Skeletonwitch: Serpents Unleashed
With this album, Skeletonwitch celebrates its 10th anniversary, an important milestone in the journey of any band. But unlike other bands that believe too much in their own hype or that fall apart with too much success, the boys in Skeletonwitch simply keep their heads down, determined to carry on strong. Their last album, Forever Abomination (2011), was a powerful and convincing body of work, one that not only brought the band back into the Billboard Top 200 but also showed that thrash metal could be simultaneously melodic, heavy, and exciting without compromising the core sense of what the music is all about. Skeletonwitch is an awesome band and have never disappointed. This album is no exception.
With this new album, Skeletonwitch offers fans nearly a dozen new tracks that successfully build on what they've already done. Most of the songs have a familiar quality to them—Skeletonwitch does have a sound, after all—but they never seem to be relying on easy formulas, phoning things in rather than giving it all they've got. The music here is played with precisely the kind of energy fans have come to expect from this band. My favorite thing about this album was its consistent turn to melodic lines, especially in Evan Linger's bass parts. He reminds me of Steve Harris in the way he carries melodic passages through the larger onslaught of the guitars and vocals. I've often thought of Skeletonwitch as thrash metal's answer to Iron Maiden; with this album, the comparison seems that much stronger.
Chance Garnette's vocals sound strong, perhaps stronger than they have before. In the past, he sometimes sounded a little reedy. This time around, though, his vocals are rich and deep, a crisp growl performed with enough articulation to understand most of the lyrics. Nate Garnette and Scott Hedrick's guitars sound amazing from start to finish as does Dustin Boltjes's drumming. For readers who loved Forever Abomination, this is a worthy successor. For those new to this band, be sure to give this one a listen and then try to catch the band on the road. They are an amazing live band.
1. Serpents Unleashed
2. Beneath Dead Leaves
3. I Am of Death (Hell Has Arrived)
4. From a Cloudless Sky
6. Burned From Bone
7. Blade on the Flesh
8. This Evil Embrace
10. More Cruel than Weak
11. Born of the Light
Added: November 2nd 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
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