If there’s one band that proves that genre labels are a little bit antiquated, it’s SKYND. Are they industrial? Sort of. Are they metal? Sort of. Are they – and here’s a term I haven’t seen thrown around in a hot minute – horrorcore? Sure, why not? What can be nailed down about this two-piece Australian act is that their music is centered around true crime, their founding in 2017 coinciding with an uptick in true crime podcasting and a renewed popularity for true crime television series. Their song titles are taken from real-life monsters, such as Katherine Knight, Jim Jones, and Elisa Lam. Their music videos are disturbing yet oddly compelling. And with their latest single, the duo look to cannibalize everything they stand for.
SKYND first played their newest song “Armin Meiwes” earlier this year while on tour in Europe to rave reviews. Sonically speaking, there’s plenty of meat on the bone, with the chorus using elements of djent, while the verses uses the syncopation and hip-hop-like dictation of nu metal, all with an electro-industrial base. The lyrics detail the cutting and the culinary aspects of the crimes, right down to the lines “roast the flesh, medium heat / add garlic, pepper, and salt / meat is too tough to eat / so I’ll feed it to the dog.”
For those uninitiated, Armin Meiwes was a repair technician who, in 2001, found a man who wanted to be eaten, offering himself to be voluntarily cannibalized (title of your next death metal song, anyone?). Long story short, Meiwes was arrested a year later and sentenced to eight and a half years for manslaughter charges, after authorities found body parts which he hadn’t consumed, as well as a videotape of the gruesome crimes which Meiwes, dubbed the Rotenburg Cannibal, kept for his own sexual gratification.
I mean, when a victim shares in dining on his own genitalia with his soon-to-be killer…
He was re-tried in 2006, after prosecutors argued that the initial defense, that being that he only killed his victim because the victim requested such, was null due to the aforementioned videotape. He was then convicted of murder and therefore sentenced to life imprisonment.
If any of that sounds familiar, yes, this is the same story that Rammstein modeled their 2004 song “Mein teil” after, though they are by no means the first artists to draw inspiration from these horrific crimes.
SKYND is the kind of music I would describe as a connoisseur’s choice: it’s not for everyone, but that isn’t inherently a bad thing. Those who are looking for something different, those brave souls who wish for a bit of danger that may have been missing in their music for some time, may find solace in the songcraft of SKYND, as jarring and shocking as the content within may be.
Check out the music video for “Armin Meiwes” below, though viewer discretion be advised: