The Lion’s Daughter – Skin Show (Review)

The Lion's Daughter - Skin ShowThis is the fourth album from US progressive sludge metallers The Lion’s Daughter.

The follow up to 2018’s striking Future CultSkin Show contains 42 minutes of individually-crafted metal. The music on Skin Show can best be described as that of a sludge metal band merged with 70s progressive rock tendencies and a horror film soundtrack. Skin Show takes the synth-heavy approach developed on Future Cult and expands upon it, ending up with a wider-ranging and more musically advanced record. It heralds a nice progression for The Lion’s Daughter, yet one that’s not only the next logical step for the band, but one that still holds true enough to their early, harsher material.

The songs are packed with bold synths that lend everything an air of a decades-old horror flick, while simultaneously managing to up the band’s emotive content levels by a surprising amount. Thick, meaty riffs rock out underneath these, powering the music along with belligerent insistence. The drums pound and hammer with punishing regularity. The bass underpins these strong musical foundations in a compelling manner. The vocals are harsh and unfriendly, but are also some of the clearest and well-developed of the band’s career. Yes, on Skin Show The Lion’s Cult are firing on all cylinders.

The songs are full of hooks. Be they vocal, synth, riff, or melodic, (or some nefarious combination), the songs are packed with them. The music is more expansive, and while still dark, is lighter in mood than the sort of thing usually crafted by the band. This makes for a very compelling album, as the tension between, for example, light and airy synths and a darker, driving bass line or guitar riff, is quite compelling.

The band’s songwriting is stronger on Skin Show than it has probably ever been, and while these songs still have bite, they also showcase a more accessible side to the band than has been previously apparent. It works, and works very well. While the band’s style won’t be for everyone, Skin Show is a really solid, well-realised, enjoyable album, and I heartily recommend that you check it out.

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