Entangling and enthralling the listener in a tempest of vitriolic sound and equally vicious lyrically intent, I: Infinite Death from US hardcore protagonists Losing Skin is one of those albums which cuts off any escape from its creative malevolence and skilful violation by veining its fury with voracious hooks and barbed grooves. Insatiable traps for the senses within the corrosive spite and riffing of the songs, it all adds up for a release which chews up and spits out the listener whilst leaving them cursing the day that such rewarding and ravenous sounds put a new shade on extreme music with claws that demand and command.
Formed in 2009 and consisting of current and ex members of bands such as Behold and Whalelimb, Losing Skin has savagely attacked the senses from day one. Employing inspirations from the likes of Slayer, Benediction, and Grave into their lethal fusion of metal and hardcore, the Spokane, Washington quartet has earned a formidable reputation through their previous releases and live performances which the new release can only entrench deeper and further afield. Released via Blasphemour Records, the release is a seventeen track scourge bringing the 2012 released album into union with the band’s debut EP Old Wounds of 2011. It is a powerful and potent rampage with evokes and provokes reactions from thoughts and emotions whilst treating the ear to some of the most pleasing sonic acridity known to man.
The release opens with Torn Asunder, an instrumental scene setter with industrial menace within a stark yet only slightly intimidating atmosphere. As its last comment passes Black Celebration surges through the ear with the vocals of Alex Boston searing the hairs on the surface of the ear with a malice dripping attack within a heated charge of fiery riffs and cagey rhythms, though they soon turn nastier to command the senses as the track burns deeper and with more intensity. It is an impacting start especially with the underlying compelling groove, which hands over the sonic baton to The Man Who Fell to Earth. With attention and appetite firmly enslaved by its predecessor the song stalks and crawls around its recipient with a dark groove and rapacious riffs flying the harsh colours of the vocals to contagiously light up a new depth of hunger for what is on offer.
Through the likes of the uncompromising almost psychotic Destroyer’s Crown, the hostile Neverender with its cynical breath and severe touch, and the caustic storm that is Time Crawling By Me, the album continues to impress and leave breath a stranger to lungs. The trio do not quite live up to the start to be fair but still tick all the right boxes and lick all the perfect wants to keep the hunger for their creative rancour high. They are split by the instrumental title track which does bring a dip in proceedings though only because it feels out of place. A continuation of the opening track and obviously the underbelly theme of the album it does not evoke the imagination and ideas as successfully as it possibly would have if the opening or closing piece of a release. Where it is it just feels like an obstacle to move over swiftly to get to the meaty goods.
Tides of Acheron offers no such issues when it is its turn to gnaw and bruise the senses. The best track on the album it is a blaze of persistent niggling grooves and rapaciously prowling melodic and sonic animosity which just ignites rapture for its ferocious enterprise and insatiable destructive rabidity. Continually shifting its attack and offering an unpredictable gait which leads the emotions down various avenues, all carnivorous and all gloriously uncivil, the track is immense and holds the senses captive for the rest of the album to devour.
From Eternal Return, another creative inspiration to visions and interpretation helping to bookend the album part of the release, the tracks from Old Wounds make their play on the ear, Iron Rain immediately scoring flesh with a metal sinew clad scowl and the likes of the excellent and riveting Iron Reign, the tantalising My Mind is a Steel Trap with its near on seductive grooves and wanton riffing, and the predacious I Am Ruin with a thrilling throaty lure to the bass and rhythmic enticement bringing further mountainous highlights to the already excellent release.
The punk ferocity of Nails and the striking closer The Mirror Reflects which returns after a long break as a darker harsher raw interpretation of its original self on the track, complete I: Infinite Death, closing off an outstanding and exciting corruption of peace with malicious craft and powerful invention. Losing Skin is a band which leaves no one safe from their irresistible sonic annihilations masked as songs so beware and enjoy.
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