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Skinny Puppy

Process

Format: CD   Release Date: 08/10/1999
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Skinny Puppy's final album as a band, The Process took three years to complete thanks to a series of minor and major catastrophes -- cEvin Key's acting-related injury, Nivek Ogre's departure from the group, Dwayne Goettel's fatal heroin overdose, and several producer changes (David Ogilvie is the only one officially credited, but Martin Atkins, Roli Mosimann, and Greg Reely all took their turns). With all the turmoil surrounding the various recording sessions, it's little wonder that the end result is a muddled affair. It's not for lack of trying, though -- The Process does attempt to broaden Skinny Puppy's sound beyond the usual industrial abrasion, leaning in a more melodic, straightforward direction and employing a fairly basic, stripped-down mix. Unfortunately, the group can't quite pull it off consistently, whether it's because melody just isn't Ogre's vocal strength, or whether because they couldn't quite find the focus required to push their sound to a different level. The latter certainly plays a part in the failed attempt to make The Process a concept album about a 1960s psychotherapy cult; the thematic unity just isn't there, and the concept winds up indecipherable. Still, credit must be given to the band for having finished the record at all, and in its own way, the confusion of The Process speaks volumes. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi

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