Skull Fist - Chasing The Dream
Noise Art Records
Traditional Speed Metal
9 songs (36:34)
Release year: 2014
Skull Fist, Noise Art Records
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Wow, it's hard to believe the traditional / speed metal revival of 2008-2011 is going on ten years now. While for the most part I was locked in a cave practicing guitar during that time and beyond, a few bands broke through my self imposed barrier. Groups like Enforcer, Striker, Cauldron, and the mighty Skull Fist from Canadia-land (Canada). One of the main things that set Skull Fist apart from their peers was their sense of youthful humor. They had a YouTube channel with tons of cool fun videos, and they also were not afraid to have songs such as No False Metal and be a bit tongue in cheek about it. This sense of lightheartedness helped propel their adrenaline infused guitar based music. You got the sense that maybe you were hauling ass down the highway in the van with the guys, or could see them skating at high speeds down Toronto streets while throwing horns and making faces at unsuspecting pedestrians. Chasing The Dream is only the band's second full length album, yet it comes about roughly ten years on into their career. At the time in 2014 it seemed that Skull Fist were poised to make a true breakout with this album. An excellent video for the track Bad For Good was released and the song found its way to the Deathgasm movie soundtrack. Unfortunately, following some tours for this album, there were problems that arose in the band. Vocalist Jackie Slaughter had to get surgery on his vocal cords, he quit the band and then rejoined, and yea, they lost a lot of momentum.

Before this denigrates into a bio of the band, let's get on to the actual meat of the music here. What Chasing The Dream consists of is nine tracks of heartfelt speed metal played with a serious sense of conviction. Hour To Live sets the stage with a droning guitar riff that steadily increases the tempo before segueing into a double bass assault backed with harmonized guitars. There's a brief respite in the aural hammering with a short slow section during the solo, but overall this is balls to the wall fast metal. The aforementioned Bad For Good is next and as stated above, an extremely well made music video was made for this song. Now, I pretty much hate music videos these days because they often (not always) come out as shitty vanity projects and we see guys playing in forests with unplugged guitars while striking awkward poses that only they think looks cool. Woo. This one though has an actual story about an underground boxer played by Jackie (who has decent acting chops for what he does) who takes dives for money. Things don't fly too well at home with his girlfriend because his face keeps getting turned into bloody hamburger. Jackie and his girl split up so he goes to fight some huge ripped guy who's a real MMA fighter and basically gets killed in the ring. The song itself is a melodic mid tempo thumper that has a constant driving beat to it. Jackie's vocals are extremely high and soaring, he obviously comes from the school of Sir Geddy Lee.

The title track and Call Of The Wild are a couple of solid bangers that pick the pace up a bit, but it's the track Sign Of The Warrior where Skull Fist pump the music with some hard hitting 'roids. This is actually an older track from their demo days but it fits in well with the newer material. A frenzied drum intro and melodic guitar lickery abounds and the tempo never lets up. You're Gonna Pay was actually the first video made for the album and it is chock full of the band's general goofiness as opposed to the outright seriousness of Bad For Good. You're Gonna Pay is definitely the anthem of the album and there's a decidedly Skid Row fist banging moment in the middle that leads up into some cool guitar solos. Out of the final three numbers, Shred's Not Dead is an instrumental and should be noted for its guitar histrionics. With a name like that though, one shouldn't be too surprised.

Chasing The Dream is an excellent, solid album that I played quite alot back in 2015. It just kind of sucks that the band couldn't capitalize on the momentum they had following this one's release. But hey, maybe that's what happens when your second album is ten years into the band's history. I've still got my eye on them however, and still think Skull Fist have plenty of fight left in them.

Killing Songs :
Hour To Live, Bad For Good, You're Gonna Pay, Sign Of The Warrior, Don't Stop The Fight
Ben quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Skull Fist that we have reviewed:
Skull Fist - Way Of The Road reviewed by Ben and quoted 63 / 100
Skull Fist - Head Öf The Pack reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 78 / 100
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