Skinny Puppy
Too Dark Park


5.0
classic

Review

by Merkaba33 USER (14 Reviews)
May 17th, 2008 | 63 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Skinny Puppy takes past techniques and adds a heavy dose of horror and quality synth to make this their finest album.

Enter Skinny Puppy. Brutal rants, electronic chaos, and dark disturbing samples. The group is most often thought of as a pioneer of industrial music. But if you’re expecting strictly the fast pace Ministry sound of Rabies or the borderline techno sound of Bites, you might be in for a surprise on Too Dark Park. This album takes past styles and combines it with a new sense of hopelessness to make the quintessential Puppy sound.

Right away you’re exposed to this new disturbing sound. Convulsion hurls you into this spinning vortex of noise. Trying to make out Ogre’s harsh lyrics while listening to pounding drum samples makes for an exhilarating experience. However don’t expect to enjoy it right away. It takes some time to really immerse you’re self in this sound.

We’re brought back to some more typical sounding music with the song Tormenter. The song is the highlight of the album. It takes a funky sounding synth pattern and just rides it the whole way. Most of the lyrics are hard to make out but you will pick out the important lines such as the repeating “mental shock”. In fact that is how it is with most of these songs. Ogre rambles on about random dark subjects (often relating to animal rights or drugs) but then you hear something real interesting, and you have to take a step back. That’s apparent on the next track, Spasmolytic. The whole way your listening to “Kicking the Habit!” and all of a sudden you hear this freakishly disturbing “Sorry I’m ***ed up inside.” A well timed moment. One thing I also find well done on this track is how through the most of the track we’re listening to a ferocious double time feel, and then around 2:05 it goes to half time and were kind of dropped back in reality. Another well timed effect.

By far the biggest strength of the album is the synth work. I guess that’s kind of what makes the band. There is so much quality work at hand. Like Tormenter, the track Nature’s Revenge makes an irresistible beat from beginning to end. And tracks like Shore Lined Poison and Morpheus Laughing feature some truly sweet sounding electronic riffs and samples, as well as some brilliant lurking whispers by Ogre. There’s really not a boring moment…

…Well Rash Reflection features some repetitive and slightly annoying noises. And although Morpheus Laughing features a great synth lick, the whole track seems to just drag a bit. Still this doesn’t bring the album down much at all. Both of these tracks are still more than listenable.

The album kind of does an amazing thing. It takes fast paced metal riffs from T.F.W.O, catchy funk beats from Nature’s Revenge, and even distorted noise rock from Convulsion and manages to make a great cohesive album. It never sounds of out of place or bland. A problem that plagued the last album before it: Rabies. It also takes the band in new darker direction that helps serves as a nice transition into their next album Last Rights, which is even creepier.

Still this music isn’t for everyone. When their music is being described as “anti-music”, they’re not going to have the largest fan base. While most people will enjoy the easily accessible tracks such as Tormenterand Nature’s Revenge, many will be turned off by the album’s haunting and depressing sound, as well as complete chaos (Reclamation). But for fans of this style, this album serves as an industrial masterpiece as well as Skinny Puppy’s most solid and consistent album.



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user ratings (213)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
May 17th 2008


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Glad you still had this.

Merkaba33
May 17th 2008


702 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah did you back up your last rights review?

Willie
Moderator
May 17th 2008


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I didn't back up anything... oops. I just trying to find cached versions and then re-
adding the HTML stuff... and so far I can't find that one anywhere.This Message Edited On 05.17.08

Wizard
May 29th 2008


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Willie, please rewrite your Last Rights review. Solid album but not as solid as this. Plus, this website needs some more industrial and you seem to know the most out of the lot of us about the genre.

On another note, I found this album used and I'm happy I picked it up.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Willie
Moderator
May 30th 2008


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Willie, please rewrite your Last Rights review. Solid album but not as solid as this. Plus, this website needs some more industrial and you seem to know the most out of the lot of us about the genre.
Thanks! I was actually finally able to track that review down through some search site's cache. It's re-posted.

You found this used? Who would sell this once they have it???This Message Edited On 05.30.08

Wizard
June 2nd 2008


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I have no idea who the fuck would ever get rid of this.

I'm actually contemplating this as a 5 since the last half of the album (starting from 'Nature's Revenge') sends chills up my spine. Really, really solid industrial stuff and I'm finally seeing the light as to why these guys are praised over NIN and Ministry as the best industrial band. Way more depth and layering has been put into this record and I'm really happy I'm able to dissect this and focus in on some of the creepy effects and noises.

Willie
Moderator
June 2nd 2008


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I knew you'd see the light ;)

Wizard
June 2nd 2008


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Honestly, I don't think I've ever listened to an album this many times in a week (my itunes count for this album is 30 and thats not including how many times I've driven listening to this as well). Solid, solid stuff.

weepingwillowdown
August 19th 2008


29 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well I mentioned on the VIVIsectVI review why I don't think this is the finest Puppy release I wouldd give that reward to Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse. Although this is not bad I actually find the songs mostly so agressive and somewhat simular to be it's downfall which explains why I liked Last Rights even better.This Message Edited On 08.18.08

Willie
Moderator
August 19th 2008


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Although this is not bad I actually find the songs mostly so agressive and somewhat simular to be it's downfall which explains why I liked Last Rights even better.
There are some aggressive moments (especially early in the album) but then it takes on subtle and dark vibe, and there's definitely plenty to set the songs apart. How long has it been since you really listened to this?

Wizard
August 19th 2008


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Bang on Willie!

DeadToPain
September 5th 2008


694 Comments


This album is awesome to say the least. Not my favorite Puppy album, but probably my second. I don't know if I'll ever kick the "Remission" habit I've been on recently. If you guys get a chance, check out the Deftones cover of Spasmolytic, it's amazingly good. Nice review. Always good to see someone give a shout out to Skinny Puppy.This Message Edited On 09.05.08

Willie
Moderator
September 5th 2008


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Where is this Deftones cover? What album?

DeadToPain
September 5th 2008


694 Comments


It's off a Skinny Puppy Tribute album that came out in the late 90's. I'm not in front of my own computer right now, so I don't remember the name of it. I don't even own it anymore because it was terrible. If I remember correctly, I only bought it because of the Deftones. Let me troll a little bit around and see if I can find it on the interwebs for you.

Willie
Moderator
September 5th 2008


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks. I'll do some research too. I'm at work with nothing better to do.

DeadToPain
September 5th 2008


694 Comments


Well, I found a remix by the Deftones on Project Playlist, but that's not what I have. So i'll keep you informed, send you an mp3 when I'm at my own station.

Wizard
September 5th 2008


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I would also like to hear that seeing as I'm a huge Deftones fan as well.

Merkaba33
September 5th 2008


702 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Me three! Im not a huge Deftones fan but good covers are worth checking out.

Willie
Moderator
September 5th 2008


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I've been looking but so far I've only found vague references to it.

Meatplow
January 24th 2009


5524 Comments


Nice review, this is a difficult album to write about so respect.

I've listened to this twice, the first I was stoned out of my mind and it confused the hell out of me, but I felt immersed in the overall chaotic feel of multilayered noise. The second was over the past hour, i've come out in a bit of a daze. Where I could "latch on" to some kind of pattern, it was thrilling. Otherwise, it was mostly incomprehensible to my ears yet fascinating all the same.

I feel I need to give it more time before I can conjure up a proper rating, it is certainly not an album one can just ease into.



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