The Lion’s Daughter 
Skin Show

The Lion’s Daughter is likely a lioness. Unless the lion bred with another big cat, like a tiger, and the offspring was a liger. That’s objectively pretty neat. The Lion’s Daughter are also a progressive/sludge metal band from St. Louis, Missouri. We’re talking about the latter, and this is their new album (4th overall), sexily titled Skin Show.

That’s a name I can get behind, if’n ya know what I mean. I can also get behind a band’s evolution. While I must confess I have never heard their first album, Shame On Us All, I can definitely understand the sentiment it portrays. The first one I heard was the next one, Existence is Horror, which was a decent, heavy, blackened sludge affair. The next one, Future Cult, is where shit got weird. They added some synth work into the proceedings, which honestly made it a lot more interesting than their previous work, despite not having much staying power for me.

The new one, the previously mentioned Skin Show, brings those synths back, so if you were looking for them to think it was mistake and go back to basics, well, jog on, friend. The good news is that the synths on this album play a significant role, don’t feel forced, and give some of the material a downright poppy feeling. Maybe even danceable. Uh oh.

Luckily, that “danceable” feeling comes in the form of a vibe sounding a lot like Assassins-era Nachtmystium, if you’re into that sort of thing. If you’re not, then you won’t enjoy the first track, “Become the Night.” It has a catchy chorus built around that vibe and I really dig it. The vocals may have an effect on them to accentuate frontman Scott Fogelbach’s growls and it… works.

The next one I’ll mention, the third track, “Neon Teeth,” begins with an eerie synth line which sounds similar to the main theme from the original “Halloween,” but different enough that it sounds inspired by without copying it. That’s not a knock because the sound of the synths overall, by design, have that 70s feel, which works well, and in places remind me a lot of Goblin, who provided the soundtrack for Dario Argento’s works, except there’s a heavier backbone.

Shortly after, two great song titles in a row come in the form of “Werewolf Hospital,” which sounds like a great idea for a B horror movie I would definitely watch (although does that mean the hospital treats werewolves or is ran by them?) and “Sex Trap,” which is what I would have to set for any female to pay attention to me (this is probably close to 100% true). Other than great song titles, what’s endearing about these two is that they each have recognizable hooks, but are also more straightforward metal songs with only a small synth presence.

At the end of the album, there’s the title track, “Skin Show,” and the closer “The Chemist.” Where I’m from, they call the latter a “cooker.” Both of these formidably continue the narrative laid out by the rest of the album, but the former definitely has more of a guitar presence than the other tracks. “The Chemist” is the longest track, which almost always irks me being at the end, but this is 10 songs in 42 minutes, so it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

With all I’ve said here, you can probably guess that I dig this record. I do. Yes, the synths are very prevalent, but this band is still metal to the core (not metalcore). The album’s description tells of a 70’s New York atmosphere and it makes sense. This is the band’s finest hour so far. It’s their most cohesive, well written, confident work. It’s endlessly addicting with catchy choruses everywhere you look. If you’re asking yourself if you’ll like it, just check out one track. If you like that, you’ll like the rest of the album. That doesn’t mean that it all sounds the same, but if you like the overall feel of one, you’ll enjoy the rest. Pick this up. Do yourself a friggin’ service!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
May 18th, 2021

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