I've been looking forward to reviewing this CD ever since it arrived in my grubby little mitts. I saw the band at Download and chatted to their friends in the audience. On a rain sodden day, these were one of the acts that kept my spirits high.
Nine tracks of Skeletal Damage, released on Rising Records. The only question now: would it be as I remembered...?
The opening track chainsawed into my eardrums with a gritty honesty that made me wonder if my head would stay attached. By the second track, I was fully accustomed to the rasping guitars and intimately recorded vocals.
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While I couldn't avoid wishing they had been given more time, a little more polish and a little more finesse, the songs are good. The CD found itself sandwiched between Five Finger Death Punch and Machine Head. This really highlighted the pure and genuine sound of 'Fire And Forget'.
The drums sound like they're more tape than drum head. The playing is occasionally beyond the realms of acceptably loose in thrash. The vocals struggle to settle on the best note. It almost touches on punk while maintaining an unbridled thrash energy that came across live.
What I've just written might drift into sounding like criticism, but it isn't. This album harks right back to the origins of British thrash and it is all the better for it. The songs are good with moments of brilliance. Nothing is hidden in the studio.
This is a traditional first album. We're all spoilt by perfect recordings and first albums that can't be followed. But Skeletal Damage have done us a favour by showing us their hard work and providing us with an album worth buying before they reach their Zenith.
I still listen to 'Kill 'Em All'. Let's hope this becomes another classic.