9.The number of members in Slipknot. The amount of studio albums Metallica has released. The amount of fingers you’d have if you lost one, also the number of years that Spineshank have been vacant from the world of metal. Not as individuals, but as a collective unit. In the time that has passed from the release of the bands last album “Violent Mood Swings” and subsequent split in 2003, Jonny Santos went on to form Silent Civilian and release two moderately successful albums with them, whilst the other members plied their trade as session musicians and producers on several low key projects.
Needless to the metal landscape the band left is very different to the one they are returning to, which begs many a question, most notably, why now? And perhaps even more importantly why at all? Well, for those amongst you that are hoping to find the answers to those questions in the bands latest album “Anger. Denial. Acceptance” you are going to find nothing but disappointment I’m afraid.
The band’s first album in nearly a decade is a somewhat hackneyed albeit safe attempt at a reinvention whilst also being a thinly veiled attempt at reclaiming potential former glories, all of which smacks not only of a band that is out of touch with its current audience, but also with themselves.
Many of the characteristics that shaped the band in their noughties hey day have largely been removed, much of the electronic/industrial edge has been taken off and a more metalcore approach à la Silent Civilian has been taken, which in the process has compromised much of what made Spineshank so enjoyable in the first place.
The other thing that is somewhat disappointing is just how lifeless and unmemorable the material on display is, I’ve listened to the album probably 3-4 times in preparation of writing this review and I couldn’t tell you a single song title or memorable lyric anywhere on this album, which is frustrating given the fact that nestled somewhere in the bands back catalogue there are some genuine dance floor killers.
Spineshank were in a prime position where they could have returned after a lengthy hiatus and completely reshaped their sound and themselves as a band,but instead they have chosen to rest on their laurels and recycle everyone else’s riffs in a vain attempt at holding onto something that died a very long time ago.
It is hard to say whether Spineshank left it too long to return of if perhaps they should have even bothered to return at all, if this is the best they have to offer in today’s musical climate then I foresee a tough sell ahead for them, if nothing else the band will be able to continue to tour, but I can’t help but feel they will end up being a band that time forgot.