Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed
Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed (2013)
Reviewed by Kylie McInnes
A new Skeletonwitch album? And I finally get it when it’s brand-spankin’-new?! SQUEE! Wait…that might be a wholly inappropriate reaction to getting a smoldering platter of furious blackened thrash, but holy crap do I ever not care!
This is one furious half-hour of soul-thrashing insanity. How furious? My enjoying this album made my girlfriend‘s neck sore. Yeah, typical Skeletonwitch turning the intensity level to 11.
The album opens up with bang with “Serpents Unleashed,” and other than a bit of a lull with “Beneath Dead Leaves” and the opening to the 4 minute epic (it’s Skeletonwitch, one song here breaks the 4 minute mark, ergo, it’s the epic…trad metal logic) “More Cruel Than Weak,” the riffs just keep coming.
It’s really hard to pinpoint what songs and parts are highlights here, since everything comes in what is essentially a category 5 hurricane of through-composed thrashery, but “I Am Of Death” and “Burned From Bone” just have that little extra “something” to make them a bit more special than the rest of the album (which is saying quite a bit). Even though there’s almost zero repetition, there’s a definite “catchiness” to those tracks (and “Burned From Bone” even has an actual melodic guitar solo!). It’s everything we’ve come to expect from Skeletonwitch, since not much has changed since their 2005 debut (where leaving the room for a moment means you miss 3 songs), but they’re still putting out high-quality, soul-severing thrash.
While this isn’t quite as good as 2011’s Forever Abomination or 2007’s Beyond The Permafrost (their best), this is still a phenomenal album and by my count, one of the best thrash albums of the year. Sure, if epic power metal or melodic prog is your forte, this might not be your thing, but if you’re looking for bone-shattering riffs and flesh-shredding vocals, Skeletonwitch should be right up your alley.
4.25 // 5