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Review: Skeletonwitch - Beyond The Permafrost
Beyond The Permafrost

Label: Prosthetic Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 36:20
Tracks: 12
Genre: Death/Thrash

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: October 25, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Beyond The Permafrost

Rated 4.11/5 (82.14%) (28 Votes)

I reviewed Skeletonwitch's debut CD At One With The Shadows way back when, and I liked it quite a bit. Since then this band have released an EP Worship The Witch, which I though was kind of lackluster, and I hoped the band wasn't losing their spark before they even got going. I am glad to see that's not the case, as their new album, Beyond The Permafrost shows them developing nicely into a real gem of an underground band.

Skeletonwitch have added a lot more Thrash to their original Children Of Bodom-styled melodeath, as well as crunchier influences like older Amon Amarth to arrive at a much less generic sound. Furious cuts of razor-sharp steel like "Baptized In Flames" and "Limb From Limb" flash not only heads-down aggression but involved melodic riffing and songwriting that aims a lot higher than just rat-tat-tat blasting. There's a lot of complexity at work here, much more than in the past, and it's quite impressive how the guitars harmonize and the songs lead one into the other before shredding off on their own. The songs are all quite short, but the whole comes across as very unified, taking you on a journey across blasting riffs, shredding leads, and surprisingly affecting melodic segues. Vocalist Chance Garnett has improved a lot from last time out, and he's actually become a competent vocalist of the style, managing both rasps and growls with enough confidence to shake off the 'strangled cat' comparisons forever.

The production on this is better than on their last two, but still not as punchy as I would like. They went for clarity over heaviness, and with all the melodic guitar work here I can't say they made the wrong decision, but I still wish the sound had more oomph. Still, this is the best disc yet from a very promising band, and fans of Thrashy Melodic Death should not pass this one up. Killer shit.

Other related information on the site
Review: At One With The Shadows (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Beyond The Permafrost (reviewed by Mike Henn)
Review: Breathing the Fire (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Devouring Radiant Light (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Devouring Radiant Light (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Forever Abomination (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Apothic Gloom (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Worship the Witch (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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