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Skewered may have been milling around the Irish death metal scene since 2003 but it wasn’t until earlier this year that they released a full-length album. When I was first given this album for review, I wanted to both love and hate it. On the negative side, I saw the artwork and found it to be too generic so sort of leapt to the assumption that this was going to be yet more of the same death metal that we’ve heard a thousand times before and that it’d probably be a waste of time discovery-wise. On the plus side, I’m a massive fan of overtly naff metal song titles and this has 13 beauties, including ‘Bad AIDS’, which I desperately hope is a ‘Brass Eye’ reference and that also throws some points in their direction. If not, it’s awful and they must be stopped.

Slightly annoyingly, it’s actually a really good album and the old adage of “never judge a book by its cover” remains apt. They don’t pull any punches, launching straight in to the chugging riffs of ‘Contaminated’ and they don’t particularly let up after that. That’s not to say that the album gets even remotely samey; the album is expertly crafted so that there is enough variety of dynamics throughout to keep even the most seasoned metal lover interested. And, bizarrely enough for a death metal album, some of vocals are intelligible despite being death growls. And if the (hopefully) ‘Brass Eye’ reference isn’t enough for the comedy-loving metal connoisseur, there’s a bit of Python thrown in as a sound bite as well. It’s nice to know that, despite their death metal credentials, they have a sense of humour.

It seems like waiting for almost 10 years for their full-length debut has worked out nicely for them as this is a solid album throughout and there’s no one track in particular that sticks out like a sore thumb as being “filler”, which can only be a good thing although it might put some pressure on for their follow-up. Although the album is only a smidge under 33 minutes long, what is there is a beautifully produced piece of work so I’m sure they can be forgiven for that particular misdemeanour. I don’t have much bad to say about the album as a whole – all I can say to summarise is that it must be good if it managed to convert a sceptic.
Anopsys Records
Review by Siân Williams
30th Jan 2012
1) Contaminated; 2) Bad Aids
3) Wretched Cum Slut
4) Ordained Abstained
5) Inside the Crematory
6) Bound and Gutted
7) Born Into Pain; 8) Blasphetus
9) Rectal Prolapse
10) Skewered
11) Pear of Anguish
12) Razor Speculum
13) Others May Die
"...the album is expertly crafted so that there is enough variety of dynamics throughout to keep even the most seasoned metal lover interested."