Skeletonwitch - _Forever Abominations_
(Prosthetic Records, 2011)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (7 out of 10)
Sometimes the actual name of the band can give a listener clairvoyance into the content of the record. I'm not discussing album names, so let us focus on the name Skeletonwitch. First and foremost, it possesses a dedication to horror with varying degrees of pulp era entertainment. The name implies a certain fantasy where the skeletal remains of a witch or a possessed corpse devoted to darkness has come to do the listener harm. While there may be terror involved, there also exists a certain degree of coolness attached. I like the name Skeletonwitch as much as I enjoy other metal band names like Timeghoul and Electric Wizard. I enjoy band names when the music matches perfectly. Skeletonwitch is as filled with horror as it is cult like entertainment. It is complete soul thrashing black sorcery.

From the dark underworld of Ohio comes a band dedicated to the marriage between thrash and black metal. Taking equal parts from both genres, Skeletonwitch uses the tempo and energy of thrash and coats it with a sinister yet entertaining form of black metal. It is a style which is great in concept and rewarding in practice. This concept has also driven three of the band's previous efforts with moderate success. _Forever Abominations_ is the band's fourth release and sees the band making no plans for change in the future.

It is difficult to mark differences with _Forever Abominations_ compared to 2009's _Breathing the Fire_. In fact, the new effort by Skeletonwitch is difficult to compare to the entirety of the band's career, as little has changed in eight years. Still though, none of that matters as _Forever Abominations_ swings and slices just like the previous albums, but with as much vigor as their debut.

_Forever Abominations_, like previous records, is filled with ripped vocals from Chance Garnette and wild guitar solos from Scott Hendrix and Nate Garnette. Skeletonwitch welcomes a new drummer on _Forever Abominations_, which also marks the departure of longtime collaborator Derrick Nau. Still, newcomer Dustin Boltjes's work on _Forever Abominations_ is fantastic and filled with double kick and evil spirit. I hate to rely on this band for an above average metal record, but Skeletonwitch's past success has allowed me to expect nothing less than a delightful and well constructed album.

Little has changed in the world of Skeletonwitch. The band is gradually moving to a bigger audience with a stubborn desire to remain as badass as they once were. The band is almost radio friendly in a world where people could accept coarse vocals. The band's album art has also not changed, as they still feel the necessity to adorn their covers with goofy illustrations of skeleton witches. With the exception of the John Baizley illustrated _Beyond the Permafrost_, Skeletonwitch's covers have been a never ending gallery of comedic cartoons. Again, I believe this speaks to their character which as been distilled in their name. I hope this band never changes.


(article published 1/11/2011)

12/2/2007 J Ulrey 8 Skeletonwitch - Beyond the Permafrost
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