The perfect soundtrack for the incoming 2022 edition of Spooky Season, Frayle’s sophomore outing is haunting and heavy, existing in an ethereal space that’s both exciting and engaging. With Skin & Sorrow, the Cleveland outfit has upped the ante of what “beauty in the breakdown” truly means combining elements of Goth, Doom, Post-Rawk, and even Prog at times to give listeners an otherworldly listening experience that truly transcends.
But I digress.
“Treacle & Revenge” immediately sets the overall ominous tone from Sean Bilovecky and Gwyn Strang (Who write and record everything with Jason Knotek and Jon Vinson accompanying for live performances) with droning guitars piercing through a menacing air, a rumbling percussion menacingly resounding, and Strang’s distinct vocals hovering over all like an ethereal wraith breathily wielding powerful words that are equally sweet and sour. Next, “Bright Eyes” dwells in that same kind of sonic atmosphere that artists like Junius, SOM, or Constants do with Strang, ahem, echoing the works of Aimee Echo if Human Waste Project ventured into Post-Rawk territory instead of Nu-Metal.
The title track has been out in the ether for some time (Check out the glorious Frayle-directed video treatment here) and if this didn’t immediately hook you with its’ slow burning dirge at the epicenter then maybe Frayle ain’t the artist for you. For the rest of us, the track is a humming, burgeoning sound experiment that perpetually hangs over a precipice and constantly threatens to fall in. In a good way, of course.
“Ipecac” touches into that Post-Rawk noise once again for a song that has Strang’s sing-songy delivery moving towards a gargantuan chorus, “Stars” grows and grows into this massive shoegazin’ headbangers delight tapping into a primal mood along its’ ascent toward the inevitable peak, and “Roses” is equally moody and melancholic offering a different flavor in the Frayle taste palette.
“Sacrifant” is a gnarly Black Sabbath-esque wall of sound with a blistering bombast of riffage and percussive swells with Strang once again delivering the perfect dichotomy to the noise that both she and Bilovecky conjure to back such a unique voice. “All The Things I Was” is a biting slice of hypnotic heaviness, “Song for the Dead” is a determined little ditty that’s got guts to give adding some John Carpenter-esque synth elements to the fray, and then “Perfect Wound” is the perfect end for Skin & Sorrow with a dark, driven final statement
Skin & Sorrow lands on September 23rd through Aqualamb Records and Lay Bare Recordings. You can pre-order your copy now by heading here or here. For the latest from Frayle, follow the trail of socials by clicking here, here, and here.