It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Skeletonwitch. At a time when metalcore seemed to reign supreme and thrash was mired in rehash purgatory along comes this band from Ohio that infused new life in the extreme metal scene by combining blackened and death vocals over fresh thrash riffs. Beyond the Permafrost was my introduction to the band and seemed to wake the world up on what they were about and Breathing through the Fire was a continuation with some subtle improvements. The only concern I had that as the band continued to move forward if would they stagnate and be a one trick pony with the fourth release ‘Forever Abomination. A “once you’ve heard one Skeletonwitch album you’ve heard them all” if you will. Gladly I can report that this is not the case. The breakdown after the jump.
What you can expect: If you’re familiar with Skeletonwitch then you know that the songs are ripping thrash feasts averaging 3 minutes in length. The longest track is just a few ticks over 4 minutes. With this release is also some softer passages namely as in the opener “This Horrifying Force” that is ominous in tone and then kicks in gear. Expect some songs to go against the grain and introduced different styles such as the ‘Infernal Resurrection’ which has a riff that is more of alt rock vibe but it works with Chance Garnette’s blackened vocals over the top before it starts ripping into the style we’re familiar with and alternates back and forth.
The Good: There is quite a bit of good on Forever Abomination. Chance continues to be one of the best vocalists in extreme metal with his fantastic range between blackened and death vocals. The dual guitar set up with Nate Garnette and Scott Hedrick have come up with some great riffs throughout the album. The production for the most part is pretty good on here as you can actually hear the bass lines from Evan Linger and the drum skills of new guy Dustin Boltjes is fast and clean with noticeable levels of bass kicks and double bass. There is not a boring track on this album overall.
The Bad: There isn’t too much wrong with this album other then the mix on the vocals. Chance’s vocals are always a highlight for me and though he still shows his range on here the mix is somewhat muddied where the lyrics aren’t as coherent as on previous releases. Now this could be because the promo is at 128k and therefore not as loud as it should be. But it’s really a minor quibble.
So yes, if you are a fan of extreme metal and want an ass kicking good time with some fresh tunes, by all means pick up a copy of Forever Abomination which is out now pretty much anywhere. In the meantime here are the two tracks released off the album so you can get a taste of what I’ve been yapping about and decide if you want to buy in.