Skinflint – Hate Spell Review

Skinflint are a kind of mature love, if there is such term. It’s a band I’d been following for some time since I read a report about African Metal bands in a webzine. No, better yet, it was a report a friend of mine wrote for a webzine. The first song I heard was “Mbube the Great” and I was astonished by the quality of the band. For its heaviness and personality. By far they are a band with great personality since their initial record though, of course, some tracks could be blamed to Iron Maiden, but that’s pretty natural as we’ve been dicsussing here from time to time. In 2016, we had the great chance and the honor to review their fifth album “Chief of the Ghosts,” which didn’t show much change from their ulterior albums. The great change was the replacement of drummers. Alessandra Sbrana was replaced by Cosmos ”Cossy” Modisaemang in 2019.

As we lost 2018’s “Skinflint” here we have their seventh album “Hate Spell” which I dare to say it’s a breakthrough album in the band’s career. To some extent, “Hate Spell” is to Skinflint as “Screaming for Veangence” is to Judas Priest. I’ll elaborate. Until “Screaming for Veangence” Judas Priest’s music wasn’t fast. It was hard and heavy, but it wasn’t fast. The same happens here, until “Hate Spell” Skinflint’s music wasn’t fast. Now the band acquired more speed to their compositions up to the limit of almost touching Thrash Metal as “Bloody Quills” showcases my child of the night. A fact to be noted is that guitarist and vocalist Giuseppe Sbrana totaly changed his picking here adapting it to play faster tunes. Drummer Cosmos ”Cossy” Modisaemang gave his contribution by leading the rhythm to this faster mooding and, by the way, adding more technique to the band. Moreover, as a vocalist Giuseppe Sbrana also changed his vocals to be harsher and more acid. More importantly, Skinflint haven’t changed their soul. It’s characteristic slow movements are here as well. I guess that’s the most important thing. Its following track “Sasabonsam” is even faster and frentic. Tittle track “Hate Spell” is a bit different from previous tracks. It’s moody with a hard picking which gives an even harder effect to the song. It’s mighty chorus is at the same time gluey and powerful. With “Hate Spell” Skinflint changed a little their way of writing songs as it isn’t a typical song.

I don’t think that Skinflint will loose fans by this change of heart as it was for a heavier one. The standard change is to a more pop grip, but that’s not what happened here. The band is stronger and more cohesive and let me say they are playing better.

P.S.:  Skinflint wil have a month’s worth of live dates in the US – when the trio tours with Soulfly

Skinflint “Hate Spell” will be released on February 17th via Into Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Intro
  2. Bloody Quills
  3. Sasabonsam
  4. Hate Spell
  5. Blood Dripping From Torso To Toes
  6. Shape Shifter
  7. Mankind Creation
  8. Eloko
  9. Witch Haunting
  10. Spirit Board
  11. Conquest
  12. Ju Ju King

Watch  “Sasabonsam” official music video here: