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Worship The Witch
Released: 2006, Independent
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Two years ago, Ohio’s Skeletonwitch e-mailed me looking to get their debut CD, AT ONE WITH THE SHADOWS, reviewed here at Metal Rules. I happily took on the effort and the band’s mix of power/thrash with blackened, rasped vocals was certainly appealing. Skip ahead to 2006 and Skeletonwitch has once again descended upon our fine site, this time with a not-so-humbly entitled twelve-minute, four-song E.P., WORSHIP THE WITCH. It is nice to hear the band has stuck to their guns by maintaining the melodic riffs and Chance Garnette’s shrieking rasp (think Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder crossed with Kreator’s Mille Petrozza) is still as harsh as ever but production-wise, WORSHIP THE WITCH is heads above AT ONE WITH THE SHADOWS. This is still a pretty low-fi recording by today’s standards but for an indie release, it sounds good.
Like “The Skullsplitter,” “Beyond The Permafrost” is an excellent kick-off. Chock full of tasty traditional metal riffs, this track is certainly the one that is the most memorable. “Feast Upon Flesh” is equally melodic but behind the galloping rhythm lies a brutality to the two-tiered vocals of Garnette. At one end, a guttural roar; the other, a throat-shredding shriek. Together, they form a vicious vocal assault that truly complements the music. “Forever In The Abyss” opens with a slow, creeping riff before launching into a mid-paced chug that is not unlike that of Amon Amarth (minus the Viking imagery, of course) before finally kicking into high gear for a thrashing conclusion.
The riffing of Nathan Garnette and Scott Hedrick draw influence heavily from the late-eighties Bay Area thrash bands and whether they are dropping a quick solo or cutting through the air with a razor-sharp lick, the guitars always sizzle. The production falters in Eric Harris’ bass sound—where is it exactly?—and Derrick Nau’s drums sound harsh and thin but if a label throws a few bucks in their direction, these problems could be easily rectified.
Hopefully, Skeletonwitch is able to land some kind of label deal for another full-length because WORSHIP THE WITCH shows a noticeable improvement over their previous effort. The band isn’t reinventing the wheel by any means but what they do, they do well and mixing melody with brutality is always a winner in my books.
KILLER KUTS: “Beyond The Permafrost,” “Feast Upon Flesh,” “Forever In The Abyss”
1. Beyond The Permafrost
2. Fire From The Sky
3. Feast Upon Flesh
4. Forever In The Abyss
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