Skullshifter

Here In Hell

Here In Hell


Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 26/10/2005

Clichéd name but great tunes!

Working at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire (UK) with acclaimed producer Simon Eferney (Napalm Death, Paradise Lost) and hiring equally acclaimed studio wiz Alan Douches (Nile, Mastodon) for the mastering at West West Side Music in New York (USA) is certainly one way of getting some cred for your new band eh? Sure names are one thing but the proof is in the pudding and for newly formed quartet Skullshifter (who are vocalist/guitarist Tom Nolz, lead guitarist CJ Scioscia, bassist J. McCaffrey and drummer Dan Davie), the pudding is in the shape of their three track EP, Here In Hell.

The stop-start machine gun like intro to I, Punishment clearly sets the rhythm for the track before Nolz unexpected vocal style comes into play. It's not as “extreme” as I might have expected but that's not what is important here. What is important is that it doesn't take long to see that it fits the music perfectly for the most part. Whilst the music flip flops between crushing metal power chords and a semi-industrial Ministry like feel, it's Nolz's vocals that bring to mind names such as Robert Flynn (Machine Head), Tommy Victor (Prong) and Sacred Reich's Phil Rind. An interesting mix? You're damn right and it works too!

The Slipknot like shuffle of Engines moves along at a quick pace as Volz's vocals show the faintest of hints of a James Hetfield (Metallica) like snarl at times. Making way past the Death sounding introduction is the classic swinging feel of the closing title track that mixes up some nicely placed gang vocals and some tidy lead work throughout in a package that is driven by only a couple of simple yet memorable and effective riffs. Interestingly enough, the opening line is "My fist, your face.". I wonder if that is an Armoured Angel reference. Sadly, I doubt it.

Skullshifter have put together an impressive EP with Here In Hell. The songs are well written to the point of being memorable without being mind numbingly simple. They're effective and interesting yet they don't overstay their welcome. If anything, on rare occasions, there are riffs that aren't quite used to their full potential - case in point, the diving riff at 2'47” of Engines. That's being overly picky of course, but the bottom line is this - If there ever was an EP used as a teaser to create the feeling of anticipation of the debut full length release from a band, then this is it.

(Independent)

More from Skullshifter

Here In Hell

Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 26/10/2005