Skumstrike – Execution Void Review

From the cabinets of Caligari Records comes Skumstrike’s Execution Void EP, released only on cassette and limited to a mere 150 copies. The band’s third overall release, Execution Void is a significant improvement over 2018’s Pure Coercion, in almost every category: Its production is stouter, filthier, punchier, more accurately capturing the grime that should coat any respectable black/thrash/punk amalgam. The performances here are more ferocious, more aggressive, befitting the stronger sound. Most importantly, Execution Void’s five songs are uniformly stronger — they’re still fundamentally similar to Coercion, of course, still that same mix of crusty blackened thrash, gnarled and ragged and strikingly… well, skummy… They’re all of that, and they’re just simply better.

Release date: February 14, 2020. Label: Caligari.
Opening with heavily delayed synth notes and an audio snippet from BBC’s “The Century Of The Self,” “Filth” is an appropriately titled slice of snarling crust, filled with raging riff and Zak’s pounding rhythm and heavily reverb-ed rasp, all of that adding up to the strongest song on either EP and a grand encapsulation of Skumstrike’s overall attack. From there, Execution Void zips through another 12 minutes of similar darkness, from the black ‘n’ roll-isms of “The Deserter” and the relentless near-grind pummeling of “Lethal Injection” to the vicious closer “The Lie,” which tears through a handful of snarling thrash riffs and a short-but-fun beatdown-worthy breakdown before resolving into a d-beat-ish drive and wordless screams.

All told, Execution Void is a strong outing for a young band, and a marked improvement over its predecessor. Crusty blackness may not be anything new, of course, but when it’s delivered with this (ahem) execution, this level of spite and (lack of) polish, it makes for an entertaining fifteen minutes of ferocity.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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