The Welsh reggae metal maestros are back with another offering. Wales is a prominent part of the world when it comes to mainstream-friendly modern metal (possibly the biggest right behind the United States), and Skindred carries the Welsh metal pride forward with "Volume", an album with the cornerstones that fans will likely expect with quality that exceeds expectation.
The guys make music that stars the three genres that influence them the most: metal, punk, and reggae. As soon as the album opens with the bouncy "Under Attack", the listener will get an idea of the engaging music, versatile vocals, and powerful messages throughout. The three short interludes, appropriately titled "I" "II" and "III", instill anticipation into the listener's mind for just under a minute until the next song, which is the best use for interludes. The band brings balance to the music with "Volume", in the sense that no one genre takes center stage. The resulting multi-categorical hybrid is an enjoyable 45 minute (approximately) musical adventure, like a journey through the varied landscapes, cultures, and events in Middle Earth. Or San Francisco.
Every component is on point in this modern metal gem. From the accessible musicianship, to vocals that touch on each genre that goes into the music, to songwriting that persuades some listeners to spend an hour or so on Google, to a mix that highlights everything that it should, this album shows that Skindred enjoys making each album exceed its predecessor. Perhaps the next album could use a little more turntable/samples, but I'm just a fan of instrument balance.
My rating: 7/10
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