SKINTILLA – Shedding Skin

SKINTILLA - Shedding Skin


Release date: 2003

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I don’t get to review albums from Australia too often, which is a shame because it’s very interesting to get to know more about what’s going on in music on that side of our planet. This time Adelaide’s Skintilla has bothered to send their six track EP Shedding Skin all the way to Norway. That’s the spirit! Shedding Skin is an independent release, and the band is now pushing their product to parts of the world outside Australia.

However, Shedding Skin won’t bring Skintilla to world domination, but there are several good things to say about their attempt.

Since 1998 Skintilla has released two other recordings, but not the band as it is known today. For Shedding Skin Skintilla went through a major line-up change, leaving only guitar player Jeremy Burgess from the original cast of members. I don’t know if the former members fled a ship they thought was sinking or if they faced more tempting alternatives, but Skintilla A.D. 2003 doesn’t sound like they are missing anyone.

Shedding Skin is about metal. Twin guitars, a screaming vocal and a pounding rhythm section. With songs like “This Rage” and “Hate” they convey both rage and hate with full force. To me it sounds like they are trying a little bit too hard being hard. The intensity of this recording can be compared with Skid Row’s brilliant Subhuman Race album (1995), but the Shedding Skin-tracks get too anonymous. I am not sure what the band wants me to remember from the album. While listening to it you may find yourself banging your head to the music, but as soon as you’ve turned off the cd there is not easy to remember a lot from it.

Another thing; Skintilla’s singer Darren Pretty hasn’t got the strongest voice around, at least not the one recorded for their heaviest material. The more force he put behind his voice, the flatter it sounds. Variationless. Luckily for him they end their EP with “Silence”, a slowed down tune. Here Pretty reveals a lot bigger vocal range, and he suddenly sounds VERY good. So, if this guy wants to be remembered as a singer he should perform more material like this.

Somehow I’m happy this is just a six track introduction. Even though “Silence” is a very good track, my impression of the whole album is that it’s too poor on variety. They might re-enter the stage with a full length album that proves me wrong, but for this time my conclusion is that Skintilla needs another attempt before they get any attention to speak of outside Australia. …or outside Adelaide.


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