Review | Devilskin – Barracuda [single release]

Independent Release

4 years have passed since the smashing `Red’ album from New Zealand metallists Devilskin. Reporting back with a cover version of Heart’s ass-kicking ,,Barracuda” was not entirely what I expected, but with Jennie Skulander on vocals, Devilskin has the powerhouse vocalist to make it fire.


,,Barracuda” is a hit from a different era. Times when heavy rock was ruling the airwaves, bands were exploring with new sounds and music. Heart’s iconic track is prove of those times with its groove that ploughs with appeal and its iconic shrugging riff, to which Nancy Wilson in 2019 admitted that it was borrowed off of Nazareth’s cover version of the Joni Mitchell track ,,This Flight Tonight”.

Above all the insane riff dominance and persistent galloping groove, it was Nancy’s sister Ann Wilson who made the song well with her scathing and soaring powerhouse vocal delivery.


Now Skulander is no Wilson, but boy are we in for a surprise! Jennie flexes her voice around the daunting hooks and towering pitches gracefully, delivering the needed piercing power to make the song orbit. She wails and soars with tremendous power, injecting her personal persona without straying from the root of the original. Belting it out with agony and stride, she conveys the initial message of the song. Taken aback by the misogynistic culture permeating the music business at the time, ,,Barracuda” and its metaphorical lyrical content was a statement of the era set afire by Jennie’s captivating performance. 

Skulander presses with stride and towers fiercely atop the shrugging riff. Nail Vincent’s tastefully sustained guitar underneath flourishes a vibrant specter of settling unease making the song’s poise shoot forward. The original urging groove is present with Nic Martin’s harder hitting accolades, metal’ed up for modernity. But it is Paul Martin’s bass lines in the front of mix that create this cover version’s heavier discharge. It is a stampede of power that is modern and fresh, making Devilskin’s version of ,,Barracuda” one for the books.


Devilskin’s sign of life is a solid delivery of a classic one many burned their fingers on. Their version of the hit single ,,Barracuda” displays their admiration for the original while blending it with a hinge of modernity and metal. The performance oozes respect and still fires on all engines, with Jennie ascending with her ferocious vocal delivery matching Ann Wilson’s torrent.  

Release date: March 2024



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