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Skinflint > Okove > Reviews > truvelocity
Skinflint - Okove

The Real Treasures of Africa: a) Skinflint - 100%

truvelocity, February 15th, 2014

Skinflint is the kind of band whose impact is not immediately felt. They will one day however be held in the highest of regards and credited as the utmost African practitioners of the heavy metal craft. For now though, the world seems to be firmly grasped in the hold of much slicker modern metal purveyors regurgitating the same old riffs and melodic twists we've all heard before but don't seem to tire of. The underground thrives amidst such apathy and has stretched to far flung centers such as sub Saharan Africa with awesome bands like Botswana's Skinflint, Namibia's African Doomhammer, Mozambique's Magna and Uganda's Vale of Amonition producing thoroughly ambitious and original metal.

Of all of them however, Skinflint's material is of the best quality-both musically and production wise. They have so far made three albums and each has bested the one before it across the board. The band keeps on peaking and soon will be impossible to ignore. With this latest single, "Okove", the band moves a nudge away from their tribal brand of riff heavy traditional metal and adds a bit of doom to their delivery. The song is of superb quality-which is something we have come to expect-with the guitars rich and warm, swimming in a sea of distortion yet still clear enough to drive the riff home. The leads and melodic breaks are very evocative and add a visceral edge to the incredibly taut rhythm which is given weight by Alessandra Sbrana's disciplined pounding.
Giuseppe Sbrana is a master of his craft and his riffing is on point yet still dynamic and varied while his vocals are menacing and atmospheric. Raskebo's bass plucking is still reminiscent of Steve Harris but he reins himself in with great ease.

Skinflint have always worn their influences on their sleeves; Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Darkthrone, Bathory - and still managed to somehow carve out their own niche. "Okove" is a song under five minutes and yet it perfectly testifies to the prowess of this young and talented bunch. It is brilliantly sketched with nude but clever riffs that fluidly flow into one another and melodic leads that subtly evoke an epic atmosphere. It never lingers unnecessarily and maintains the right balance between grit and grandeur. So many bands have forgotten the art of songwriting and it is such a triumph of weird sorts that a band from the dark continent, a place where many still scoff at the idea of there being anything remotely "heavy metal", is carrying on the art.