Forever Abomination

Written by: AP on 21/12/2011 17:16:19

Since their performance at the esteemed Ozzfest last year, things have begun falling into place for Ohio based Skeletonwitch. Their mix of classic Bay Area thrash and Norwegian black metal earned the respect of both markets and now, seven years and four albums into their career, the band truly comes to its own on "Forever Abomination", a glorious concoction of soul thrashing black sorcery and medieval imagery.

Let's get one thing straight from the get-go: "Forever Abomination" does not cater to people on the lookout for diversity nor to people expecting the envelope to be pushed in any direction. Skeletonwitch play blackened thrash with a conviction, and that conviction leaves no room for histrionics during the two-to-three minutes that virtually every song on the album lasts. Instead, the band is hellbent on releasing an endless torrent of blazing heavy metal riffs, scorching tremolo and primal shrieks of such supreme quality that it is difficult to pinpoint deficiencies across the album, which is a darker and heavier proposition in comparison to previous outings.

Indeed, the enlistment of Grammy winning producer Matt Hyde, who has worked with colossal metal and hardcore acts like Slayer and Hatebreed in the past, seems to have afforded the music of Skeletonwitch unprecedented depth and atmospheric density. The production is raw and expansive, allowing the band's thrash metal fury and cold melodic ambience to coexist without compromise, to the extent that drawing parallels to early Amon Amarth and Children of Bodom sometimes feels like the most appropriate thing to do. Songs like "The Infernal Resurrection" and "Rejoice in Misery" are perfect examples, translating classic riffs into pop hooks without sacrificing the band's extreme metal edge.

When listening to the vibrant riffs and melodies, not to mention the deep and sturdy rhythm section, which - at the cost of placing the vocals slightly lower in the mix - are the driving force behind "Forever Abomination", it is sometimes difficult to fathom the evil and despair underlying vocalist Chance Garnette's lyrics, but through excellent placement of foreboding slow sections within the likes of "Cleaver of Souls" Skeletonwitch manage to maintain a constant sense of dread familiar to fans of true Norwegian black metal. Although the album is not a serious contestant to classic thrash and black metal albums, it comes across as a magnificient celebration of their immortality without compromising the core values of either genre.


Download: This Horrifying Force (the Desire to Kill), Reduced to the Failure of Prayer, The Infernal Resurrection, Rejoice in Misery, Sink Beneath Insanity
For the fans of: Amon Amarth, Byfrost, Goatwhore, Warbringer
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.10.2011
Prosthetic Records

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