Skindred – Volume (Napalm Records)

Genre: Reggae Metal

The legend of Skindred goes on and the South Wales band are a gift that keeps on giving. Quite what Newport thought when the reggae metallers burst onto the scene in 1998 is anyone’s guess but Benji Webb’s mob have never looked back – to the benefit of all of us.

Skindred seem to be in a constant virtuous circle of reinvention and tinkering but it’s all cohesive and somehow fits under the broad umbrella of sound that the five piece have created and nurtured for all these years.

The Welsh head bangers have started to build in more elements of electronic music into their songs – a trend that started with Kill The Power two years ago.That continues with Volume but it doesn’t let EDM take control.

Album openers Under Attack and Volume are your bread and butter Skindred tunes. They’ve got an infectious rhythm and are insatiably heavy – but both songs are the type that will make you tap your feet before launching into the mosh pit.

Webb has admitted to writing lyrics with a message and Shut Ya Mouth is on the more obvious side of the spectrum as he growls ‘shut ya mouth boy… here’s my rage fist.’

The dust settles on an excellent record with the rabble-rousing and predictably excellent Straight Jacket, with its breakdown timed to perfection, and political ode to self preservation in No Justice.

And so, two years after their last reincarnation, Skindred comes back with something new but oh-so-familiar. They would be a phoenix rising from the ashes, reinventing itself, except this band ain’t got no ashes to rise from and no failures to improve on.

The legend of Webb and his South Wales motley crue keeps rumbling on, and with every record they cement themselves further as a modern great.

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