In the legacy of the famous reggae and hip hop nu-metallers of P.O.D., the Welch formation called Skindred went on combining root rock and nu-metal to create the ultimate mix. The sixth album by the band making “Reggae Punk Metal with a twist” is called ‘Volume’ and we took taken the time to try to sit still and see if we are supposed crank up the volume with this record.
So, let me take you to Newport, a town in South Wales. That’s not really the most exotic and Caribbean place to start a reggae metal band, is it? The five piece that makes Skindred has absolutely proven the British weather wrong with five of those up tempo, tropical sounding nu-metal albums. Also, their live performances have been very energetic and memorable.
But all bands that continue existing will asked the question if they keep doing things right. Sometimes you alter things too much on a new record, sometimes you keep using the same sound for too long and people go find you boring. It’s a difficult situation for a band to stay fresh, stay young, but without betraying their fans of the first hour.
That problem seems to have played a part on the sixth album ‘Volume’. Openings track ‘Under Attack’ is a Rage Against The Machine like rap metal track. The refrain and bridge are pretty memorable and are suitable to sing along. Most of the music, however, is “just” nu-metal with some oriental influences. Not really impressing and missing the point of what Skindred used to be
‘Shut Ya Mouth’, the fourth track, is even somewhat like a regular nu-metal track. Most of it seems to derive from Korn and more of those classic bands. The ska, reggae, or whatever you want to call it, elements seem to have been cut down on ‘Volume’. What remains are “just” nu-metal songs with a little bit of Jamaican sounds.
It’s even worse than I described above. The band has added three interludes, ‘I’, ‘II’ and ‘III’ that are clearly used to add some of this reggae to the album. It’s all slow, soft, reggae and a bit of old-school electro. Where has the ultimate, energetic, fanatic and contagious mix of metal and reggae gone? It’s not on ‘Volume’, that’s for sure.
One highlight I have to name is the single ‘Sound The Siren’, it’s a relatively good track that will absolutely prove to be gold when played live. It has more reggae and it has energy. You absolutely want to move along to the energetic drums and headbang along to the heavy refrain and sing along to the somewhat catchy lyrics.
Let this be a warning for Skindred, because it seems they have been headed to a crossroads in their career. If they decided to stay the way they are now, they will become “just” another nu-metal band that adds a little bit more rhythm into it. Let’s ‘Sound The Siren’ on ‘Volume’. It’s time to act for them, now, or else a lot of energetic music could be lost.
- Under Attack
- Hit The Ground
- Shut Ya Mouth
- The Healing
- Sound The Siren
- Saying It Now
- Straight Jacket
- No Justice
- Stand Up
- Three Words