The Lion's Daughter - Skin Show
Season Of Mist
Experimental Industrial Sludge
10 songs (42:03)
Release year: 2021
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

Embracing the synth-aided direction taken on 2018's Future Cult, St Louis-based The Lion's Daughter may have taken things a little too far for some tastes on this, their fourth full-length. Where Future Cult pushed a disturbing, sci-fi pessimism, all despairingly roared vocals and intricate experiments in weaving together synths with the base metal, Skin Show takes a more refined and streamlined approach that is still interesting and distinct if a step down in terms of its chaotic disturbing effect. It's still metal, the vocals are still entirely bleak roars... but there are moments that rein in the heaviness a little in favour of an alternatively rumbling and upbeat electronic rock with vocal hooks on Sex Trap and an even more groovy approach on Snakeface. Both technically are great pieces of industrial-influenced heavy music yet placing these pieces all close to each other on the album's second half unbalances it, particularly with such cuts as the underwhelming and oddly minimalistic All Hell is Mine and title track.

Which is a shame because Skin Show starts very strongly indeed. Become the Night is essentially an amped-up intro piece that builds into a blackened gallop, mixing in almost danceable rhythms and keeping the synths to a subtle background, ending with literally smashing percussion. The groovy, intense Curtains weaves all the disparate influences of the band together well and balances lighter and heavier sections in songwriting terms - industrial, black, sludge, prog all possible touchstones even as the song avoids embracing any too closely. And although it's easy to find Neon Teeth a little too hook-focused on initial listens, it is definitely a grower with its upbeat post-punk drumming and John Carpenter-esque backing synths that aid rather than hinder the threatening guitars.

The following Dead in Dreams is one of the few more restrained pieces that feels effective, the guitars and vocals buried in favour of keyboards and drums. Maybe these are just teething problems as The Lion's Daughter work through their sound and determine where exactly they want it to be, yet the greater focus on electronic rock in places suggests that things aren't necessarily headed in the optimum direction. Surely the 00s industrial black metal vibes of Werewolf Hospital are worth exploring in greater depth as the band take what is already a pretty unique sound in stranger and darker directions? That's surely a richer vein to mine than aiming the band along the same trajectory as, say, Aborym's recent output, influenced more by the Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Mansons of the world. Apart from such nitpicking this is a solid album from a genuinely interesting metal band.

Killing Songs :
Curtains, Neon Teeth, Dead in Dreams, Werewolf Hospital
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by The Lion's Daughter that we have reviewed:
The Lion's Daughter - Future Cult reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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