EP: Skeletal Damage – Osseus Damnum
November 19th, 2015
Groove metal outfit Skeletal Damage have released their first new EP since the inclusion of their newest member Alex Sladen, and a fine job they’ve done of it too. Not a famous band by any stretch, their plethora of underground support includes supporting Your Demise, getting to the final of Metal To The Masses 2015, and even an appearance at Download Festival. For a small band from Cheshire to be local heroes is something truly gratifying, and this newest EP shows why the rest of the UK should listen up as well.
Opener ‘Perfect Strike’ starts with such a good prototype thrash intro, with jarring guitar work from Tom Barnes which truly show the band’s influences. It’s definitely a throwback to the great bands of the 80s, with hints of Exodus being thrust into many fans’ minds from this track. Sladen‘s drumming on this track having a very breakdown style between elongated drum parts gives the whole piece something to truly sink your teeth into. The solo towards the last part of this track gives fans of this type of thing into metal something to really enjoy.
That’s not to say that the other members of the band don’t have their shining moments within this release. ‘Surgical Strike’ gives lead singer Martyn Flannagan the perfect chance to show his strong vocal chops, giving a nod to groove metal greats such as Dez Fafara, with the chorus and verse back and forth style of shouting giving memory to a more up-to-date version of Coal Chamber.
To say that this band’s influences are shown on their sleeves is not to hide anything; Flannagan‘s vocals give way to something that can only show promise, and on a longer album can be shown very effectively. The chants of “Freedom! Freedom!” from this track show not only an awareness of their live presence, but a want to express and commit themselves fully to it.
To say this EP shows great promise would be an understatement. Though a band only truly in its infancy in terms of exposure, it more than does its job.
Written by Bradley Cassidy