"Beyond the Permafrost"


01. Upon Wings of Black
02. Beyond the Permafrost
03. Baptized in Flames
04. Sacrifice for the Slaughtergod
05. Vengeance Will Be Mine
06. Limb from Limb
07. Cast into the Open Sea
08. Fire from the Sky
09. Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery
10. Remains of the Defeated
11. Feast Upon Flesh
12. Within My Blood

RATING: 8.5/10

It would be one thing if only the band's logo and artwork on its new album reeked of vintage heavy metal and ripping thrash, but considering that the music on "Beyond the Permafrost" actually comes with a metal-as-hell attack makes it required listening for the true ‘heads. Beyond the fact that Athens, Ohio's SKELETONWITCH are high caliber players and speed through these songs like tattooed demons riding customized (read: skulls and flames galore) choppers, the quintet performs with the kind of beer-soaked, studded-wristband-wearing passion and conviction that would make any denim-and-leather wearin' heathen proud to be a head banger.

"Beyond the Permafrost" is a tightly played, thrashy as hell, and damn tuneful album. The disc combines classic thrash with a bit of melodic death and black metal, and a NWOBHM undercurrent, all of which is given a modern (though not glossy) production. An added twist are the scruffy and snarling (kind of like a CARCASS-y "Heartwork" era crossed with black metal) vocals of Chance Garrette. The guy strikes the balance between a truly sinister aura and good 'ole evil fun. Some death growls are smartly utilized as well.

Aside from several songs that sport catchy (but not shiny/happy) choruses (the title track and "Baptized in Flames" are two that come immediately to mind), the riffs and solos cranked out by Nate "N8 Feet Under" Garnette and Scott "Scunty D". Hedrick are more than just "good", they fucking slay! Furious, speed-picked riffs, scorching solos, and loads of cool harmonizing make listening to these 12 relatively short (basically the three-minute range) tracks a hellish good time. Let me reiterate, the guitars on this sucker sound absolutely fantastic!

Count "Beyond the Permafrost" as one of those albums that just feels right. Hell bent and upping the irons, SKELETONWITCH gets "it" right on every single one of these smoking tracks. I'll even go out on a limb by saying that from the standpoint of talent and urgency of approach, SKELETONWITCH reminds me a little of THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER when they first began their ascent. Crank this one really, really loud.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).