Skeleton Birth

KB, Malmö - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Skeleton Birth, a relatively new Swedish act, had joined up with Raubtier for their tour through Sweden, a gig sure to land them more fame and glory on their way up the metal ladder.

“Thank you, we are honoured to play here today!”
- Morgan Frööjd (vocals/guitar)

At first look, Skeleton Birth seemed to imitate the style of Raubtier note by note – a three-person line-up (although it took me some time to notice their drummer, Erik Forsgren, as he was pushed out to the side of the small sage), military styled haircut on the vocalist, guitar hanging the same, unconventionally high manner. A clear flirtation with military running through the entire concept.
The likeness ends there however. Musically, it took me some time to properly pinpoint exactly what Skeleton Birth was going for. Of course, the less than splendid sound mix they had didn’t exactly help them, but after listening to their debut album, War Diary, it seems like we are closer to Slayer territory, without reaching the same level of personality as them.
Lyrically, the entire album, and thus all the songs we heard this night, is based upon Frööjd’s experiences as a soldier in Afghanistan. Now, while the topic as such can be an interesting one, the way they were delivered were not. Given, I’m going by what I could decipher at the gig, and after listening a bit to the album. I haven’t actually read the lyrics, and may have missed something, but from what I could make out, it seemed like they all dealt with our protagonist being right, and everyone else being wrong. Also, a chorus built entirely upon repeating the same four-word sentence over and over again (see Seven Years And Married, or Troops In Contact for excellent examples) is not even ok on a high school level!

All of this could have been, if not forgiven, then at least overlooked, if the performance was in order.
But, as I mentioned, here the look came into play, in which Skeleton Birth again only came off as a light version of Raubtier, leaving all the personality and entertaining bits out to focus more on the tough guy attitude.
Frööjd did a good thing in traducing us to almost each and every song, the first one excluded, and this is something other new bands would do well in copying, and he showed some humility towards the crowd, but it wasn’t enough the experience above all the downsides.
There wasn’t much response to gather from the crowd either – apart from shouting in between songs, Malmö was completely immobile and inactive during Skeleton Birth’s gig. Draw from that what you may.

I will describe Skeleton Birth with a word I have never before used in a review – banal.
Looking like a light version of Raubtier, sounding like a light version of Slayer, and writing light version lyrics about deeply nuanced conflicts, this was simply not good enough. On top of it all, it was boring as well.
Given time, hopefully even this band ill bloom, but for now, it’s back to the garage, because this baby certainly needs more work.

Setlist (incomplete):

The Voyage Of Elysium
Seven Years And Married
Human Sacrifice
Troops In Contact
Democracy By Firepower

Skeleton Birth

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