English metal sextet Skin The Pig have finally released their first full-length album after rising through the ranks with their previous two EPs. The band have shown definite progression as a band since their debut demo ‘It’s Not The Truth, It’s What You Believe’, and have returned greeting us with a fairly substantial release. As a metal band, they’ve done everything it says on the tin. They’ve provided the listeners with engaging riffs, blasting solos and the odd breakdown here and there.
Instrumental opener ‘Stendal Syndrome’ opens things up with a hollow, repeated riff. As the song gets underway, more instruments begin to join and build up a smooth, layered introduction. However, considering their genre, it fails to pack a punch until it’s about 2 minutes in. Once the tempo picks up the album gets a good momentum built up for itself. Before that initial kick, it can come across as fairly boring though. The wind blowing at the end of the song expects you to lead straight into the next track with a powerful start, however ‘I Rise, You Fall’ begins with a similar hollow riff as the previous track. At first it seems that they have lost the momentum they previously created, but then things become more distorted and chuggy. The sudden change in sound basically tells its listeners “okay, here we go”, and begin to give it everything a metal band should and show us exactly what they’re made of.
The album shows a good variation of approaches in their genre. Just like most other bands, they have their typical clean vocals (which can sound a bit same-same and boring in some areas) and some heavy vocals. The vocals can be considered to be quite generic, but it can’t necessarily be helped. However, their riffs are sharp, clean and hooking. ‘Yet Nameless’ and ‘In Loving Memory’ are perfect examples of the quality of their riffs. Unlike many other bands these days, they use a fair amount of calm collected intros in songs like ‘Box 5’ and ‘Redemption’.
Instead of being like every other modern metal band out there, Skin The Pig use just as many guitar solos as they do breakdowns, all of which are clear, powerful and well executed. Using both shows them mixing things up a little, and attempts to prevent themselves from sounding the same in every song. It also portrays them as talented musicians at the same time.
The album has been well constructed and shows a lot of potential and signs a decent future for the band. If you like bands such as Bullet For My Valentine and Atreyu then you should certainly give ‘Article XIX’ a listen.
Written by Matthew Collins