Monday, October 24, 2011

Skeletonwitch - Forever Abomination

What kind of introduction can be made for this band? A band that still hasn't been pigeonholed to a single subgenre and sounds like "Death N' Roll" era Entombed meets Immortal meets Slayer. Despite the multiple influences, Skeletonwitch has perfected their sound, and it really shows on their fourth studio album, "Forever Abomination." A lot of bands who try to cram as many styles as possible, usually sound like one forced mess, but Skeletonwitch has managed to retain their own tight and concise sound, mixing thrash, death metal, black metal, doom metal and even some good ol' fashioned rock n' roll. 

The best part about this album is definitely the riffs and the variety of said riffs. The opening track "This Horrifying Force" features a nice acoustic guitar section before turning into a melodic riff followed by heavy and fast thrash riffs that assault the listener. And that's just one song! 

Songs like "Of Ash and Torment" and "Shredding Sacred Flesh" tend to stay more along the thrash side of the spectrum and they fit the mold well with ripping fast thrash riffs and some more techy, Megadeth styled riffs, while "The Infernal Resurrection" and "Sink Beneath Insanity" travel a more melodic path. 

But there's still more. "My Skin of Deceit" has its fair share of Yngwie Malmsteen moments, with some riffs that sound like they could have been written by the guitar virtuoso himself. Then there's arguably the best track on the album, "Cleaver of Souls" that has a heavy doom influence and it sounds amazing. 

Along with the fantastic riffage and variety there are also the other instruments that contribute to the music on "Forever Abomination." The bass is highlighted a few times throughout the album, providing some nice fills or a heavier feel during more melodic passages. The drums do a good job of keeping the pace and there are even a few blast beats on the album to make a more breakneck pace, sure to cause some serious headbanging. The lead guitar is another highlight on this record, from absolute shredding solos to more chilling melodic sections. The vocals are also an essential piece to the Skeletonwitch puzzle. They, for the most part, follow a black metal style but it's the delivery and the way that vocals mesh with the music so well that make them great.

All in all, there aren't many complaints to be made about this record. Every instrument and band member gave 100% and it definitely shows. "Forever Abomination" probably won't achieve "album of the year" status, but it is a very solid effort nonetheless, and is certainly worth checking out. 

Best songs:
"This Horrifying Force"
"Of Ash and Torment"
"Cleaver of Souls"

Be sure to check out and like Skeletonwitch on Facebook!

Final Rating - 4.25/5 or 85%.

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