Branded Skin - _Branded Skin_
(Independent, 2002)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
German band Branded Skin certainly deserve to be commended for not sitting around on their asses waiting for some or other record deal to maybe materialise sometime in the unforeseeable future and for taking the initiative to record and release their debut album by themselves. _Branded Skin_ consists of eight tracks of mid-paced death metal. At just over 22 minutes, they have adopted an old-school punk approach to songwriting, with the average song length being just under three minutes. (It should be mentioned that despite being marketed as full-length, it is priced as though it were an MCD.) Similarly, like many bands of punk's second wave, they too eschew leads in favour of down-tuned riffing. But this is where any similarities to the punk of yesteryear end. While their use of the guttural vocals and measured bass-heavy guitar on this album is to be expected, and the album itself doesn't really offer anything that could be considered original, it is nevertheless better than many similar titles on the market and it does make for an enjoyable, unpretentious listen. A promising debut.


(article published 3/7/2002)

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