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Skindred (Alternative Metal): Volume *

Track List

>Under Attack
>Hit the Ground
>Shut Ya Mouth
>Healing, The
>Sound the Siren
>Saying It Now
>Straight Jacket
>No Justice
>Stand Up
>Three Words

Album Notes

On Volume, their sixth album (and first for Napalm Records), Welsh ragga-metalheads Skindred retain much of the same formula that has kept them going for over a decade. The cross-pollinated soundclash of hip-hop, reggae, and heavy metal is a blend of genres that could have died out after nu-metal bit the dust in the early 2000s, and yet Skindred continue to tear it up. While the hip-hop influence in other contemporaries (Korn, Linkin Park, Deftones) mostly ran its course, Skindred have held on tight with yet another collection of jams to inspire pogo-dancing, moshing, and thrashing. The results are oddly refreshing. The title track is a good indicator: exhausting manic energy, riffs for days, and an explosive "woot woot!" burst at the end. And it's only the second track on the album. There's some Metallica-worthy drum and thrash riffage on "Hit the Ground" (appropriately similar to that band's "Hit the Lights") and pure brutality for the pit on "Shut Ya Mouth" and "Sound the Siren," and there are even three little dancehall interludes to catch a breath. The band's desire to spread positivity in true rasta fashion shines through on "The Healing," where they proclaim racial harmony and love (albeit with that trademark headbanging muscle), and on the straightforward "Saying It Now," a reminder to value loved ones while there's still time. Volume is pure energy, bursting with communal joy and addictively danceable grooves. Like their Japanese pals in Crossfaith, they are experts in combining ferocious fervor with propulsive dance beats. Music like this may not be "cool" and Skindred don't seem to mind: they know how to slay a crowd and Volume adds 11 more groove bombs to their already stacked arsenal. ~ Neil Z. Yeung


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