If you call your band Skull Fist you should really have a certain obligation towards your audience. That band needs to play music as ridiculously brutal as the name, but with just that touch of cheese. It’s a name that shouldn’t take itself too seriously, sadly Chasing The Dream fails to hit those goals.
This is an old school speed metal album that is so 80’s it almost hurts, with even the production sounding like it’s somehow found itself trapped in the future. We’ve got big widdly solos, fast guitars, over the top vocals and song titles like “Call of the Wild”. All of this directly contributes to my first issue with this album. If you are going to ape those that came before you, you have to do something different or at least make it feel exciting! My favourite example of this is Airbourne, who let’s face it are basically AC/DC 2.0. Do I care? No. Why? Because they make that style of rock and roll sound fresh and exciting again. Do tracks like “Bad For Good” do that? No, they really don’t.
That’s not to say this album is horrible. It’s not really. What it is, is boring. Which in many ways is worse. I’m going to be honest right now. Once I finish writing up this review I will probably never listen to it again. The only song that really caught my imagination, “Don’t Stop the Fight”, which has much more of an Anthrax vibe to it, will get stuck on a playlist most likely, but I’m never going to seek it out. Because I’m already bored of it.
There’s no denying Skull Fist are probably quite talented musicians, they can certainly play as a listen to the instrumental “Shred’s Not Dead” will prove. Yet, it doesn’t change the fact that this album feels about as essential as a wooly jumper in the Caribbean. If you love this style of music and just want more of it then you might want to give this a look. If however you already own a bunch of 80s NWOBHM albums and are quite content with what you’ve got, I’d probably give it a swerve.