Skeletonwitch
Beyond the Permafrost


3.5
great

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (81 Reviews)
June 12th, 2008 | 115 replies | 57,789 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bored of all your Metallica, Slayer, and every Gothenburg melo-death album that you own? Skeletonwitch will cure your hankering for a ‘somewhat’ fresh approach to throwback thrash/ melo-death metal bands.

7 of 8 thought this review was well written

Its actually funny when you think about how many bands that are out there, trying to breathe life into some good old metal from key era’s of the genre that spawned too many copycats to count. Trivium’s The Crusade tried and failed miserably at reviving Metallica’s Master of Puppets days by completely rehashing everything and falling extremely short with originality. A little off the metal topic and looking at rock, a newer band named Airbourne put out an album called Runnin’ Wild and should be put under investigation for plagiarizing AC/DC. Then there’s Skeletonwitch; a band that obviously grew up in an era of heavy metal that saw kids picking up guitars and trying out their chops against a slew of thrash, NWOBHM and melo-death bands. But what makes Skeletonwitch unique compared to a bunch of rehash bands that stumble over the problem of lifting the same identical “God Damn” riff over and over again? Skeletonwitch do the metal sub genre hopping with ease and don’t cater to specifics.

First and foremost, these guys are competent musicians who know their metal. And when I say they know their metal, “Oh boy do they ever know their heavy metal”! Contained within Beyond the Permafrost is a cache of heavy metal riffs that made the genre what it is today. The album contains songs that are filled with excellent guitar skills and pummeling drums that bring to mind the early 80’s days of thrash. Dual guitar leads and melodic hooks bring to mind NWOBHM and the Gothenburg scene; metal artists who wanted a little more than just brutality to their music. Skeletonwitch combine these sub genres with ease and finesse. But do these elements make Beyond the Permafrost a winner in the metal revival circles? Not exactly.

Right from the opening track ‘Upon Black Wings’, fast thrash riffs scream forth while a nice little Slayer solo backs up the rhythm guitar. Not even a minute later, the song changes into a galloping lead that sounds like it belongs on The Jester Race. Within the first two minutes and forty-one seconds, you can certainly notice the number of sub genres Skeletonwitch utilize to hone in on their finely tuned songs. ‘Baptized In Flames’ starts out in a perfect melodic fashion. A tremolo picked melody opens up the song followed up with another Gothenburg influenced riff that actually sounds interesting and not regurgitated. ‘Within My Blood’ shows off the bands love for NWOBHM, reviving some of those classic dual leads featured on such albums such as Painkiller and Piece of Mind. ‘Feast Upon Flesh’ awakens a black metal spirit but only merely touches on this sub-genre, going for a blackened/ death metal sound in the vein of Storm of the Light's Bane. As you can already tell, the number of bands and sub genres that have been listed above are only skimming the surface.

Keeping this in mind, the band does not win a great deal of points, simply because they wear their influences on their shoulders too proudly. Instead of taking all of their influences and mixing them into a complete, original idea, Skeletonwitch make it too easy to pick apart the sub genres contained within their songs. This in turn makes it far too easy to categorize Skeletonwitch as a ‘unoriginal’ band. Metalheads (like myself) who like a little original spice in their tunes, might cry “Copy Cats” for their overuse of genre hopping and lack of originality. Still, I have to give them credit where credit is due. The amount of sub genres this band covers is staggering. For their efforts and ideas put into their music, despite it being somewhat unoriginal, they really know how to keep things interesting by not catering to one type of sub genre. Beyond the Permafrost wins on a level for sounding like a band who is having a good time covering all of their favourite metal tunes.



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user ratings (184)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
June 12th 2008



18784 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I had a hard time wording some stuff in the review. Suggestions or constructive critcism is always welcome. Enjoy the review!

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

SHOOTME
June 12th 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gut review the_wizard.

Wizard
June 12th 2008



18784 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hahaha that was a fast read. Thanks though!

Touching it up at the moment

BallsToTheWall
June 12th 2008



44164 Comments


I've heard good things about this band from everybody but South. I keep reading about the Gothenburg influence. I'll check it out now, nice review.

Honestly, one track in, im impressed. I love it. Going to torrent this mother ****** now.This Message Edited On 06.12.08

SHOOTME
June 12th 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I kind of read fast so I skip things often.

Thor
June 12th 2008



10158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Metallica’s Master of ***Puppets***


And fix the coding on The Jester Race and Piece of Mind. Otherwise a good, short review for an album that I enjoy for the most part. It's nothing amazing, but pretty fun for an occasional listen. Plus the song titles rule.This Message Edited On 06.12.08

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

botb
June 12th 2008



9284 Comments


Good review dude. I am intrigued.

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

SHOOTME
June 12th 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the review, I love the album.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 12th 2008



17914 Comments


heard a song by them on XM awhile back but i can't remember what it sounded like

it was probably bad though!

ASberg
June 12th 2008



2161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is nice. Grant should be pleased.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 12th 2008



17914 Comments


he doesn't like them

ASberg
June 12th 2008



2161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 12th 2008



17914 Comments


do you

ASberg
June 12th 2008



2161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yup

gasmaskman
June 12th 2008



1006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This CD is pretty good, and so is the review.

Essence
June 12th 2008



3559 Comments


Wizard, Wizard, Wizard, I thought I had taught you better by now.... review needs more spreading, more flavor, more.... dare I say it... butter.

oh yes I did go there

Good review man.This Message Edited On 06.12.08

SHOOTME
June 12th 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol Jacktiger is buttery again.

Essence
June 12th 2008



3559 Comments


Sorry, I was in a bread factory, and I slipped.

SHOOTME
June 12th 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

clap,clap,clap

Give applause to Sputnik's funniest user.

masscows
June 12th 2008



2236 Comments


Band is ok. Don't see what the big deal is though.



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