Available: January 2014
Label: NoiseArt Records
‘You’re an Angel Witch! You’re an Angel Wi….’ Oh wait, sorry…I got trapped in a time warp of awesome there. When listening to ‘Chasing the Dream’ or Skull Fist in general that is exactly what will happen to you as well. Skull Fist play a New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) in current times but play it so well that if you didn’t know better you could swear that you were listening to a overlooked band from the very early 80’s. Now this could really turn off some people as some metal heads don’t like that type of sound anymore but the question here my friends is this…How much do you really want to rock?!
I first heard and listened to Skull Fist YEARS ago back when I ran across them on Myspace. As the years went on I would occasionally run across more of their material as it came out and their album ‘Head of the Pack’ is really what should be considered one of the all time metal albums ever even if the sound is something that comes from a different era. But the songwriting, musicianship and youthful exuberance on ‘Head of the Pack’ is something truly special, rare and in many ways something the metal genre has lost a lot of. Now also realize these are guys in their early 20’s from Canada playing this stuff not 50 year olds from Britain getting the band back together. I guess Canada is good at something after all! (I joke I joke! We Americans poke fun at Canada sometimes)
Now Skull Fist is getting ready to treat the world to their second full LP ‘Chasing the Dream’ and one can’t help but wonder how it will stack up compared to ‘Head of the Pack’. Honestly…it does a pretty good job. Now as I mentioned earlier I called ‘Head of the Pack’ one of the all time metal albums…EVER. Now that is claim that I think isn’t really fair when judging ‘Chasing the Dream’ or any other album really because not every album can be ‘One of the best ever!’ With that being said ‘Chasing the Dream’ is a good album a damn good one in fact. So let’s break this bitch down shall we!
‘Chasing the Dream’ sports 9 tracks that again are NWOBHM styled metal filled with guitar riffs, high vocals, the youthful enthusiasm, backing vocals and that warm analog recorded sound of the early 80’. Probably my favorite song on the album is ‘Bad for Good’ which most captures the essence of what Skull Fist do. It really strikes me as a song you would hear in some old 80’s movie like The Warriors or something. It contains the catchy chorus along with backing vocals that make you want to chant with the song. This is a classic Skull Fist song. Also the opening track ‘Hour to Live’ is a great tune with great guitars and songwriting and ‘Mean Street Rider’ coming complete with audio of when Jackie the singer crashed on his skateboard and broke his fucking neck. Also ‘Don’t Stop The Fight’ is probably the most anthem song on the album and very solid, though it’s not ‘Heavier Than Metal’ but then again…what can be! Also as a side note, when listening to many songs on ‘Chasing the Dream’ I am reminded, vocal wise, of how Blind Guardian sounded on their first album ‘Battalions of Fear’ especially on the song ‘Run for the Night’ which to me is fantastic and really fits Skull Fist well.
Now to be fair as a ‘critic’ I have to point out things that I feel are flaws with the album so here are the few things I felt were some drawbacks in my opinion. While the album is classic NWOBHM style metal, I also felt some of the youthful fun from ‘Head of the Pack’ was missing a little. This album seems to be a little more ‘somber’ in terms of how some of the songs sound, while some are more aggressive (guitar wise) sounding as well, and I’m not sure that is exactly the fault of anyone really…we all grow older and we don’t stay 18 or keep that mindset forever so take this criticism with a flying bird fart if you wish. The other thing I found I missed on this album was a clear cut anthem song along the lines of ‘Heavier Than Metal’ I of course love me some great anthem songs and I understand the band probably do not want to churn out anthems all the time…and well if I’m expecting ‘Heavier than Metal Pt. 2’ than I am just being spoiled! But I do love me fist pumping anthems!
Now the one thing I will criticize the band on that I do feel is justified is that the title song ‘Chasing the Dream’ starts off with a riff
that sounds nearly identical to the signature riff in ‘Master of Puppets’. Dudes…come on…you’re better than that…and the song itself is a strong song…but guys no, just no. I’m waving my finger at you here.
So with all my praise and even with my criticisms (which are few), ‘Chasing the Dream’ should be an automatic purchase for any fans of Skull Fist or the NWOBHM sound. If you get to see the band live do not pass it up as I have also seen the band perform in the Czech Republic and they put on a great show and I got to meet Casey the bass player briefly and he is a really cool guy. Skull Fist are a band that should be poised for a great career in metal, needs to be noticed and deserves big time exposure and ‘Chasing the Dream’ is the album that should help them get it and I urge everyone out there to pick it up when it drops and also go out now and get ‘Head of the Pack’ as well as the band deserve every bit of your support.
Jackie Slaughter on Axinator and Singin Dude!
Jonny Nesta on Axinator
Casey Slade on Bass Master
Upcoming 2014 Tour: