Company: Streetcleaner Release: 2014 Genre: Death Reviewer: Greg Watson
Aggression by reduction
Southern California death metal act Skinfather make their mark on the scene with "None Shall Mourn". Featuring solid riffing and a unique vocal delivery, this debut is indeed a breath of fresh air in a rather stagnated genre. Foregoing the frenetic picking and riffing most extreme bands follow, Skinfather takes an approach that is aggression by reduction. Though the riffs are a bit slower, the guitar tone and aggressive arrangements lend support for the overall loss of speed. Add in some melodic solos and interludes and you have an incredibly diverse record. The hardest aspect of the album for me are the vocals. They are a mix of hardcore, punk, and death all melded into one cacophonous style. The more I listened, the vocals grew on me but never really stuck or wowed me. Part of that may be the expectation of guttural belches and grunts that was hardly to be found. That being said though, the vocals do follow the band's less traditional approach. This is an album you should definitely give a fair listen, and, if you can go in without any preconceived ideas of what a death metal album should sound like, then you'll be pleasantly surprised.
None Will Mourn espouses the belief that southern California is indeed in Sweden. Skinfather offer up an efficient next-gen version of Dismember circa 1993. The four piece are expeditious in their flawless death metal strokes, fueled by fire through riveting tracks like Impaled and Dead Still. While the debut never relinquishes the hammer, occasionally the album slows with more angularity and grooves. The bottom heavy production has enough fuzz on the strings to make it Stockholm friendly. With one single album to their name Skinfather has more merit and validity than half of today's veteran death acts.