Skinfather – None Will Mourn (Streetcleaner Records)Wednesday, 9th April 2014
With your band name is taken from a classic Dismember track, it doesn’t take much to read between the lines before hitting play. Unsurprisingly, if you go through Skinfather’s back catalogue, you’ll see that they also covered the Dismember track, “Casket Garden.” Playing old school Swedish death metal by way of California, Skinfather are about as predictable as every other band coming out of the woodwork in the last few years on None Will Mourn.
To alter the old adage, if it sounds like Dismember, looks like Dismember, it must be Dismember. Well, not quite as there is one card that does slightly remove them from complete Dismember worship are the vocals. Ironically, this doesn’t help them out. Imagine the buzzsaw Swedish guitars churning with the vocals of…..Crowbar. Seriously, the vocals have that sludgy, slightly hardcore approach and it just doesn’t seem to jive with the music. There’s just too much strain and not enough power. Occasionally, there is a hardcore vibe that infiltrates the music (“Plains of Ruination”) but not enough so to really differentiate it much.
It is too bad about the vocals, because otherwise the music itself of Skinfather is pretty solid. Sure it’s completely devoid of originality but they do have a knack for truly recapturing that spirit of Stockholm. Nice melodic solos are the norm, but the sheer vicious riffs are what keep things from feeling too “been there, done that.” “Ordeal By Fire,” “Calloused,” and “Dead Still” will knock you back with heaviness alone.
With some more power behind the vocals, Skinfather could have some potential but the energy of None Will Mourn is surely dampened because of it. Given the number of times Dismember was cited, it’s not the most innovative material on the marketplace. But, there seems to be a niche for it. When in Rome as they say (or at least Stockholm).