The scene is set by the rumble of bass, before the super smooth crunch of guitar enters the fray. With more bite than the lion enclosure at Chester Zoo, this is the sound of rock.
What we have here is Nyemba, the new album from Botswanan metal outfit Skinflint.
Calling on the influences of classic British metal and fusing them with lyrics based in African folklore, Skinflint display a clear understanding of both their sound and style. In fact on first listen it will immediately appeal to fans of “that” mid 1980’s sound made famous by Iron Maiden.
And so to the songs themselves, there are 8 in total giving the album a playing time of a mere 33 minutes.
The opening track, “Veya” sets the tone for what’s to come perfectly… Solid drums and bass coated with the aforementioned smooth crunch of guitar. Yes, this trio has more drive than the Indy 500.
It is abundantly clear from the first few bars that Skinflint are totally at home riding in the wake of the NWOBHM, with that obvious Maiden influence, along with elements of Cliff Burton era Metallica. Of course, these are not the worst traits to display, especially when they are executed with such skill.
The playing throughout is impeccably tight, showcasing their individual talents whilst never overshadowing the songs. If I had to be critical, I would say that a few of the songs could be expanded upon. I did feel I was waiting for that 8 minute epic which, sadly, never materialised.
The stand out track for me is “Sinkinda”, at just shy of 4′ 50″, this is the longest track on the album and the nearest to the epic track I craved! With it’s slow, melodic intro, it quickly shifts through the gears, rocking along guided by the now familiar gruff vocal.
All in all, a well-crafted album with sympathetic production. Proof, if proof were needed, that you can still make rock music without gimmicks. Yes, some of the songs are a little short… or maybe I’m just left wanting more. You decide…
Review by Phil Brookes