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Skullshifter - Here In Hell - 2005 - Self Released

Track Listing
1. Punishment
2. Engines
3. Here In Hell
It is always really hard to get a decent grip on a band by three songs. Skullshifter unleashes just that with a three song debut EP called "Here In Hell". The band are fairly generic, really just reaching out and touching just about every sort of metal genre around. At times they remind me of a cross between Wrathchild America and Crowbar. Sort of a strange hybrid but I just call 'em like I see 'em.

The EP is handled by famed producer Simon Efemey, who also handled Napalm Death, Deceased, and Paradise Lost among others. Skullshifter come out of the box as a four piece, storming the gates with a fairly average opener "Punishment" and it's downtuned, choppy riffs and aggressive vocals. This opener captures the old school sounds of thrash, most evident mid-era Overkill or even Exodus. Cut two is a bit more different, an entertaining romp that sounds a bit like German power pioneers Rage, with some gang vocals thrown in to make it a bit more American. The last entry is "Here In Hell", a vicious staple that has some strange distorted guitar riffs before moving into a more stop-and-go thrash pace.

Bottom Line - Fairly decent EP romp that offers a good thrashing for those looking for a slightly more heavier sound that doesn't growl or scream.



--EC 1.15.06
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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REVIEWER DATE
Here In HellSkullshifter
2005
Eric Compton1/18/2006


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