Reviewed by Mark Plummer

Versatility is a hard thing to come by in the world of music, yet Skindred are one of a few who seem to make it work; being able to confidently blend copious amounts of punk, metal, rock and reggae is nothing short of revitalising, each track offering something entirely different from the next. Take the closing track, More Fire, it’s smooth and easy; laid back and simple. It’s the least metal track on the album, in fact, it’s not metal at all, but this is why it works with the other eleven songs; when expecting a broad range of genres in one, there’s no feeling of deflation when it’s presented in such wonderful bluntness: there’s no messing.

Compare More Fire with opening tracks: Kill The Power and Ruling Force, and a substantial difference is clear. Here are the straight-up rap-rock/metal tracks that hit heaviest; and whilst Playing With The Devil on first appearances seems to be slower and more gentle, the chorus provides substantial power and gives resemblance to the likes of Skrillex. It doesn’t take long then, to understand that there may be the tracks that cater to each genre in their own right, but the success truly lies in those songs that are able to mix it all together into one mighty concoction.

As the album progresses, this recipe is perhaps the saving grace for Kill The Power. To say that the instrumentation sounds like this or that is way too cliche, in honesty, this side of the album is all to ordinary and is accessible to the masses anywhere: there’s nothing substantial or revolutionary about how this album sounds. And it’s this that ultimately results in this release being rather like an average priced white wine: at first taste there are hints of satisfaction, but it quickly loses it.

The first six tracks are top-notch, but after this halfway marker the album starts to depreciate and becomes hit or miss at best. We Live is a rock ballad that doesn’t feel like it really belongs; Open Eyed, a seemingly regurgitated song that fails to hold anything ‘new’ about it; and Saturday that when followed by the much stronger Proceed With Caution, feels even softer than when first processing it.

This is a memorable release in certain aspects, but not as a collective set of songs. There are certainly enjoyable moments throughout, the unpredictable nature of not knowing what exactly will come next is leaps and bounds ahead of others, yet the potential is lost in a swathe of noise that fails to capture the imagination.

3½ out of 5


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