Reviewed: January 2000
Released: 1999, Distortion
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
Pollution, starvation, politics, corruption, disease, war, hate…this is what Skit System is all about! The music, attitude, lyrics, and artwork all reflect the band’s disgust with human atrocities! Skit System is punk/hardcore in its most brutal form! Well, you know my stance on hardcore: it sucks! And so does punk! But what interests me about this band is that it features(ed) ex-At The Gates members! That’s right! The band was formed in 1994 and consisted of At The Gates vocalist Tomas Lindberg and drummer Adrian Erlandsson. So far, Skit System has released a 7″ called “Profit Hysteri”, a split 7″ with Wolfpack called “Livande Lik”, and a 10″ record called “Ondskans Ansikte”. But now the band finally sees a CD release!
Hardcore and especially punk bands seem to recycle the same riffs over and over. You know, the simple chord-based riffs paired with simple arrangements, monotonous drumming, a lack of guitar leads, and simplistic, boring arrangements. Skit System really is no different in terms of style, but what strikes me is how goddamned heavy they are! Especially their earlier vinyl stuff…extremely intense, fast, and raw! Add Tomas’ classic death screech and you’ve got one hell of a headache! The new album sees a more polished production, but the music remains heavy. Adrian has left the band and new drummer Kalle fills in his spot very well. He’s very fast and precise…just like Adrian. The only thing lacking here are blast beats. Granted, that type of drumming is geared more towards death metal than punk, but a few songs in the past had them, and it helped intensify the negative attitude. Tomas performs both vocals and guitar, as does Fredrik. The combination of two vocalists gives that much-needed variety and really helps to spice up the music. And they border on being death metal, but I guess that’s at least expected of Tomas. Both of their voices perfectly match the hate-filled lyrics. And most of these lyrics and vocals are in Swedish, which give a little twist on things. Another change in pace is the untitled bonus song at the end of the album, which is a slow doom song with samples taken from television or news reporters, instead of lyrics.
This stuff is heavier and faster than your usual hardcore and punk crap. The actual riffs and drum beats are very simple and all sound familiar, or should I say “re-hashed”? So this band really is not that original in what they do. But when you’re pissed and just want to crank out some heavy-ass hate-filled noise, this is the band for you! This CD is pretty hard to find, even though it is new. I purchased mine through Hot Stuff Mailorder www.hotstuff.se in Sweden. You may also try Nuclear Blast Germany www.nuclearblast.de. Also check out the Distortion Records web site for additional band information: www.dolores.se/distortion
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