Formed in 2004 in Tampere, Finland, these atmospheric metallers are preparing to release Deadweight on September 22nd 2017, an album they describe as moving “dynamically across different soudscapes, reaching from crushingly heavy guitar riffs to more etheric, atmospheric parts.”
They’re not wrong. The more introspective moments (that are primarily delivered with clean vocals) recall the likes of Placebo but it’s the heavier moments we’re truly interested in and Skein do let rip with unbridled ferocity throughout Deadweight. However, a disclaimer is required here as Skein’s schizophrenic approach doesn’t always maintain a satisfying balance between light and dark.
Opener “Seduction” does seduce with its tender touch but it’s a lightweight introduction that’s followed by the confusingly heavy “Lies Divine”. We prefer this heavier alternative but the juxtaposition is odd; a complete departure that offers staccato riffs and mid-range shouts/growls. It just doesn’t fit with what came before and this flip-flopping between styles is carried on throughout the remainder of Deadweight.
Fortunately, “Bound” manages to secure a sure footing and the see-sawing of styles works, their mix of anger and reflection executed quite well. Skein’s finest moment is the short and sweet title-track, pure metal delivered with conviction (and some death growls!) and a track that doesn’t come saddled with Skein’s lighter touch. It fuckin’ rocks and you can’t help but think that this is the direction the band should be heading in….but we’re a metal website, so we would say that!
When they sound more like the bloody Rasmus than anything else then Skein can grate – a little too soft for our metal-ravaged ears perhaps – but the metallic moments offer glimpses of crushing post-metal which show promise. 6/10