None Will Mourn
While Skinfather hails from a land more known for it’s thrashy or crushing death metal exports, the band instead chooses a sound that leans more towards the Scandinavian end of the spectrum, and their debut full length None Will Mourn is an effort that will please fans of old school Swedish death metal.
The familiar abrasive guitar tone hits the listener without any warning as Skinfather kicks off the album with Ordeal by Fire. The riffs that are unleashed by Scott Fahey and Anthonie Gonzalez are chunky as fuck, and immediately one draws comparison with other classic Swedish death metal acts such as Dismember (hardly surprising considering their influence on Skinfather, even naming their band after the track of the same name) and Entombed. The wall of noise that the listener is buried under also brings in some elements of bands such as Entrails, especially in the way Fahey and Gonzalez are able to incorporate some sense of melody in the midst of the crushing intensity that is on None Will Mourn. Drummer Taylor Nichols adds much of the groove on the album, with the d-beats that is provided on the record giving a slight death ‘n’ roll feel, and there are moments when one is reminded of the excellent Feral debut.
Apart from that, the band also brings in a slight hardcore/punk touch to the album. For instance, Steve McCall’s vocals lean more towards a hardcore-styled shout rather than your traditional death growl, complementing the energy and anger that is on the record. The band has also included some grindcore elements into their songwriting, bringing in some moments of moshing good fun of Napalm Death and the likes, like on Born of Despair.
Musically, it is easy to see that Skinfather obviously knows their Swedish death metal inside out. But the thing that made None Will Mourn such a memorable Swedish-styled release are the more subtle effects, such as the usage of the keyboards on the intro of Drown in Black, or that climactic intro melody on Hellish Grave creating a nice b-grade horror effect before letting all hell break loose. Out of the many Swedish death metal releases of late, I have to say, with None Will Mourn, Skinfather takes the cake at being the one that managed to release one of the heaviest one so far.