|Review: Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Light|
|Devouring Radiant Light|
Label: Prosthetic Records
Year released: 2018
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: August 16, 2018
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Devouring Radiant Light
Rated 3.29/5 (65.71%) (7 Votes)
Hard to believe now that Skeletonwitch started out as a low-fi Children of Bodom clone with a bad vocalist and dodgy songwriting. I have always enjoyed this band, but I would not often have argued that they were a good band, until now at least. Their sixth album finds them stepping up their game and leaving the imitative but energetic Death/Thrash of their past behind them for a more expansive and involving sound.
Old vocalist Chance Garnette is long gone, which is fine, because time just saw him improve from "ridiculously terrible" to "adequate" over his 12 years in the band. New vocalist Adam Clemans has a more standard Death/Black kind of voice, but he works very well in the band's new, more epic sound.
The new Skeletonwitch is not the messy, thrashy band of old, but instead parlays their knack for riffs into a more Epic Black Metal kind of direction, reminding me of bands like Lunar Aurora or Ensiferum's more recent works. This is still driven by intense, hooky guitar riffs, but the longer songs and more open approach allow longtime guitar players Nate Garnette and Scott Hedrick to really show what they can do. Not since the standout Beyond the Permafrost has this band been unleashed like this, exploring innovative songwriting and really digging into involved melodic work.
If you liked the old Skeletonwitch, then you might not like this, because this is a band that has grown up and found a more mature, more serious style. But if you always thought, like I did, that this was a band with great potential hobbled by a tired songwriting formula, then you will like this as much as I do. A stellar change of course for this flagging band.
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