There are an abundance of ear-catching, hard working bands out there. When these bands strive to their fullest, their sound will be telling. Developing loyal fan bases on all but a handful of songs, said bands then take what we know about them and build on them in unexpected ways. Rather than maintain a common sound, they minimize its presence and reforge it with stronger elements. Though this can have varying results, there are always the bands whose work speaks worlds of their evolving sound. Skinfather’s “Succession/Possession” is an offering of such an evolution.
“ἄθεος” gave us five songs of unholy goodness. These pieces demonstrated a familiar style that was edged with death metal’s speed and signature brute force. Similar to contemporaries, Xibalba and Creatures, Skinfather has, with “Succession/Possession” in particular, crafted some of the best metallic hardcore around. These three songs showcase Skinfather’s harnessing of their base sound to a primal level. And this 7″ is indeed primal.
Flaying down to the basics of death metal and hardcore, “Succession/Possession” is free of distracting experimentation, favoring a sound of absolute clarity. The most aesthetically pleasing aspects of hardcore emerge as thunderous breakdowns, weighed mighty by a metal most deathly. These are songs made to be played and experienced live. As much push as it is punch, the record flows with with a warped grace that entices the listener to at moments simply sit back and enjoy its technical side. This candidacy for live ferocity goes hand in hand with these songs being serious, but not too serious. Metal has it moments of unintentional self-parody, with some of these moments being downright goofy. Here we see the fun before it became the parody in an almost fetal form, a menacing hell spawn bent on pissing on all that is civilization. “Succession” and “Possession” are the twins of the apocalypse, a literal one-two-punch of face-crushing menace. There is, thankfully, nothing phantom about this menace either. Nothing surreal or fanciful either. Indeed, accompanying Skinfather’s two originals is a deft cover of Unleashed’s “Execute Them All.”
Skinfather has carved its own special wound in the future of heavy music. This wound will fester in the minds of horn throwers and throw downers for years to come, an addictive ear cancer appreciatively welcomed.
“Succession/Possession” and “ἄθεος” can be listened to and purchased in their digital entirety at their Bandcamp above. The physical incarnation can be pre-ordered from Life and Death Records. Other Skinfather merch can be exhumed here.