October 10, 2022

Skull Fist is a very much larger than life Canadian heavy metal band from Toronto and formed in 2006 by the singer and guitarist Zach Slaughter aka Zak Schottler and he remains as the only remaining original member mainly as he seems to have a revolving door policy when it comes to other musicians in the band and, apparently, he even left himself for a short while in 2015!

Paid In Full is now the bands fourth release with Slaughter supplying vocals and guitar, Casey Slade on bass and backing vocals with J J Tartaglia on drums. The band revels under the NWOTHM (New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal) banner and in these days with so many sub-genre’s of rock then it’s great to see a band flying the flag unashamedly for old school, tradition heavy metal. Paid In Full could have been released anytime from 1974 to 2022 as it is a delicious, hard rocking metal album, full of trademark riffs and lead guitar breaks with a wonderful bass and drums combination over which Slaughter proves himself to be an incredibly effective singer. The band plays hard and fast so there is obviously a touch of speed metal in there too so that you get a combined flavour of Exciter, Anvil, Triumph, Scorpions, Helloween and the British metal of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest of the late ’70s and early ’80s. For sure, if you are into NWOTHM then it follows that you are a fan of NWOBHM too and, in truth, is there really a difference between the two?

Paid In Full is glorious testimony to the hard rock credentials of the band with each member of the triumvirate giving his all with pounding bass and drums setting up the exquisite guitar of Slaughter and his delicious, lived-in vocals are exactly perfect for the pounding metal that the band puts out; just why are three-piece bands so loud and powerful? The album is short at 34-minutes but packs an almighty punch with each track being a short, sharp lesson in how to write concise metal. The title refers to Zak Slaughter and his often-painful career in the music business meaning that he has paid his dues along the way, learned the trade and taken a few on the chin along the way so that Paid In Full has been formed on the forge of pain, suffering and long hard days and nights on the road. Now it’s payback time and the album does exactly what it is supposed to do i.e., it’s one hell of a hard rocking metal album that takes no prisoners!

Sometimes all you need is wind in your hair and hard, full-on metal pumping out of the speakers at maximum volume and on days like that then what better band to turn to than Skull Fist and the crunchingly perfect Paid In Full?

Paid In Full

  1. Paid In Full (5:34)
  2. Long Live The Fist (3:40)
  3. Crush Kill Destroy (4:13)
  4. Blackout (4:58)
  5. Madman (3:37)
  6. For The Last Time (4:01)
  7. Heavier Than Metal (3:36)
  8. Warrior Of The North (3:47)