|Album Review: Mr. Skeleton – Absence of Good|
Absence Of Good
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Not for the faint hearted; Mr. Skeleton's new LP is an extension of aggressive electro music to say the least. This elusive musician sticks to himself for the most part, residing in the few shadowy and dark pockets left in sunny California. Here he has grown as a producer with almost 10 years experience to build his own creativity. Mr. Skeleton is often credited with creating his own genre of 'dark room', a grungier style of electronic music. Now he has finally found his place on Cult 222, an artist collective, label, and podcast series. Cult 222 was created by both Mr. Skeleton and Bad Vision; Absence Of Good is the label's first serious release.
The album starts on a high strung tone with the first few tracks composed in an energetic ideal. Ranging from titles such as "Pray For Blood", "Rhythm From Hell", and more violently worded phrases, you can only expect an aggressive LP. "Pray For Blood" is the real album opener and braces you before the entire experience on a sadistically sweet groove. If it wasn't for the talent behind the electro structure, I would probably be a lot more distasted. "Rhythm From Hell" is eerie with a dark robotic voice layered throughout, but the real treat on this track is the constantly shifting tempo that never lets you catch a moments rest.
"Spoken Madness" is realistically the only groovy track you'll hear through this entire work and I say that lightly. It moves through deep subs and bouncing synths in a softer style of production. Taking a dub route, "Disconnected" brings the wub back into horror with horrific laughter mixed into dark bass.
"Survive" brings the album listener back to the darker side of electronic music with complex builds and heavy synths that stab at the main beat. The vocals in this track are distorted in an interesting way where they add quite a bit of emphasis on the track.
"Sweet and Tender" is literally about eating human flesh, hence the title, "Sweet and Tender". The intro to this track is an audio clip of a psychopath talking about how he eats the victims he murders. Pretty dark stuff indeed. The actual music on the track follows a similar structure to the rest of the album with powerful synths that punch away at the rhythm. I felt this track was worthy of including just because of the vicious audio samples.
The second last track on the LP, "Double Platinum", really stood out to me because it was the most experimental of all tracks. Mr. Skeleton took a step away from his sinister side (just barely) to create an interesting audio soundscape. With distorted sounds and faint clips of heavy breathing, this track seems relatively light to come close to concluding the LP.
Finally, the outro comes in as high intensity finish at just under three minutes long. Titled "222", this track certainly pays testimony to the new label that Mr. Skeleton and Bad Vision have started.
Overall, this whole LP through and through was quite a graphically charged experience. Most of these tracks seem to be made for a grungy nightclub rather than a bedroom or any sort of casual listening. They are dark and tense, clearly composed by a brilliantly twisted musician who seems to stay away from the spotlight, yet evidently knows how to make a good electronic composition. Absence Of Good in its whole is fifteen tracks long, although I chose to only include a handful of songs that really stuck out to me. At times, the relentless pounding electro became a little too overwhelming and repetitive, which is why this LP scored a seven and a half. Yet, I cannot contest the fact that Mr. Skeleton definitely has years of experience to make his skill with production noticeable.