Skeletonwitch – The Apothic Gloom EP (Prosthetic)

Thursday, 4th August 2016
Rating: 8/10

Last year saw the first real signs of trouble for Skeletonwitch, as vocalist Chance Garnette departed and was subsequently replaced by Wolvhammer’s Adam Clemans. As one of metal’s more consistent and stable bands, Garnette’s departure came as a bit of surprise, although if there was one member in Skeletonwitch who could be deemed as expendable, it could certainly be him. (Read: vocals have always been a secondary facet in this band.) As means to introduce Clemans and prep for a new full-length, the band has put together The Apothic Gloom EP, which shows things are still full-speed ahead.

The haunting acoustic guitars that greet the opening title track are an excellent table-setting, giving way to the band’s patented blackened thrash rush. As per habit, the Scott Hedrick/Nate Garnette guitar tandem is still top notch, utilizing cut-throat twin melodies and fiery tremolo picking. The high-point of the EP comes via “Red Death, White Light,” a masterful exploration into advanced compositional territory that features the harsh, yet digestible rasp of Clemans weaving its way through seven minutes of intrigue.

More than just a stopgap, The Apothic Gloom EP rights the ship for Skeletonwitch, who would be served to work past the somewhat limited and tunnel vision-ish Serpents Unleashed from three years ago. With a new singer and renewed focus in tow, better things appear on the horizon.

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