SKINLAB - “The Scars Between Us”

Californian groove metallers make convincing a comeback

It would be an exaggeration to say that this is a long awaited reunion but after the few years dedicated to Re:Ignition, Steev Esquivel and Snake decided to reform Skinlab. And with “The Scars Between Us” they have all the chances to become every Machine Head fan’s second favorite band again.

Songs like opener “Face of Aggression” and “Amphetamine Gods” sure are a powerful punch. A lot of aggression, downtuned guitars, strong growling vocals… only that this is basically sped up nu-metal. And in 2009 that sounds quite marginally.

Luckily after the first few tracks things change a bit and we have the album’s first gem – “Кarma Burns”. A slow melancholic song that features Steev’s trademark Alice in Chains-ish vocals. Now this is something different and worthy of comparison with the band’s first two albums. From here on “The Scars Between Us” finds balance between its two faces described above and definitely offers a lot of songs worth listening to.

“Still Suffering” for example is quite sludge sounding and draws comparison to Crowbar and Down. “Bloodcolt” is a fast song that clocks under the 2 minute mark and doesn’t leave you a lot to think about. Now that’s something else. In the beginning of “My Vendetta” we hear some solos before the double bass drum powered verses lead us into the album’s probably most memorable chorus.

The Production of “The Scars Between Us”, without being something spectacular, doesn’t irritate the listener. As a whole the band’s desire to make a more direct sounding album, that would bring back fans who were disappointed by “reVolting Room”, is evident. And they have definitely succeeded here. Still, besides the already loyal fanbase this CD doesn’t have the biggest chances for success. No matter how much effort the otherwise charming gentlemen from Skinlab make, their style is just old. Other than that this is definitely worth listening to.

Verdict: 4.75 / 6

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