Brazil’s Chromeskull have come a long way since their 2019 EP Deads Shall Rise; Then, they seemed like just another of the legion of faceless metal revivalists trying to make a fast buck out of some ill-thought out nostalgia heist. Now, well, they is a very different prospect indeed, Sir…
All members bar Carlos Leonello have arrived at Camp Chromeskull since that initial EP, and this clearly is the starting point for the band’s improvement, for which the phrase ‘leaps and bounds’ seems barely adequate. Despite lasting only a tick over twenty eight minutes in duration and seven ‘proper’ tracks in length, you can’t help but be fully satisfied by what STTW has to offer.
All seven tracks click with the ears first time, wasting no opportunities to get under the listener’s skin in insidious but ultimately pleasing fashion. Vocalist Aquiles Jeronimo might not quite be in the to draw of metal vocalists, yet, but his pleasing mix of grit and melodicism fits right in on boneheaded-but-beautiful anthems like Fast N’ Wild and Love Is For Fools. And on the album’s best track, Drive Me Insane, which mixes Y&T and Loudness with devastating results, he sounds like an out-and-out star.
As do Leonello and fellow six stringer Leonardo Gonçalves, who add some pyrotechnic leadwork to proceedings throughout; Despite everything here being relatively simplistic – actually lowest common denominator metal hasn’t hit this hard for a long, long time – every member provides solid and effective playing throughout. Lucas Soares is a fine wielder of the four string motherfucker, never backwards in coming forwards and always happy to leap out of the mix with strident interjections, whilst rock solid compadre in rhythm Filipe Oliveira hits the skins hard – and with just the right amount of cowbell. This is truly fabulous stuff, aimed straight at the groin rather than the head, just as it should be. And when the band go heads down for glory at the end of Fast N’Wild you can’t help but get involved and cheer them on to the winning line.
Love Is For Fools is archetypal eighties metal band seven inch single fodder, all dramatic stop-start riffage and posture-prompting keyboard stabs, but the reality is that, wherever you drop the needle on this album, Chromeskull are able to guarantee a fine time, every time, which leaves me with no option other than to exhort you to get out and add this to your collection – NOW, DAMMIT!!