making records in the style that I grew up with because the new metal fans out there need to hear what this genre is supposed to sound like.

As mentioned earlier, these guys hail from Canada and this is their 2nd full length album.  I don’t have much back story on them as they are new to me but it seems that it was all started by vocalist and guitarist Jackie Slaughter.  He has more of that high-pitched vocal delivery that fits in perfectly with their thrashier tunes and their more basic metal.  Jonny Nesta puts in some great lead guitar work throughout "Chasing The Dream" and his playing compliments Slaughter’s.  There is plenty to get into whether it’s the riffs or the leads.  Bassist Casey Slade lays down a solid rhythm while drummer Chris Steve beats the crap out of his kit, especially during the thrash material.  All in all, when it comes to this type of metal music, Skull Fist is as good as it gets.  I know it’s the beginning of the year, but "Chasing The Dream" might make it into my top 10 of 2014.  NoiseArt Records has put this slab of metal out there onto the world and I hope they promote the hell out of it.  It deserves to be heard by both old and new metal fans.