Sunday, October 20, 2013

Skeletonwitch - Serpents Unleashed - Album Review

Year: 2013

The first guy who ever had the idea to mix Black Metal and Thrash Metal, was a true visionary indeed. The rapidity and aggressiveness of Thrash Metal and the dark evil tone of Black Metal complement each other in a manner that it feels totally natural. These two genres were meant to be together! It goes without saying that Black Thrash Metal is fast growing to become one of my favorite sub genres of all time. And one of the fast rising bands in this genre is the mighty Skeletonwitch. Their last album, 'Forever Abomination' ended up in lot of top 20 lists of 2011. Will they be able to create the same magic (or should I say black magic?) with their upcoming album?

Skeletonwitch have created a unique sound for themselves over the past 10 years, ever since their inception in 2003. Their degree of their success with their four full lengths can be accredited to this unique tone which they have managed to create for themselves. Now, the band is all set to release their fifth full length album titled 'Serpents Unleashed' on 29th October 2013, through Prosthetic Records.

The power chord driven Thrash Metal sound layered upon the Black Metal tremolo rhythms results in something fast, angry and dark. The guitar duo of Nate Garnette and Scott Hendrick unleash riff after dark riff that is sure to make every listener whirlwind the heck out his/her head. The album is a very fast one and it kicks into top gear, right from the opening track 'Serpents Unleashed'. With each passing track, the music shows no signs of slowing down and at times becomes even more rapid.

The tracks are pretty short in length, but the frantic pace of the songs ensure that the band is able to pack enough material within that short length. The tone of the album is a very dark one, owing to the rhythm guitar work. This dark tone coupled with some blackened thrash riffs, generate an evil, adrenaline pumping flavor. The Thrash Metal power chord progressions have a slight old school feel to them. The vocals by Chance Garnette, complements the evil nature of the music as he spews out some vile and unholy lyrics.

The songs are filled with more than enough hooks to ensure that they resonate in the listener's head for a very long time. The guitar duo even manage to dish out some tasty solos now and then. It is not very common to hear the bass over all the commotion in a blackened album. But that is not the case here and the thumping bass lines of Evan Linger make their presence prominent. The drummer Dustin Boltjes, manages to keep the pace in top gear while also nailing some good fills. 

It is a hard job to pick out a few top tracks from this album because every track is just as good as the others and every single track is worthy of a mention. But the one track that is just slightly better than the rest is 'This Evil Embrace'. The tune on this track is a fine example of a perfectly executed combination of Thrash Metal and Black Metal. The production is crystal clean and everything can be heard loud and clear. Strangely enough, a non muddy production works well here, even with the Black Metal parts.

The only complaint that I have here is that, with a 32 minute runtime, the album makes me wish that there were more songs in there for me to fracture my neck to. The albums is a fast, twisted and evil serving that is sure to leave many necks sore.

Rating: 94%

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