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Skinny Puppy Mythmaker Review

by Erika Szabo

Among industrial bands like Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Rammstein, none have been around quite as long as Skinny Puppy has. This being their twelfth album to date, Mythmaker is fixed on bringing listeners more of their industrial dance-beats.

Inspired by the music of Nocturnal Emissions, Portion Control, and The Legendary Pink Dots, this Vancouver-based group has been experimenting with analog and digital recording techniques since they first formed in 1982. Since Skinny Puppy's revival in 2003, eEvin Key, Nivek Ogre and Mark Walk have been incorporating musical techniques similar to that of their older works - though now they incorporate a more trip-hop infused industrial dance hybrid compared to their abrasive gothic industrial dance in earlier albums. Mythmaker sounds a great deal like Ogre's alternate project OhGr, but what Skinny Puppy maintains in sound, OhGr falters in structure of that sound. With their music permeating throughout all of their albums, Skinny Puppy provides listeners with more of the same thing with the slightest of changes.

The industrial anthem "Magnifis***" provides a strong opener with pulsating beats. "Pedafly" starts off with deep dirty electronica beats and erupts into a fast paced industrial outbreak, but it could have easily done without its audio inserts. In the mascochistic "Politikil", Ogre's vocals swallow and spit into electric fuzz and bass grinds. Songs like "Lestiduz" and "Pasturn" ricochet off of one another and form songs that are rapid and disorienting. Meanwhile, the blasphemous "Ugli" pounds IDM static beats into Ogre's screeching vocals. This song is chaotic, stimulating and vicious as it coughs with spontaneity. Other than that, this album's other songs prove to be less stimulating. "Ambiantz" is just what its name implies with atmospheric beats while "Haze" provides calm automaton vocals as well as a slower tempo. Over all, Mythmaker proves itself to be expansive and expressive in content, even if its sound is being recycled.

Skinny Puppy is no stranger to experimentation, though in Mythmaker this seems less apparent. Nonetheless, this diverse album commits itself to its past works and provides listeners with more of what they already know. To this day, Skinny Puppy deems itself to be one of the most innovative bands of their kind.

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