By Robin Steeley (RS11)
As I prepare to listen to the latest album by shock metal thrash outfit Skitzo, I’m first drawn to the simplicity of this latest offering, no gimmicks “DEMENTIA PRAECOX” is a heavy hitting raw assault. From the opening scream to the final track this is an onslaught of metal. The band consists of Lance Ozanix as frontman/guitars with Nate Clark on bass/vocals while Mike Carlie brings in the rhythm section (courtesy of Ariabes.) The album has been a long time coming; it began on Halloween night of 2009 and wasn’t finished until Halloween night of 2014! Recorded at KRAWL studios and mixed and mastered by Ben Schallert, then later remastered at Trax Worx SF by Justin Weis, it was produced by Kurt Houser who sadly passed away before the completion of the album.
With a mixture of originals and obscure covers that pay homage to their heaviest influences, it’s full of music’s past worth paying tribute to. It opens with track “Cerebral Hemorrhage” from Skullduggery, a band of Skitzo’s former guitarist Ken Springer who passed away in 1995 and was part of the most infamous line up of this group. Skitzo used to open many sets with this particular song. Next up is “Back To The Grave” a new Skitzo original that highlights their classic sound. Also included here are Axe Witch’s “Born in Hell” and “Mindless Corruption” originally written by an early SF band Posthumous as well as Nate’s band, PCP’s” Lust & Perversion.”
I think while I like the covers, the Skitzo tunes were my favorite, particularly “Sick Son of a Bitch” previously unreleased from 1982 and new tracks, they are classic Skitzo at its finest, “March of the Rhino” a brutal yet grooving track and the siege of “World War 666” with its apocalyptic doom and “Deep in Thought Of Killing You” then the dreamy ending of “Attack of the Zombie Hippies” an easy crowd pleaser. Keep listening, as there are hidden tracks for those who will wait. A fantastic surprise, an excellent cover of Kiss’s “Love Gun” done brilliantly and I LOVED the Alice Cooper cover of “Ballad of Dwight Fry” these hidden gems all come together to make this an interesting release worthy of adding to your collection.
Impressively it is the bands 19th record and while it might not win them awards or a nod from a major label, it’s a solid offering and worth repeated listening. It’s metal in its purest, rawest most brutal form. Without paying attention to current formulas or trends its blistering drum beats and violent vocals are pure Skitzo goodness. It has an 80’s old school thrash vibe that you will enjoy if you have a love for music from that era, or if you are new to the genre.
Check out the band at www.skitzo.biz for more info.