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In this world, nothing is certain except Death, Taxes, and Skinlab - 0%

Slater922, February 21st, 2021

Nu metal is an interesting genre to say the least. Being mainly popular in the late 90s to early 2000s, nu metal would be a gateway to the metal world for many people. The genre was also diverse and included many styles, whether it be a mix of groove and funk metal or straight up rap metal. And while the genre certainly had its bad moments, there was some sort of beauty to it all. Even if you despise the genre (which is understandable), you gotta admit that there were bands like Deftones and System of a Down who offered an alternative sound to their music and weren't exactly "jumpdafuckup" in their style. Even bands like Slipknot or Static-X would get rid of the style later on in their careers in exchange for other genres. Nu metal may not be for everyone, but it is certainly unique.

And then you got bands like Skinlab. They were originally a below-average groove metal band, but in 2002, they decided to hop on the nu metal bandwagon with their third album "Revolting Room". Well, let's just say "revolting" is a good adjective to describe the album, because it's easily one of the hardest nu metal albums I've ever sat through. It's at best a poor attempt to capitalize the genre and at worse a complete embarrassment that should've never been released. Whether it be the uninspired instruments, or the lousy vocals, there's no enjoyment to be found in this album.

Let's start off with the instruments. Skinlab wasn't well-known for their instrumental work during their groove metal-era, but it was nothing compared to this. Most of the instruments are extremely generic, with the guitar riffs playing boring and tiresome riffs and the drums beating in inconsistent patterns. A good example of this would be the track "Come Get It". The guitar riffs start off okay, but it quickly descends into a mess of riffs that don't connect to each other at all. Paul Hopkins's drumming skills aren't any better, as the drum patterns he plays sound like what most other nu metal bands were doing at the time. These dull instruments are all over the place in this album, and don't offer anything new and creative.

But if you think the instruments are the worst parts, wait till you hear the vocals. Steev Esquivel's vocals on the previous two albums weren't anything special, but they were okay and flowed decently with the instruments. In "Revolting Room", however, his vocals hit a new low. The screaming that he does in many parts of the album are unlistenable, like in the track "Slave the Way". There, he sounds like he's gonna blow his voice, and they don't flow well with the slower moments in some parts of the track. His more "calmer" moments aren't much of an improvement, as in some songs like "Purify", his singing sounds fake and poor, and it feels like he's trying to copy Corey Taylor in terms of vocal delivery. The vocals in this album was abominable, and were better off not being in the album at all.

And of course, there's the lyrics. Nu metal isn't exactly known for having the best lyrical moments, but even within those standards, the lyrics suck. In the track "Take as Needed", the lyrics quote:

Take as needed only for pain
I don't take it just to take away the pain
I need it to help me get me through the day
I bring it now I need it
but I take as I need it only for pain

The lyrics talk about how someone takes drugs as a way to get rid of the pain. The lyrics themselves sound okay on paper, but the execution is horrendous. Esquivel shrieks a lot of the lines, and you can barely understand the words he's saying, even when you are reading the lyrics with him. And there are some lyrics that don't even make sense. Back to the song "Slave the Way", the lyrics quote:

Everybody got their own opinions, right?
Everybody got their own decisions, right?
Everybody got their own ass on the line
Everyone slave the way, pave the way, slave
All the people scream!

These lines say that while people have their own opinions, they still "slave away" and scream. But shouldn't the point of slavery be that all the slaves share the same opinions instead of having different thoughts? And once again, the lyrics are awfully executed by Esquivel's ear-piercing shrieks. While I didn't expect any Shakespearean material, at the same time, I would've appreciated some effort.

Overall, this was easily one of the worst nu metal albums I've ever listened to. The instruments are extremely generic and monotonous, the vocals are terrible, and the lyrics might as well have not been written at all. It especially pains me to know that there are some genuinely good artists in the nu metal genre that have made some of the best songs in the genre, yet crap like this steers people away from listening to the great stuff. There are some albums that were just better off not being made, and "Revolting Room" is one of them.