EP Review : Skeletonwitch – The Apothic Gloom
19th August 2016, 12:00
Posted by Tristan
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, suffering somewhat of a speed bump after the set back that was the departure of longtime vocalist Chance Garnette, Skeletonwitch slowed down somewhat. After the deadly strike that was Serpents Unleashed the band were uncertain which direction to go in. Eventually settling on Wolvhammer singer Adam Clemans, cutting the band’s teeth instead of going the whole hog with an album the band settled on releasing a four track EP, The Apothic Gloom. 

Tracklist:

  1. The Apothic Gloom
  2. Well Of Despair
  3. Black Waters

Red Death, White Light


Length: 21:00
Label: Prosthetic Records
Release date: August 19th 2016

From the days of Beyond The Permafrost, Skeletonwitch have not been content within boundaries. Creating a crossover genre melding the harsh elements of Black Metal, the harmonies of Heavy Metal and the ferocity of Death Metal with the boisterous spirit of Punk, Skeletonwitch are a (horrifying) force to be reckoned with. Continuing this trend of evolutionary passage The Apothic Gloom is one of the biggest steps forward the band have taken. Opening the canvas with the brush strokes of title track “The Apothic Gloom” the band utilise all their signature ingredients. A layered introduction section giving  way to razor sharp riffing made ever sharper by the appearance of Clemans‘ lycanthropic shriek. Sounding as though the singer was force fed sandpaper gives the band a rough edge that not only compliments but contrasts against the more melodious passages. 

Cherry picking material Skeletonwitch have chosen four absolutely stellar tracks “Black Waters” plays on the band’s strengths of classic Heavy Metal chords giving a bright hue particularly with beautiful solo in the songs final section. Punctuated with legato, classic eighties style licks the solo works perfectly to finish off this musical sentence. Longest track to date “Red Death, White Light” sees the band capitalise not only on their past sounds but bring their sonic attack forward into the modern day. Retaining their organic, analogue type sound the band progress understanding the use of build up to create a truly anthemic tune. Impeccably put together from the subtle flourishes of cymbals to the tremolo picking style of guitar work slowly building to its melancholic yet caustic zenith, the track is without a doubt the record’s set piece. Despite its short nature The Apothic Gloom has material that is bountiful in its quality. Having found their footing with new vocalist Clemans, understanding there are still grounds to prove Skeletonwitch have created their most refined and mature release to date. If The Apothic Gloom is a snapshot of what is to come from the band then this misery truly is beautiful regardless of the eyes of its beholder. 

 


The Apothic Gloom sees Skeletonwitch manifest both old and new in a symbiosis of melancholic fury.  Clemans’s incorporating truly brilliant vocalist Clemans ,coupled with the nigh faultless songwriting the only shame is that we only have four tracks to sink our teeth into.

If you like what you read / heard you can pick up the EP here!