Thursday, August 18, 2016
Skeletonwitch : "The Apothic Gloom"
Gloom is just a figure of speech. Though I would expect the addition of Wolvhammer vocalist Adams Clemens to perhaps move their sound in a darker direction. This is marginal at best as it's business as usual with these thrashing riff merchants. Production wise there is the biggest shift has the wall of gain dialed to 11 at 80 mph is more subtle and creates a more organic picture of what they do. "Well of Despair" is a shade more aggressive. The dueling guitar try to out race one another and Clemens deliver doesn't strike me as having the same level of charisma as his predecessor. "Black Waters" is the first song where he makes his mark, this shows through hints of his more hard core flavored past gives his delivery more command. The guitar solos on this song exceed what has been displayed in the first two songs and pick up where the guitarists left off clawing their way towards the top of the metal guitar heap.
Blast beats are more noticeable on "Red Death, White Light" as well as more sonically enhanced guitar tone. The only draw back is all four songs are paced very much the same with blistering chugs creating neck snapping metronome to head bang to if that is what you primarily look for in a song. The vocals are well layered, but I don't hear a lot to set this band aside from the hordes of others doing similar.I'll give this album a 7, as it's well executed and for young bashers hungry for new metal this might be enough for them, but if you are going to play thrash be it blackened or not then you need to be dark enough to hold yourself to today's ever increasing demands for heaviness or do it in a way that stands out from the pack, which I hear the band at too blurry of a threshold to make this crucial listening for yours truly. So how refined is your palate?