May 2016 19

SKOLD - The UndoingSKOLD
Category: Industrial / Rock
Album: The Undoing
Stars: 4
Blurb: Darker and heavier production values with a greater emphasis on fractured electronics without losing the power of the guitars, SKOLD’s latest solo outing shows him at the top of his game.


 

From his glam/metal roots in the ‘80s to becoming one of the electro/industrial scene’s most prolific and collaborative artists, having worked with such groups as KMFDM, Marilyn Manson, ohGr, Motionless in White, and 16volt, Tim Sköld – a.k.a. SKOLD – has garnered quite a reputation for himself. His 2011 album Anomie marked a return to his solo career after 15 years in various groups, showcasing a style of industrialized rock & roll that may have been somewhat lyrically juvenile but demonstrated his proficiency as a performer and producer. It was as much a result of his years as a member of Marilyn Manson as a harkening back to his glam/metal past, so his latest album, The Undoing should please fans of his more electronically driven work without losing any of the heavy punch of the guitars.

“Triumph of the Will” begins the proceedings in appropriately bombastic fashion as an oppressive beat and layers of distorted synth and guitar underscore SKOLD’s acerbic rasp to make a rather menacing opening track that sets the stage quite well. Throughout The Undoing are all of the hallmarks of SKOLD’s lyrical style, with “Escape” perhaps being the best example with the chorus proudly declaring “Escape your fate / be anything you want to be.” Themes of social and sexual isolation and individualism resound amid an almost overwhelming mélange of fractured electronics and crunchy guitars, the two at times being almost indistinguishable from each other. Contrary to what its title may suggest, “This Beat Will Kill Us All” goes for the slower burn, the warbling synth bass and skittering electro rhythms making for an unsettling glitch/rock track. Other similarly mid-tempo tracks include “Better the Devil” with its pulsating bass and crushing percussive breaks, SKOLD’s voice soaring to almost power ballad heights, while the chorus of “Break My Fall” is one of the album’s most explosive and climactic moments, the vocals seething amid virulent synth noise and shrieking guitars. “The Oldest Profession” sets its sights for the dance floor with catchy synth hooks and thrusting rhythms suitable to its lascivious subject matter, the forceful chugging riffs of “Wake Up and Die” make for what is sure to be a killer live cut, while “The Bleeding Heart” ends the album proper with one of its darkest melodic passages and some of its most caustic guitar solos, bearing an almost orchestrally malevolent ambience. The deluxe edition of The Undoing comes with three additional bonus tracks, with “1989” being a notable collaboration with EN ESCH, the pummeling beat and synth riff of “Forever” creating a rallying march that plays well with lyrics like “Your world is dead now” and “We will last forever,” and while “Ultra Heavy Black” may or may not be a stab at one of SKOLD’s past musical associations (need I say which?), the lyrics of “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time direct hostile action” offer a venomous chant for anyone who has ever felt wronged or betrayed.

If you’re familiar with SKOLD’s past work, then The Undoing will not necessarily offer any surprises beyond its darker and heavier production values, with the greater infusion of overdriven electronics being particularly noteworthy in elevating the music to a more industrial edge than was heard on Anomie. The lyrics still reflect SKOLD’s usual propensity for the straightforward and simple, occasionally coming across as less-than-eloquent or sophisticated, but this is not an unexpected facet of his music nor does it hinder the poignancy of songs that simply encourage the audience to stand defiant in the face of any opposition. If nothing else, The Undoing lives up to the standard SKOLD has long established for himself, proving to be anything but what its title suggests; rather, he seems more at the top of his game than ever.
 
Track list:

  1. Triumph of the Will
  2. Today Your Love
  3. Escape
  4. The Oldest Profession
  5. Transparencies
  6. Chasing Demons
  7. Break My Fall
  8. Wake Up and Die
  9. This Beat Will Kill Us All
  10. Better the Devil
  11. The Bleeding Heart
  12. 1989 (Bonus)
  13. Forever (Bonus)
  14. Ultra Heavy Black (Bonus)

 
SKOLD
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube
Metropolis Records
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Amazon Vinyl
Bandcamp (Standard)
Bandcamp (Deluxe)
Storming the Base CD
 
2016-04-22
 
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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