ARTIST: Skinny Puppy
LABEL: Synthetic Symphony
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
Many fans were disappointed by Skinny Puppy's return in 2004, and although the band's latest album still retains many of the newer elements that turned fans off, there are also plenty of hints toward a return to former greatness. "Magnifishit" opens the CD with marching beats, bells, and an orchestral grandeur that recalls the majesty of such classic albums as Last Rites. "HaZe" is slow but dramatic, starting off with atmospheric synths and soft, mechanized vocals and then adding sprawling guitar distortion emphasized by church bells, while "Pedafly" highlights Skinny Puppy's more aggressive side, with heavy, metal-inspired power chords adorned by random shrieks. Like the somewhat uneven 2004 album, The Greater Wrong Of The Right, "JaHer" is hardly what you'd expect from Skinny Puppy, but this time around it's a good thing, with lazy guitar strums and moody ambience providing a rare glimpse at the band being mellow. The second half of Mythmaker moves into more modern experimental territory, with the choppy glitches and muddled intricacies of "LestiduZ" and "Ambiantz" sacrificing accessibility for cutting edge abstraction, while closing track "Ugli" brings back a more human element to the madness with its provocative repetition of the line "Jesus wants to be ugly." This isn't the Skinny Puppy you grew up with, of course, but it's still ambitious and avant-garde. Don't give up on them yet, because Mythmaker proves that they've still got plenty of tricks up their sleeves.
Visit www.skinnypuppy.com for more.
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