are not exactly the most ‘METAL’ band on the planet, but with their insane beat downs, wicked synth sounds and reggae twists thrown in (dubbed "Raga metal"), they are one of the most ferocious and bombastic bands going. Now in 2011 we are given the mother of all Skindred
albums, the queen
bee of raga metal hip/hop, the bonkers and ballistic 4th album from the welsh metalers entitled Union Black
. By placing 12 foot-stomping anthems in a CD case including some of the coolest artwork ever, Skinred have pushed themselves into the big league releasing one of the finest genre defying albums to date.
The album opens with a kind of dub-step remix of the National Anthem in which we hear Benji singing about his outlook on British life. From then on in, we are hit from all directions by fast paced, fist pumping tunes which could ignite a circle pit easier than Slayer
’s Raining Blood. ‘Warning’, ‘Cut Dem’, ‘Doom Riff’ and ‘Living a Lie’ are the backbone of the album providing the possible singles as well as the catchiest tunes on the album. The guitar work is brain melting. The drumming is skillful, the bass groves are memorable and most importantly Benji’s voice is superb. 100% perfect throughout the album, whether it be screaming or singing.
You may be thinking... “He’s said the six opening tracks are the best tracks already, the rest must be filler.” How wrong you are. Union Black
also offers us amazing tracks from the second half onwards. Although the second half of the album sounds quite a lot like earlier Skindred
releases, there are clear similarities in each song. This does not stop it from being bloody awesome. Sometimes sticking to what your best at is the way forward and when tracks like: ‘Gun Talk’, ‘Make your Mark’, ‘Get it Now’ and ‘Death to all Spies’ sound similar to tracks from different albums, you are glad that you are in for a good old dose of classic Skindred
The best thing about this album is just how aggressive Skindred
can get. From the very beginning of ‘Warning’ to the very end of ‘Game Over’, you can see so much anarchy and rebellion in the music and particularly in the lyrics. Take for example the verse and bridge of the song ‘Living a Lie.' The verse is so aggressive, including swearing cursing and harsh sounding words. Only then to go onto the techno sounding bridge were the words: “You’re a Fucking Liar” are screamed over and over again. It’s just your basic crowd participation, which is present in every single one of these songs, thus making sure the audience ignites into a sea of head banging and screaming.
is like Skindred
’s first steps on the moon. Their previous albums may not have been as big a success as hoped, but Union Black
will set all the haters right. It’s their entrance to the big league of metal. WOW.... will they be entering it with a BANG!!!!!