17 Mar 2013
Skinfather - Succession / Possession [EP] (2013, Life and Death Records)
Death metal never quite goes out of fashion. Death metal is always the new black, and when you thought every aspect of death metal had been put completely through its paces, a new band comes along and gives the genre new life. The Carolina-based death metal band "Skinfather" may not be the most unique of bands, but they excel in the fact that they write really good death metal with a heavy tinge of the early Swedish scene.
The EP that the band rather aptly named "Succession / Possession" features nothing more than 3 tracks, two of which are original compositions, and as such is a bit on the short side of things. Clocking in at around 12 minutes I'd like to start out by saying that it feels a bit short. Just when you're really getting into the music the EP is over, and it's a damn shame, 'cause the music really is something. The EP, while rather short, falls under the category "short and simple, yet enjoyable". It's clear that the band is right on the money with this style, because they play it vigorously well and collectively have a great sense for pace and dynamics.
"Succession" couldn't be more rightfully named. Skinfather follow the same trends that the titans of the Swedish scene did in the late 80's and early 90's, though with a slower, less thrashy feel to it. As such the American band added to the time-tested recipe a higher sense of power and heaviness than the bands they succeed. Likewise the song "Possession" leaves me with no doubt that the band are possessed by the will to make great death metal.
As I said earlier the EP is a bit shorter than what I'd have liked. The cover of "Execute Them All", originally written by Unleashed, goes great hand in hand with Succession and Possession as the three tracks are all propelled by the same heavy, groovy power that Skinfather so masters, but when we get down to the numbers, a third of the EP consists of covers. The cover is very well executed and fits well with the rest of the material, but I feel as though Skinfather's own material would be better presented in a larger quantity, though that may also become tedious, seeing as the band's songs are mostly composed of the same slow or mid-tempo riffs which have a very heavy feel to them. This recipe is what I enjoy most about them, and two songs most likely aren't representative of the band's writing ability, but an entire album of this exact formula might be overkill.
Obviously this is all guess work, so to sum things up, Skinfather display themselves as a mighty force in death metal songwriting, and for the prodigious power they represent on Succession / Possession I give them 8/10 guitars.
3. Execute Them All (Unleashed Cover)
SKINFATHER official Facebook site
Life and Death Records official site