Shows a new direction

A lot has happened in the world of modern this modern thrash band.

Losing a singer can only lead in one of two directions and after unceremonious removal of original singer Chance Garnett, his guitarist brother Nate and the rest of the band have a fair bit to prove after two albums that have seen them take comfort in their sound and not overly challenge themselves or their listeners. The release of an EP with new vocalist Adam Clemans brought some interesting new ideas, but here on a full length album is where the band gets to show, in full, the new directions of their music.

Opener ‘Fen Of Shadows’ is a slow burn, gradually building and twisting into form. The first thing to notice is the band have all but dropped their old thrash sound and allowed themselves to be completely immersed in black metal, helped very ably by their new vocalist. The other big standout is the track length, clocking in at almost eight minutes this is the longest track the band has yet produced and a hell of a standout.

The band make a close return to their death/thrash sound of old as they pass through ‘Temple of the Sun’ but include gang chants throughout the chorus to keep the listener on their toes while never completely looking back and staying very much on the blackened side of things.

Delving deep back into their new blackened sound on the album title track, one of the best, showcases the new direction while holding onto the melody Skeletonwitch has always displayed. But this is best displayed on their longest track, ‘The Vault’ pounding away on your senses for almost nine minutes, setting the mood early on with a quiet lead in before painting all the musical space available black.

This album is a pointer to new horizons (depths?) that Skeletonwitch intend on travelling to as they become a black metal band. By no means the best black metal release this year, or even in the last couple of years, but it is an excellent reset by a band who were beginning to stale and they knew it.

80%

  1. Fen of Shadows
  2. When Paradise Fades
  3. Temple of the Sun
  4. Devouring Radiant Light
  5. The Luminous Sky
  6. The Vault
  7. Carnarium Eternal
  8. Sacred Soil