Skurk – ‘The Final Gift’

Ruler – Cue crackly, spooky intro, resembling a torture room… sinister music follows.  Lots of strength within the instrumentals and vocals, of a very Rammsteinesque quality.  Thought-provoking, powerful lyrics, joined by equally powerful speed riffs and this track’s certainly intriguing and unpredictable, with equal parts melody and spoken format and some growly bits thrown in.  You may not know quite what to make of it, but one thing’s for sure.  You certainly won’t be bored).

Final Gift – Much more melodious intro here, losing none of its strength, simply adding more melody and drive.  This is where the drums really come into their own and hammer themselves into oblivion.  Good strong vocal quality here.  A unique sound, yet still catchy.  Such compelling lyrics – the general feel of the song certainly lives up to the themes.

Darkness – Great creeping bass intro.  Rapidly followed by a march like instrumental harmony, interspersed with light percussion and soon moving fluidly into a good power section, with stone and sludge elements within it, doing itself total justice.  Interesting vocal style, seeming to segue effortlessly between spoken, sung and combined forms.  A very rare skill to behold.  Some really tasty riffs in there, which will just carry you away.  I think he’s using those drums as a battering ram.  The whole track maintains one of the most exciting, intriguing rhythms I’ve ever heard.  A highly skilled and polished performance.

Dead Again – A totally different, but equally heavy sound, with plenty of solid bass work, grounding it.  It barrels along, with loads of good pounding drum rolls, alternating tempo, beat and intensity at the mid-section, afterwards, morphing into a faster pace and style, with loads of ace guitar wizardry and ending decisively and aggressively.

Chaindead – One of those introes which can only be described as ‘banging’.  This track, as with all the rest, means business.  Lovely fun riffs, a steady rhythm and pace and consistently powerful vocals.  There’s a lightness about this, despite its unmistakable heaviness and just something extraordinary about it, making it even more enjoyable to listen to.

My Friend, The End – Interestingly screechy, scratchy intro, moving into the song confidently and blitzing their way through it, with fire and energy.  Some catchy hooks here and there and an overwhelmingly surprising quality.  You just never know where they’re going to go next with it.  Pure Rammsteinesque type ending.  (Though I can’t help but wonder if that title’s influenced by The Doors).

Overall – These guys have won me over with the sheer intrigue factor – demonstrating that rare ability to perform in a deeply versatile and ever-changing way, within the same album/EP.  It’s raw, intense, exciting and fiery.  For that reason alone, I recommend it very highly.

9/10 *********

For fans of Rammstein, experimental metal and hard, heavy, pure metal.



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