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Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Second Skin- Illa Exuro in Silentium


ARTIST: Second Skin

ALBUM: Illa Exuro in Silentium

LABEL: Palace of Worms

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 2-25-09

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Don't be fooled by the spooky Latin title; Second Skin haven't gone black metal on us. The band's fourth full-length release continues their tradition of vintage gothic rock in the style of the early Los Angeles and UK scenes tempered by a thoroughly modern wit that makes itself known through such track titles as "Prince Harming" and "A Methunderstanding." Though "Blood and Glass (The Impact)" offers a club-friendly sound with its driving bass line, the bulk of the album is grim and funereal. "London Bridges" is a dirge in the best sense of the word, an epic take on the bowels-of-the-earth sound pioneered by Fields of the Nephilim leavened by a bridge of delicate pianos that add a more intimate emotional impact, and "The Narcissist" recalls early Death in June with its ponderous drums and moody electric guitars. "Black Picket Fence" is more melodic and features multi-layered baritone vocals that suggest an army of Andrew Eldrich clones put to their only appropriate use, while "The West" brings a hint of death rock raucousness thanks to vocals that rise in a wavering chant over fuzzy organs. The band's intentionally low-fi production style adds to the album's impact, recalling the edginess of the early '80s explosion of gothic rock, though the way the vocals fade in and out on "Kick and Scream" makes you wish they hadn't gone quite so literal in their homage to their forebears. Still, a solid album sure to appeal to fans of Christian Death and the Virgin Prunes as well as newer acts like Cinema Strange and Mt. Sims.

Visit Second Skin online at www.secondskin.net.


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