Album Review: Skeleton – ‘Skeleton’

Big ol’ pile of them bones

Revolution never ceased in Texas, and now the siege returns. Reissued last year by 20 Buck Spin, Iron Age’s 2009 sophomore blindside The Sleeping Eye forged a crossover template that Power Trip currently run with like Herschel Walker. Alongside their Lone Star predecessors, blackened Austin trio Skeleton have been stacking a tidy heap of hardcore under their metallic pivot since 2014. This full-length debut summarily advances the gathering movement’s mob mentality.

Eleven songs in 28 minutes, Skeleton slams a thick muscular Integrity. Once the percussive slapdown thrash of “Mark of Death” gallops into the pit, Victor and David Ziolkowski are off to the races (with bassist Cody Combs). Grunge prodigies in ATX skate natives Residual Kid, the two brothers find a whole other stride in their quick convert side hustle.

“Toad” neither croaks Cream, nor does “Ring of Fire” spark Johnny and June, which is to say a group’s canon doesn’t simply write itself on one ripping platter. Yet, the NWOBM tempo variation on the latter—its lurch and march and lean—promulgates a gravitas far beyond 2:46. “At War” compresses a similar power keg.

“Taste of Blood” tosses off another corker ready-made for a future Power Trip split, but again, when the beat stems that adrenal gush, Skeleton backbones a steel rod anatomy class specimen. As the penultimate exhibit, torque up “Turned to Stone,” which in 2:11 manages what it took most U.K. acts of a certain era seven minutes to accomplish. Last and longest track “Catacombs” best utilizes the blackening effects on bandleader/drummer Victor’s voice for a galvanizing BM/DM thrust from the grave.

Review taken from the August 2020 issue of Decibel, which is available here