Have Your Mind Read For Free!
Ok, so not your mind, just your skull. Whatever. The point is that Skullreader‘s debut EP Liberosis was released a few weeks ago and is equal parts name your price and awesome!
Philadelphia’s James Lipczynski is clearly a skilled and inspired musician. Apart from playing guitars for the epic and doomy Crypt Sermon, he also keeps busy with a couple of one-man projects. The first of which is Labyrinthine. Those that have been listening to my ramblings over the past year or so would know that I fucking love that album. Upon hearing that release, I lost my mind and wrote stupid things about it. Ancient Obscurity remains one of my favourite albums from 2014. So when I saw James’ other solo project Skullreader appear on my radar with a debut EP, I was always going to give it a try.
Liberosis greeted me with an excellent blend of blackened death metal adorned with an unsettling yet strangely alluring dissonant overtone. The overall pace is not as slow as some more overtly skronky material tends to be, but rather a hasty and sometimes frenetic assault, more akin to what you’d expect on a black metal release. Propelling the five tracks along is the (programmed?) drumming, which rarely loses momentum and serves as a solid platform for James to expound upon with his recognisable riffing. His vocals are somewhat similar to those he uses with Labyrinthine but with less emphasis on the ghastly shrieks and more on the cancerous growls, perfectly suiting the more prominent death-metal influence found on this record.
The style displayed on this EP is similar to that of the demo which he released in March this year, but I found the material to be stronger overall. With a run-time of just over 25 minutes, there is plenty packed into these five tracks, and if you head over to bandcamp, you’ll be pleased to notice it is name your price but definitely worth some of your hard-earned. The embed above starts on the last track for whatever reason, so if you like what you hear, skip back a few tracks to “Unfurling Confusion” and start from the beginning. The more I listen to this, the deeper I find I can delve. After scratching through the first few layers of turmoil, there are undercurrents to be taken away by, leading you away from your hapless skin-shell and down the winding path of your inner psyche.