Archive for Skindred

Skindred – Volume

Posted in Alternative, CD, Experimental, Metal, Punk Rock, Rock with tags , , , on 21st November 2015 by mickbirchy

Skindred
“Volume”
Fusion
Released 30th October 2015
Via Napalm Records

So, Skindred return with another fantastic addition to their increasingly interesting repertoire.  After the extremely popular “Kill The Power” and “Union Black”, it really shouldn’t have been possible to create a piece of work that could top them. Yet, I think they’ve done it.  “Volume” is a stunning piece of work, mixing in just the right amount of elements from reggae, metal, punk and electronica; it feels so familiar to their previous work and at the same time it manages to have it’s own identity.

The album opens with some funky riffs and tight lyrical flow that grabs you straight off of the bat. “Under Attack” and “Volume” are catchy lead-in singles and do well to show off the album’s best moment and the best thing is Skindred almost make it look effortless. They’re just one of these supremely consistent bands that make it look easy. The full time addition of the electronica sound, provided by Dan Sturgess, just creates more avenues for Skindred to go down. As the album progresses Skindred continue to mix it up. The album goes in every direction the band can afford, making it so catchy, heavy, funky and fun, you really don’t have a choice but to groove to the sounds that float around.

Not every song hits an absolute bullseye, mind you. The album can wear on you a little. These are not bad songs, far from it, but I feel towards the latter half of the album the music loses something. Maybe I have just become too accustomed to their sound and the later part of the album becomes a little too familiar. However, a lot of their songs do have a habit of growing on me over the years, so I can’t really mark it as a strike against the record.  Ask me about this in 2017 and this maybe my favourite album. Skindred try everything to make this album impactful and it does work, they mix all of their sounds and influences into their songs and make them consistently interesting.  

“Volume” is just awesome, honestly some of the best stuff Skindred have written in years. It has those mixed styles of “Kill the Power” whilst still having that fire and intensity of Babylon. I definitely recommend this album to anyone.  It’s fun, interesting and has a wide enough mix of styles to appeal to any fan of rock and metal. Songs like the title track “Volume”, “Sound The Siren” and “Shut Ya Mouth” are my personal favourite tracks so far and the songs you should check out. For their sixth effort, Skindred show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.  They’re still interesting and they still sound like they’re having fun. Definitely one to check out.

4/5

Mick Birchallnull

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Turisas w/ support @ 02 Academy Islington, London

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 21st October 2013 by vmteam

Astrohenge, Revoker and Turisas
02 Academy Islington, London
10th October 2013

After a series of botched attempts to stay all the way throughout a Turisas gig, this would be my third attempt at seeing the Finnish supergroup live in London. Arriving at the O2 Academy Islington late, and wandering up to a sparsely populated floor, I realised I had missed first supporting act Astrohenge. I didn’t particularly want to see either support, to be honest, and actually feel a little bit sorry for groups who need to support a group as highly anticipated as this warpainted northern rabble. The sea of red-and-black faces, plastic Viking helmets and synthetic furs lounging around with beer cups firmly clasped in hand was testament to the fact that everyone was here for one reason, and that any other supporters could get on with it.

Revoker, a band with a frontman whose accent was confusingly Welsh, were up before that, however. They weren’t terrible, either, and had I been less eager to see Turisas I might have fully been able to enjoy them! Aggressive and dangerously charged deathy-thrash is their game, with standard tracks like the brawling Stay Down and the shouty Great Pretender proving enough of a hook to get the crowd fist-pumping, even if no pits were started. For a Welsh band sitting in the shadow of the gargantuan Bullet For My Valentine, their track record is impressive enough: they’ve worked with Skindred and have been previously signed to Roadrunner Records. Well worth a listen in the future- and their ‘just good music’ vibe was certainly an omen of things to come from our headliners…. [3/5]

Turisas– with a fashionably long wait- hit us next, after anguished cries of ‘Battle Metal!?’ echoed around the room for half an hour. Opening the set tonight was a track from their latest album (the oddly named Turisas2013) For Your Own Good. A powerful song in its own right, the sound was impeccable and Turisas’ entrance met with a swelling crowd – however, it was clear that the songs from their latest album aren’t their strongest or most well received in the flesh. Musically, songs from Turisas2013 sound great- solid, catchy, jumpy and more hard-rock than metal- but seeing the band live leaves little doubt that their real power is behind the grittier, harsher songs of previous albums. A Portage to the Unknown followed, bombastic, crushing and ridiculous like the Turisas we know and love, and the place went crazy for the anthemic To Holmgard and Beyond, which induced the most intense jumping I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of. But new releases Ten More Miles and Piece by Piece, whilst good songs, lacked the same energy. Picking up the pace from the new album, and a song that I had hoped would be performed live as it truly is a ‘live song’, was Greek Fire, undoubtedly Turisas2013’s most ‘metal’ track, rising and falling in a roaring crescendo and sparking a whirl of flying bodies across the floor. Another odd one, which didn’t get the reception I was hoping for, was No Good Story Ever Stars With Drinking Tea, a fun little drinking jig that translated well on stage; penultimately, ‘We Ride Together’ was a soaring, feel-good tune and was the last of the new tracks to be showcased. However, matched with the epic As Torches Rise and One More, there was no contest as to what was most preferred.

The setlist for the night provided a varied crowd with a range of songs to choose from- old school fans like me and new converts both got a healthy mix- and with Turisas as energetic on stage as ever, Mathias gliding around the stage and throwing punches to the air, the show was of little fault. Telling, however, was that the lulls in the night (if you could call them that when the crowd was still chanting and singing) were from the new album. [4/5]

Jon Geirson

Interview: Sanguine [2011]

Posted in Interview with tags , , on 26th August 2011 by Hannah

14/08/2011

Hannah talks to Sanguine during Bloodstock Festival, 2011

Hannah- Hi guys! So we saw you performing on the New Blood stage earlier. You’ve got a very unique sound; I know unique gets bandied about a lot! I was thinking earlier, normally when  you get a female fronted band, they either have the Nightwish style operatic vocals or the Angela Gossow manly vocals. Whereas Tarin has a very femine, harpy sort of sound.
Tarin- Banshee! That’s what I’ve been compared to!
Hannah- So, given that you have this very feminine front to you, how would you describe your sound?
Tarin- I don’t put on a voice, I just sing with my natural voice. The screaming is just something that I found that I could do, and it’s a very high pitched scream. I just love that. It’s two elements of the voice coming together; where you have a really singular note and then a rattle behind it.
Hannah- Yeah, it really adds to the emotion of your songs. Some of them have a really groovy bit, and when I was watching your set, I was reminded in places of Tool and similar bands.
Tarin- You noticed that? That’s insane, because we’re big Tool fans, but we also love lots of other genres, and lots of different bands within the metal scene. We started off as a prog rock band! And then we got heavier, and heavier, and heavier; the second guitarist left because we got too heavy! Then we ended up with the sound we’ve got now.
Hannah- Ah, so obviously Tool and proggy stuff are some of your main influences; who else would you say are big influences on you as a band, and as artists?
Tarin- We’re big grunge fans, so everything from Nirvana…
Nick- Soundgarden!
Tarin- Yeah, Soundgarden, everything like that. And then we’re metal fans, stuff like Metallica.
Nick- I’d say Faith No More is a really big influence for me.
Tarin- Oh, yeah in terms of vocals, he’s my hero. I want to be able to do everything he can do.
Hannah- I liked your range. I know you didn’t have a very long set, but the range of all your songs and stuff, and you’ve got your single and your album coming up… Do you like to ensure you have that? Without trying to haphazardly put it all together, yours seems to flow really well. Do you try to put the many faces of Sanguine on record?
Nick- I think the joy with Tarin is you can always recognise her voice. It gives us a lot of license to play around with different genres. Our default setting is heavy; but that’s more to do with us just happening to be heavy.
Tarin- We didn’t set out and say ‘Let’s go and be a metal band!’ We just set out and said ‘let’s create some sound’; it all happened very naturally.
Hannah- You can tell that, definitely.
Tarin- Thank you!
Hannah- So, is Bloodstock the biggest thing you’ve done?
Tarin- In terms of festivals, yeah. Professionally, the biggest thing I’ve done is work with Adrian Smith, which was a big honour. But in terms of gigs? Yeah.
Nick- We’ve also played with some pretty big bands, like Pitchshifter and Skindred, Evile; all sorts of bands. That’s been really good fun, ‘cos you get to perform, and then watch them afterwards!
Hannah- I guess the good thing about playing with such diverse bands like that, and with festivals like this, is that you get exposure to alot of people that might not look at you and want to pick up a CD.
Tarin- We appeal to all ages and all backgrounds. Our influences are quite eclectic, and with Faith No More being such a big influence… That’s eclectic in itself, with what they did with that project. I think we just want to make songs. We want to continue a theme of ‘let’s write a driving song’ and producing a song that you want to play when you’re driving your car.
Hannah- I think that’s a good theme and a good formula to have. Thanks for your time, good luck with the single and the album!

www.sanguineband.com

Sanguine’s single, For Love, is released on October 3rd. Their as yet untitled album is due for release in January 2012.