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Formed in Texas sometime around 1990, Skrew represented the vision of guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Adam Grossman, and despite being referred to as a band, the group was more of a solo expression of Grossman's affinity for what would become known as industrial metal. The genre was still being forged during the early '90s and Grossman deserves credit for shaping the direction and identity of a music form that made similar artists like Nine Inch Nails and White Zombie huge stars. While timely and stylistically comparable to the genre's household names, Skrew lacked the charisma and most importantly the songs to compete, and ultimately moved away from the electronic musical textures in the late '90s, but without great material, the affects were predictably mediocre. The group's 1992 debut on Metal Blade, Burning In Water, Drowning in Flame, sold surprisingly well and it did seem for awhile that the band might be on their way to the gold and platinum status Nine Inch Nails was enjoying. The follow-up Dusted, released in 1994, is perhaps the outfit's finest offering and received plenty of critical acclaim just as Skrew's previous record had, but sales and interest in the group must not have been growing fast enough for Grossman and the musician decided to change his musical direction. The result was 1996's Shadow of a Doubt. More traditional and guitar-driven than Skrew's early industrial metal, Shadow of a Doubt signaled a bit of a decline and further highlighted Skrew's capable, but unremarkable songwriting. Grossman's talent it seems is in the production of blistering combinations of metal riffs and inventive programming, not straight-up dirge-metal performance. The band's final offering in 1997, Angel Seed XXIII, was even more of a disappointment. Fans only familiar with Skrew's debut might not even recognize this bland attempt at something like new metal. Despite the disappointing abandonment of their signature sound, Skrew deserves credit and respect for having the brains to create something forward-thinking and interesting during a brief period when that approach to making rock music was actually being encouraged and rewarded. ~ Vincent Jeffries