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Skold

Never Is Now

Review by Gary Hill

It's hard to review something like this without mentioning Nine Inch Nails. Really NIN probably is at the heart of the entire industrial, techno style of music. So, those references are obvious. Tim Sköld is the master behind this creation, and he's worked with acts ranging from KMFDM, Marilyn Manson and Shotgun Messiah. I have to say that I like this, but it can be a bit samey at times. Still, it's always entertaining.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Never Is Now
There is a bit of a stuttering effect on the percussive element here. Moody, slow moving vocals come in over the top of that backdrop. Dark electronics with a techno kind of vibe are a big part of the texture of this. It alternates between the mellower and more rocking modes as it drives forward. This earns a definite parental advisory. It gets some metallic elements added to the mix later, too. When the arrangement gets denser further down the road, it takes on some more purely prog elements amidst the dark techno sounds.
Small World
Coming in heavy and metallic, this is a pounding techno cut as it drives forward. It's a bit like Tool meets Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. A slam of Disney, this piece is a real powerhouse.
Pharmaceuticals
A moody, electronic meets techno jam, this is another powerhouse cut. It is fast paced and driving as it screams out after the introduction. This cut feels a lot like NIN. This thing has some scorching metallic stuff in the mix as it continues.
Roses
Coming in electronic, there is a bit of a Kraftwerk vibe on the start of this cut. Some modern Gary Numan seems to appear in the dark mix here, too. This isn't a huge change, but it's a bit more on the mellower end of the equation, at least at the start.  It does get more driving and hard rocking, though.  I dig some of the crunchy guitar textures later. The solo in particular is quite cool.
Please Remain Calm

Heavier and more metallic, this definitely makes me think of what you'd get if you merged NIN with Manson. It's dark and feels dangerous.

Ravenous

This thing is fierce and metallic. It's screaming hot and really makes me think of NIN a lot. This is a powerhouse cut.

In Another Life
More electronic in nature, while this is dark, there is almost a light-hearted bounciness to it. I like this quite a bit. It's a change from the sound of the bulk of the set. There are some cool synthesizer textures built into this.
This Is the End
A bit catchier and more mainstream than some of the rest, there is a real metal edge to this thing. It's still dark and industrial, but displays a different flavor, too. This is another that earns a parental advisory.
Idle Hands
Nine Inch Nails styled metallic industrial sounds are on the menu here. This is another dark cut. It's also one of the most mean sounding pieces here.
Temple of Rage
I love the cool industrial rock groove of this. The wheel has not been reinvented here, but there are some interesting embellishments to do the design. This has a great electronic edge along with some driving metal. The vocal arrangement is among the catchiest here. Yet, it doesn't sacrifice the dark and mean edge to achieve that. This another that earns a parental advisory. It has some scorching hot guitar soloing in the mix later. Thinks drop way down for a short interlude after that, but it screams back out with power from there.
Be Brave
There is more of an accessible vibe to this cut. It's dark, heavy and mean sounding, but still manages to feel almost catchy at times.
American Bluff
The NIN industrial elements on this piece are tempered by some more mainstream metal edges. This is a nice change and a cool tune.
This Is What You Get
There is almost a dark prog edge to this cut. Some of the riffs feel decidedly prog like. Of course, this is still packed full of dark industrial texture. There is some scorching hot metallic guitar work built into this thing, too.
Insatiable
I dig the keyboard textures that start this.  It works out from there to a stuttery kind of weirdness. The tune reminds me of the albums opener, with its more stripped back industrial texture. It gets heavier and more metallic later. This is another with a parental advisory in place.
And So
NIN musical concepts drive this thing. It's industrial and metallic. It's dark, but has a real sense of beauty on some of the melodic elements.
 
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