Skinless
Savagery


4.0
excellent

Review

by SomeGuyDude USER (36 Reviews)
May 14th, 2018 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Insert clever joke about how the album title is appropriate.

My first introduction to Skinless began with a laugh. The second track off of the incredibly named "Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead" starts off with a sample from, I kid you not, the spoof movie Hot Shots Part Deux. Hearing that iconic line, "War, it's fantastic!" start off a blistering death metal track sets the perfect mood for how Skinless operates. Their brand of brutal death metal does not mess around, but they don't take themselves so seriously that they can't see the inherent humor in a subgenre as over the top as theirs can often be. That's not to say they're a Party Cannon, just that there's a coating of self-awareness that keeps Skinless heavy as sh*t but never something to roll your eyes at.

Savagery immediately grabbed me by the shorts hairs from the album art. Like... seriously, look at that damn thing. It's just vicious. I know album art isn't considered terribly important in the digital age since not many of us are buying physical copies, so all an album's art does is sit in a corner on our smartphones, but wow. If I had my own metal blog, this entire review would just be putting up that picture with an arrow pointed at it and saying, "It sounds like this looks."

Skinless is a brutal death metal band of the old-school variety, with nary a slam to be found. Despite being a huge slam fan, hearing death metal that keeps its boots on the ground without losing songwriting chops just for the sake of "m0re br00tz" is incredibly refreshing. It helps that these dudes are old school themselves, having formed a whopping twenty-six years ago, making the band itself older than the members in a ton of their current contemporaries.

The way Savagery's songs are constructed is right about dead center of everything that makes death metal what it is. There are double bass kicks, chunky riffs, low growls, occasional blast beats, but what makes it great is Skinless never uses any of the genre's traits as a crutch. Tempos can actually vary, with "Medieval" really slowing things down in particular, but it's a case of their meat-and-potatoes sound working so well because of the refinement that a quarter-century of experience gives. Skinless also understand how to use melody within the context of brutal death metal, a rare feat. When "Reversal of Fortune" gives an abrupt melodic break, it doesn't sound like a shoehorned in attempt at variety, because the song actually manages to hold the same mood of the rest of the album.

Quick side note: Can someone explain to me the concept of a "bonus track" on albums like this? The "deluxe edition" has one extra track at the end that's damn good, but it's not like it's a demo version, live recording, or a rarity of any sort. It's just another track, and considering host many people listen on streaming services all it does is put two versions of the album on the ol' Spotify list.

Probably the biggest issue Savagery runs into is that it does such a good job of holding everything as a cohesive whole that nothing sticks out and, ironically, some may find this boring or forgettable. None of the musicians try to show off, the vocals aren't the lowest you've ever heard, there's nothing dazzling in the songwriting. It's like building a roller coaster. Some will have one gigantic drop surrounded by not much else and yeah you'll remember that, but you're also spending the rest of the ride either anticipating that moment or looking back on it. Others never reach those heights, but they keep you looping, dropping, twisting and turning so the entire ride is a blast, even if when it's over you can't pinpoint specific moments you liked the most.

That's what Savagery is. It's a roller coaster built by industry veterans who know how to keep you screaming and throwing your hands from beginning to end, with just enough breaks to catch your breath again before the fun resumes. And it is fun. It's the most fun savagery you'll have this year.



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user ratings (61)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
hansoloshotfirst
May 14th 2018


1580 Comments


hmm, might give this a spin, although the last one was pretty mediocre.

Madbutcher3
May 14th 2018


3146 Comments


bonus tracks often come on import versions or on different labels where albums might cost more. in japan, for example, most albums and cds are more expensive, so they give an extra track

SomeGuyDude
May 14th 2018


377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah! Didn't know.



This is also defo an improvement over Skinless's last. I was seriously impressed.

BlackwaterPork
May 14th 2018


4390 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This fuckin rips

BlackwaterPork
May 14th 2018


4390 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pos btw

HailSuffo
May 15th 2018


34 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This one clearly took a lot of inspiration from trample the weak, which is their best album so no complaints here. I’d put this as their third best behind Trample the Weak and progression Towards Evil

SomeGuyDude
May 15th 2018


377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm gonna keep giving it a few listens. It may very well creep up to a 4.5 for me.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2018


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good stuff. The Slayer-esque riff on Siege Engine rules

combustion07
June 28th 2018


12822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Need to listen to this and the previous still. Their first 2 are easily top tier for the genre imo, especially the debut. Trample had some insanely heavy riffs. Solid review

grannypantys
August 19th 2018


2574 Comments


I admit I only listened because of the album art.
Digging so far

Hawks
August 19th 2018


88146 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Band has always ruled. Can’t wsit to jam this.

hexfix93
August 19th 2018


2431 Comments


Oh shit I didn't even know they were making a new album. I've only heard Trample and Sacrifice but they both rule. Gotta jam this and the rest of their discog

combustion07
June 17th 2020


12822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I only gave this one half assed listen around the time it came out but man after revisiting I'm digging it big time. Exacting Revenge and Medieval are a crazy one-two punch. Exacting Revenge is probably my favorite with the insane guitar/bass momentum going on. Some of the knuckle dragging, crushing riffs have dwindled over time but they're more than making up for it with the awesome leads and solos sprinkle throughout this

DarkSideOfLucca
March 2nd 2022


17611 Comments


I gotta jam this again

Skinless are kinda underrated here it seems

Hawks
January 21st 2024


88146 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Progression, Foreshadowing and Trample are all amazing but this one is pretty generic and boring tbh.



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