Wednesday, September 6, 2017

review: Skinflint

[review by MMB]
Chief of the Ghosts
release date: July 7th 2017
label: Pure Steel Records
From the perspective of someone outside of Africa and the continent's metal scenes, it looks like Skinflint is one of the bands making some real headway in terms of establishing a reputation for professionalism, reliability, hard work and regular recorded output. It seems like they are a band that never disappears for extended periods of time and nobody is ever asking whatever happened to them because they are always working on something.
The latest work continues to dig deeper into the niche that the band has found over the years. The mission is to play traditional heavy metal as honestly as they can, to be as genuine as they are capable of and to incorporate Botswana into the tapestry. The way that some people hear this band has been interesting. Some hear a certain Maidenesque reflection in the melodies. The recording and production has made others hear the values of the 1970s, in the relatively straightforward way that you can hear the guitar, bass, drums and vocals, without much distraction from the music.
The attitude of the band is that in general they should play live the music that they record. If they cannot do it live, then that's not really a road that Skinflint wants to follow as a way of doing things in the studio. The idea is to be a band that does what it claims that it can do on the recording. Skinflint is a live band.
That's how they think. It also helps that they are good musicians, as the latest work testifies. Vibrant and rocking, with that certain Skinflint peculiar touch, a bit creepy, traditional heavy metal recorded to sound human, not robotic, and with songs that are aimed to please. Now, some people have said that the band should "modernize" the sound, but there's nothing to make more clinical here; you can hear the drums, guitar, bass and vocals just fine. The vocals, as usual, are something like a slightly freaky shaman of heavy metal. Maybe the bass guitar could come up a bit. You won't hear a thousand guitars. You can hear the guitar easily and at particular moments you can hear the rhythm track backing up the melody or lead.
Most of all, this is the way the music is meant to sound. The previous albums sounded this way. The band does not need to change! They need more fans to discover the music. Another solid work for Skinflint.

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