Ah, the things we miss sometimes in the course of a year, and then rediscover them. Just when I should be madly writing the 2017 Top 10 to finalize the last months and move on to bigger and better things in the new year.
The tidbits of sound, slightly unhinged and never straight. Hints of madness and bedlam in tatters. Mad screaming, rusty guitar sounds embedded in wet, scratchy metal. A record that will keep you on your toes throughout the duration. And for which you must be in the mood, lest you will descend to the depth of abject depression. An uncut diamond, still dirty from its long stay from in between them rocks that made it. THIS is what the scouts at RMR look for, once they go for the unusual. The down ‘n’ dirty, painful and uneasy. The sounds that disperse doom in a new metal robe like others do happiness.
Deadweight, the latest sacrifice of the Finnish metallers Skein precisely fits that very particular mold. They sound like the half-dead and forgotten twin of Todtgelichter’s latest piece of work Rooms. The one that just awoke to a cosmic rage on steroids to complain about things that are not right in the world of today.
The band’s Facebook page wisely calls their style Alternative Metal. And for cause. Their tune is a wild motley mix of Alternative and – surely – Progressive Metal, Post and Post Black Metal with a serious dose of Metalcore. A little what Moanaa did, but without the dreaded core thing.
And the latter is nicely done too when I am usually not a big fan of that style. Melodic parts, sometimes madly reminiscent of The Rasmus, boldly intertwine themselves into the rougher, more psychedelic passages.
Deadweight takes no prisoners when addressing the subjects Skein want to talk about. The tracks deliver a mid-tempo, uneasy groove that continues to make a point. And this fits the overall theme and atmosphere of the record perfectly. Need some examples? Take the raw and painful delivery of Lies Mundane for instance.
Or the screamy gloom of Deadweight, the title track. Or again, the unexpected pummeling you get from The Unknown, when you thought that the album is winding down, this track being the last in line. Keeping the pressure up to the very end with no apparent fillers is – by the way – a sign of a good record.
The resulting magic potion may not be every metalhead’s dram of whiskey, though.
Skein lean themselves far out their metal window to get to their sound. But it is precisely this hybrid approach of hot and cold, acid and soft that leads to stellar tracks like Bound that score a straight 10/10 on this review.
Then, the seamless changes from melodic tones to acrimonious screeching is testament to Skein‘s songwriting skills. But not only that. To get this to work as a band usually takes a helluva lot of talent and hard work. Then, where other bands take us on endless loopy rides, Skein master the art to craft relatively lengthy tracks without losing focus all of a sudden.
This goes hand-in-hand with an outstanding mixing and mastering job that I have trouble finding fault with. They even pull that one off in tracks like In Circles, where RockmusicRaider‘s time-tested undue-length-detector went off a few times.
To wrap this up, Deadweight put a smile on my face more than once. The quality on this record is – at times – astounding. Yet, after the first listen I had to kind of sit back and breathe for a moment, it is that intense. And if you look for happiness, this is not your record.
Skein created an album for the metal connoisseur. Not necessarily for the pound-you-in-the-dust adepts, nor for the faint at heart, but for the ones ready for exploration. The carefully crafted tracks capture the essence of doom and gloom in an impressive variation of metal styles. Through sound explosions suddenly breaking loose like a volcano would on an unsuspecting visitor. And a variety of sounds, flavors, and atmospheres. An expertly crafted slab of metal that will continue to fascinate you until the very end.
Deadweight will take you for a wild, hot metal ride. For an addictive 46 minutes of juicily psychedelic metal madness. And this lands us with another contender for – the upcoming Top 10.
There you go.
Ed’s note: Congratulations, the record made it onto the 2017 Top 10 Records list!