Skeletonwitch

Thron – Pilgrim Review

Thron – Pilgrim Review

“Bands like Thron felt much more special to me as a fledgling member of the AMG staff back in early 2017. In those days, I was just happy to be covering something good. Thron‘s debut LP wasn’t just good; it was damn good, and the best record I had covered for this blog at the time I penned my review. Its follow-up, Abysmal, was nothing like its namesake. We unfortunately never received a promo for Abysmal, but it was a successful risk for the band, as they pivoted from pure meloblack to something more diverse and richly textured. As ironically great as Abysmal was, I am somewhat happy I never covered it in retrospect. Its successor, Pilgrim, is on an almost identical playing field.” Thron trend.

Panychida – Gabreta Aeterna Review

Panychida – Gabreta Aeterna Review

Panychida began as a fairly meat-and-‘taters black metal project in 2004, but has gradually been expanding its sound to include a greater emphasis on the classic heavy and thrash bands of yore. Gabreta Aeterna is the band’s most expansive and diverse effort yet, going all-in on the thrash, complete with righteous solos and rock-with-your-cock out passages.” Blackness in a hard place.

Ysgaroth – Storm Over a Black Sea Review

Ysgaroth – Storm Over a Black Sea Review

Ysgaroth is a “progressive extreme metal” band from Vancouver, their self-released Storm Over a Black Sea being their debut. While I’ve never entirely understood the phrase “extreme metal,” these Canucks throw everything and the kitchen sink into their poutine platter: black metal shrieks and tremolo, thrashy riffs, hardcore drumming, technical noodling, and avant-garde post-metal/sludge strangeness for a multi-car pileup with multiple fatalities.” Frequent wind.

Transcendence – Towards Obscurities Beyond Review

Transcendence – Towards Obscurities Beyond Review

“Riffs are really fucking important. It’s my job around here to write an additional seven hundred-ish words on top of “riffs good” or “riffs bad,” but when it comes to metal music, riffcraft is always my priority. It’s only when the riffs fail to stand out that first impressions require a deeper dig; if the “what” of the music fails to satisfy, perhaps the “why” can provide some solace. And that’s where California’s Transcendence vexes me.” Vex Arcana.

Botis – Grand Abominations Album Premiere and Review

Botis – Grand Abominations Album Premiere and Review

“Usually when we review albums, our readers have only our flimsy prose to rely on in order to make an informed purchase. Sure, we’ll embed a Bandcamp single or music video into the review in almost all cases, but those pre-release tracks are typically selected in order to quickly hook the listener, rather than to give a broad overview of the record in question. So then, what we’re doing with Grand Abominations, the debut LP of Philadelphia black/prog/thrash metal act Botis, is a bit of a treat: you not only get to endure my flimsy prose, but you also have the opportunity to explore the entire record ahead of its release.” Grand expectations.

All Hell – The Witch’s Grail Review

All Hell – The Witch’s Grail Review

“Comfort food. Whether you’re a cuisine snob who frequents Michelin-star restaurants or an amateur cook trying new recipes for the family, odds are that there are times when you don’t want anything too fancy. Food you can fall back on that hits all the right spots without being too challenging or demanding. Mac and cheese, if you’re like me. The kind of blackened thrash that North Carolina’s All Hell produces is my musical equivalent of comfort food. It’s not mind-bending in its complexity (like, say, Dodecahedron) or emotionally demanding (lookin’ at you, Bell Witch and Ataraxie). But when you’ve had a bad day at the office, or life’s getting you down with its quotidian mundanity, All Hell and their ilk are there to get put a contented smile on your face while those neck muscles flex in appreciation.” Feel the Hell.

Paladin – Ascension Review

Paladin – Ascension Review

“In my early days of metal fandom, there was a period of roughly two years – spanning from the time I stumbled upon DragonForce,‘s Inhuman Rampage to when I began exploring Darkthrone‘s discography – where I listened to nothing except for power metal and thrash. During this period, as I worked on my sloppy renditions of “Eagle Fly Free” and “Battery” on a cheap Yamaha electric guitar my parents picked up at a department store, I had an epiphany: why the fuck hasn’t anyone mashed up the two best genres in the world?” One mash, coming up!

The EP, Demo, and Oddity Post [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

The EP, Demo, and Oddity Post [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“As a younger man I had no concept of the “EP,” nor the “demo,” nor the “split.” When was the last time Iron Maiden had to curb their excesses by squashing ideas into half an hour? When were Judas Priest not able to afford a professional recording studio and production job? And when’s that Metallica/Megadeth split due again? Such formats are reserved for the underdogs of the metal world, those bubbling beneath the surface of popularity who write music for the sheer creative expression and who will never see monetary reward for their time and effort.” Short is sweet.