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Skeletonwitch - "Forever Abomination" (CD)

Skeletonwitch - "Forever Abomination" CD cover image

"Forever Abomination" track listing:

1. This Horrifying Force (The Desire To Kill)
2. Reduced to the Failure of Prayer
3. Of Ash and Torment
4. Choke Upon Betrayal
5. Erased and Forgotten
6. The Infernal Resurrection
7. Rejoice in Misery
8. Cleaver of Souls
9. Shredding Sacred Flesh
10. Sink Beneath Insanity
11. My Skin of Deceit

Reviewed by on October 19, 2011

"Skeletonwitch has been unfairly tied to the retro-thrash movement when really, this Athens, Ohio-based band should be taken only for what they are: a neck-snapping speed metal bazooka from the bowels of Middle Earth."

Skeletonwitch has been unfairly tied to the retro-thrash movement when really, this Athens, Ohio-based band should be taken only for what they are: a neck-snapping speed metal bazooka from the bowels of Middle Earth. Sure, they tear off riffs that would make Testament and Death Angel proud, but they've earned those denim jackets and high tops through years of unwavering dedication to the art of blowing speakers and minds with their high octane metal.

Vocalist Chance Garnette's demonic death bark is in top form and his hell hound-summoning band has taken things to triumphant new depths. Guitarists Scott "Scunty D" Hedrick and Chance's brother, Nate, fire off machine-gun fret assaults in glorious unison throughout. On "Cleaver of Souls," the pair punish their instruments and amps, as the band thunders like a sledgehammer into a rotten skull. The frantic track eventually slows down and devolves into a melodic outro with a Kirk Hammett-worthy solo.

The band is on its third drummer, as Dustin Boltjes has replaced Tony Laureano (ex-Nile, 1349, Malevolent Creation). Laureano replaced the band's original skinsman, Derrick "Mullet Chad" Nau.
Boltjes fits in seamlessly, pummeling eardrums into submission, as his bandmates summon death and destruction on "The Infernal Resurrection" and the Exodus-esque "Rejoice in Misery."

Speed and power are the name of the game on "Shredding Sacred Flesh" and "Sink Beneath Insanity," both of which waste no time on anything, but sheer ferocious intensity. Same goes for the album's final, scathing attack, "My Skin of Deceit." With most tracks clocking in at a hectic three minutes or less, it's all fury, precision and raw metal power, with little filler.

It's a furious pace, as the band has further honed the blackened thrash formula it explored on previous releases "Beyond the Permafrost" and "Breathing the Fire." Here, they are a hungry, well-oiled metal squadron ready for war, death, chaos, or whatever else might be thrown their way.

Highs: Headcrushing, no-frills black metal-meets-thrash.

Lows: A few more guitar solos wouldn't have hurt.

Bottom line: Skeletonwitch has built on their legacy with another aggressive, punishingly extreme effort that lays posers to waste.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)