Although it has been a year of waiting for fans of Skindred one can’t help but feel excited as the beats of the opening title-track begin to play. “Kill The Power” is an excellent way to start this album, with a solid and short groove with some laced guitar effects before the vocals enter, as the beat is simplified so that the vocals can be heard. Whether you have been patiently waiting for this album, given its announcement well over a year ago, I’m sure the wait will be well worth it.
The chorus of ‘Kill The Power’ moves into this heavily laced guitar-melody with some strong vocals over the top, whilst the rhythm is simple but effective. “You keep on running but you just can’t hide / Kill the power / You keep on running but you know can’t hide / You can’t kill the power” are some of the lyrics that are sung in the chorus. Given that this is my first around of properly listening to a Skindred album, I must rather I’m rather liking it so far.
The second track, ‘Ruling Force’, starts off with a tasty guitar lick with a rhythm in the background before the song explodes into a frenzy of riffs and rhythms all intertwining. It meshes many things together and even has a dubstep twist right in the middle. The verse, again, has this laid-back feel but with this horrible synth-y sound in the background – really disjointed.
The third track ‘Playing With The Devil’ starts off a little soft to begin but then immediately cuts to a dubstep-infused section. I’ve seen dubstep being infused into metal music more and more – sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Given that Skindred’s music is also varied this isn’t exactly surprising, and it works for the most part, just about. It constantly switches between these soft verses and very anthemic choruses.
After listening to the album a few times over, I’m not the biggest fan of Skindred. This is my first experience of a full-length record and it will probably be my last. It seems to be all over the place in the music and considering that it’s been nearly a year for the wait, I only think that fans will be disappointed by the material seen on ‘Kill The Power’. I mean, sure, there’s no doubt to be fans that will love this album, but it doesn’t do nothing for me – by the halfway point I’m losing interest. There are riffs within this album that excite me (the riff in ‘World’s On Fire’, for starters) but other than that I’m left feeling a little underwhelmed.
Approach this album with caution if you’re a long-time fan, and then pick this up if you’re not sure who Skindred are. The music is a little too random, as I’ve said before, and with the induction of some elements I find that they’ve gone too far left of the mark. Stick to what you know, is the phrase I would use here. 6/10
Listen to ‘Ninja’ below