Skull Fist is a heavy metal band from Canada formed in 2006, and releasing four albums to date – ‘Head Of The Pack’ (2011), ‘Chasing The Dream’ (2014), ‘Way Of The Road’ (2018), and ‘Paid In Full’ released in 2022.
Founded by Zach Schottler (credited as Zach Slaughter), Skull Fist, along with bands such as Unleash The Archers, Striker, and Eternal Judgement, have followed in the footsteps of countrymen Anvil, Exciter, and Annihilator to bring Canada to the attention of metalheads all around the world. And with their fourth album ‘Paid In Full’, Skull Fist is reinforcing its position as one of Canada’s leading metal exports. Their new album is a feisty eight-song storm, played out over a galloping thirty-three minutes.
The title song ‘Paid In Full’ opens the album – and is a powerful slab of heavy metal. The kind of power-laden metal that British legends Judas Priest brought to the world. Skull Fist are well known for wandering around the heavy metal genre, visiting every corner, and delivering a varied array of aural delights. And their fourth album is no different – so strap yourselves in and prepare for the oncoming onslaught! Still, a relatively young band when compared to the likes of Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Anvil – Skull Fist launch their own prophetic song ‘Long Live The Fist’. And I reckon they’re gonna live long and prosper, especially with the blistering pace and incredible headbang ability of songs such as ‘Long Live The Fist’. I’m telling you, traditional metal has never sounded so good! ‘Crush, Kill, Destroy’ is the most melodic song heard so far and is a rumbling thunderstorm of mid-tempo mid-paced “foot on the monitor” styled metal. The infectious level is off the fucking charts – Skull Fist delivering their own blend of NWOBHM and traditional metal. And the change of pace towards the end of ‘Crush, Kill, Destroy’ is just phenomenal!
‘Blackout’ (and no, it’s not a cover of the Scorpions classic) is a thunderous cacophony of all-out balls-out heavy metal – featuring an incredibly attractive and infectious groove-laden riff. It’s just so freaking awesome! The swagger ‘Blackout’ shows off is just top-notch, and may attract more than just a few fans of hard rock over to the dark side, err, I mean the heavy metal side. A menacing feel rises high to the surface for ‘Madman’ – a bold and bludgeoning heavy foot stomp that makes Black Sabbath seem tame! But remember earlier, when I said Skull Fist likes to visit every corner of the heavy metal genre! Five songs in and everyone from a different standpoint. There is also an epic and majestic feel surrounding ‘Madman’ – the kind of feel that the legendary band Dio gave off with everything they released. R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio. ‘For The Last Time’ picks up the pace and scorches the Earth as it races frantically on. The speed will liven up the world’s mosh pits, with heads just a blur as metalheads give their necks a serious workout.
Now then, is there anything heavier than metal? Skull Fist seems to think so – ‘Heavier Than Metal’ coming to life with a guitar sound highly reminiscent of the iconic NWOBHM evolution. The pace of ‘Heavier Than Metal’ is incredible, keeping the die-hard metal heads very happy – me included! For ‘Heavier Than Metal’ is by far and away from the best song on offer, highly infectious and overly catchy. I defy anyone to not be headbanging right now! And to the album’s final hurrah – the blistering pace of ‘Warrior Of The North’. The fastest song on the album, ‘Warrior Of The North’ completes a phenomenal, final double salvo of explosive heavy metal that will live long in the memory. What an incredible end to a terrific thirty-three minutes of metal. Long live the fist!
Overall, a barnstorming barrage of infectious and head bang-able traditional heavy metal.
Paid In Full
Long Live The Fist
Crush, Kill, Destroy
For The Last Time
Heavier Than Metal
Warrior Of The North
Skull Fist: Facebook
Release Year: 2022
Label: Atomic Fire Records
Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire, and Metal-Roos.