Review Summary: This album was supposed to live up to its name, but instead Tim Skold returned with a surprising return to the hard-edged industrial that made his final album with Shotgun Messiah so good.
Tim Skold should be pretty well known within the industrial community. Over the past eighteen years he has worked with Shotgun Messiah
and Marilyn Manson
among a slew of others. The problem is that he has never really produced an album as good as his 1993 release, Violent New Breed
, with Shotgun Messiah. In fact, it seems that his worst album was actually his 1996 solo album, Skold
. That release suffered from a weak sound, an array of mediocre ideas and was simply subpar. So, when Tim Skold released the first single from his upcoming second solo album and it was just about as bad as anything from the debut it really wasn’t surprising. What is surprising is that the other three tracks on this EP are really good and feel like the natural modern progression from Tim’s seminal album with Shotgun Messiah.
The EP begins with the first single, “Suck”, and it pretty much lives up to its name. The song is a fairly generic industrial metal track that has a decent beat, but suffers from average musical accompaniment and an awkward vocal melody. The remixes by bands that include 16Volt
don’t fair any better as they don’t really seem to put much effort into their remakes. The standout exception is the remix by Front Line Assembly
. In all honesty, the remix should have been credited to Delerium
because that seems to be where the influence came from. The song is slowed down and given a smooth beat and a huge dose of moody, melodic keyboards. The entire approach, especially the excellent synth work, actually works better with the original vocal melody and is easily the best remix and even outshines the original.
While it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Front Line Assembly can take a mediocre track and make it infinitely better, it is surprising that the other three original tracks are excellent. Maybe it’s just because the first single and debut album were so bad, but I never expected these other three songs to go back to everything that made Violent New Breed
so good and even come through with an updated sound and a few shockers. All three tracks return to the pounding metal beats and razor-sharp guitar riffs that made Violent New Breed
as good as it was. The guitar riffs, in particular, really help to set these songs apart because they’re much more unique than the average industrial metal chug. Some truly excellent guitar solos that provide a bit of extra flair and a quick surprise when they arrive boost this uniqueness. Unfortunately, Tim’s vocals still seem to lack slightly as they just don’t seem to be delivered with much conviction, but they definitely aren’t a negative factor like they were on the single.
I’ve been ready to write this EP off ever since I learned of its eventual existence. It just didn’t seem like Tim Skold was going to do anything more than hit the same mediocre mark that he did with his debut – an assumption reinforced by the average first single. Instead, he came back with an excellent remix by Front Line Assembly as well as three additional tracks that see the return of the hard-edged industrial metal that made Violent New Breed
as good as it was. Usually remix albums are only for established fans, but with the additional original songs this is something that even the casual listener could pick up. In the end, the Suck
EP seems to imply great things for Skold’s upcoming second album and in the meantime this will definitely do just fine.