Occasionally, as a reviewer, you will stumble across a little known band who strike you as far better then their level of renown. You'll completely fail to see why they aren't heaped with plaudits, and write an impassioned glowing review, that you know nobody will ever read (simply because people only ever seem to bother to read reviews of bands they've heard of), and maybe excitedly take the band under your wing, telling anybody who will listen how wonderful they are. From my initial listens of the latest Skull Defekts album, Peer Amid, there were inklings that somewhere in this claustrophobic, doom ridden record was hidden one of those albums. Unfortunately, despite much merit, I found little else but frustration.

Peer Amid isn't exactly terrible, it just makes a fair number of mistakes that dramatically lower any enjoyment I've managed to get from it. Firstly, the songs are too long. Far too long, the opening track is a full 9 minutes and the average probably falls somewhere along the 6 minute mark. When each track is essentially doom ridden monolithically repetitive strumming the album becomes boring very, very quickly. At their best The Skull Defekts sound like a Velvet Underground forged from a dark and terrifying ore, but they stay within the same theme for too long. Occasionally coming up with an interesting idea, but each idea is stretched to the point where it no longer becomes at all interesting, even when you hear it again the second time you play the album. A little more variation would certainly be nice, and this could maybe be brought by having more songs.

Secondly, Peer Amid is too over the top. It resides in the depths of sound, with all notes as low and tinged with rough distortion, but it takes this to an extreme. The vocals are occasionally strong, but they often take it too far, verging on self parody. If this was take one step further, I can imagine it being genuinely amusing, such is the pomposity with which it holds itself. Anyway, I can't recommend this, as I genuinely have struggled to drag myself all the way through it on my listens. It's not offensively bad, and it's certainly got some strong points it's just mind numbingly dull and monotonous. There's always the feeling that it could have been so much better had they shortened the song length and packed more ideas in there, but unfortunately they didn't, so this will enter my pile of albums never to bother with again.

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