Totem Skin – Weltschmerz (Halo of Flies)

Genre: Metal/Hardcore

Inhabiting the same scorched musical landscape as Nails and Trap Them, Swedes Totem Skin deliver the kind of unhinged assault that could punch straight through concrete. And while their style has plenty in common with the contemporary US crust scene, they mosh to their own tune… just check out The Mouth of Man to see how Swedish hardcore underscores the quintet’s sound, and how they don’t shy away from introducing melody to add more depth to a tune.

Weltschmerz is the work of an intelligent band; it’s absolutely brutal at times – opener Always Ire is a rabid blast fest – but the likes of Pretend conjure an icy atmosphere, giving the album a sense of foreboding and even nodding to fellow Swedes Cult of Luna.

Sure, Totem Skin aren’t the finished article by any means – this is only their second full-length – yet the band have carved out their own bloody niche, one which should see them rise out of the Swedish underground very soon.

Fearsome stuff.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Skin-full