Review Summary: An album that fuses thrash, melo-death, with certain blackened elements. It manages to showcase catchy melody without sounding too cheesy. However, boring and cheesy have two different meanings.
Is there such a thing as the right musical moment executed at the right time, and seemingly, effortlessly? With Skeletonwitch, apparently there is, to a certain degree. Have you ever listened to an album and said “oh, I would have chosen this riff pattern over that drum pattern”, or, “I wish they would switch it up a bit”? With “Forever Abomination”, Skeletonwitch have read my spontaneous mind, to a certain degree.
The album opens up with dual-harmonizing acoustic strings. Within the first 40 seconds the listener is hit with a double bass assault, coupled with a medium-paced, distorted, tremolo pattern. While not the strongest track, “This Horrifying Force” provides the listener with a glimpse of what to expect from “Forever Abomination”. The track fades out with the same opening acoustic passage it began with. Surprisingly, this is the longest track on the record, running at 4 minutes, 11 seconds. Unfortunately, from this point on, you will only find two tracks lasting more than 3 minutes!!! WTF!!! This is on e of the biggest flaws of “Forever Abomination”. Just as a song get’s its flow, it ends. In fact, the total album runtime is 29 minutes, 34 seconds, with the average song length being 3 minutes, 6 seconds, only because of the two longer tracks.
Now that the major downside is out the way, let’s focus on some pros, shall we? I have 3, yes only 3, favorite stand out tracks. These being, “Reduced to the Failure of Prayer” (track 2), “Choke Beyond Betrayal”(Track 4), and “Hanger 18”, oops, sorry, I meant to say ”Sink Beneath Insanity”(track 10). These 3 tracks showcase the best the album has to offer and deliver well in the, string, skin, and yes even the bass department, as it is audible. The production is up to par as no instrument overshadows another. The vocals can be likened to a cross breed between James Malone of “Arsis”, and Angela Gossow of “Arch Enemy”, and are decipherable.
“Reduced to the Failure of Prayer” gives the listener an even blend of melo-death and “thrashy” grooves, and gives a solid solo to end the track. “Choke Beyond Betrayal” is the closest to a blackened feel the listener will get on this record, however, it makes me crave a listen to Dissection’s “Storm of the Lights Bane”, and Megadeth’s “Rust in Peace”. Nonetheless, track 2 is a solid effort. Now, for “Sink Beneath Insanity”; The opening riff sounds very similar to Megadeth’s “Hanger 18”, but by no means, follows the same suite. It picks up with a dynamic thrash riff. However, nothing is new here, it is merely a solid usage of recycled thrash riffs and tremolo patterns.
Most individuals have their favorite thrash group, their favorite death group, and black group, because on offers this, and the other, that. “Forever Abomination” can be likened to a “Total Gym”, or “Bowflex”, if you will, of metal. You can work your double bass kicks, your “right-hand” tremolo technique, your aggression, and your overall composition, all in one album. However, if you are into working out, you may know that free weights are much more effective at building muscle and strength as they work your core, full range of motion, ect. The same is with “Forever Abomination”, the listener can reap some benefits, but ultimately they will do research and see there are much better methods/bands out there that can get the job done in a much more efficient way.
Anyone who is fan of melo-death and trash should give this a spin with, at least the suggested tracks below. However, anyone who passes this up will miss absolutely nothing, as it will only make you crave the real thing. Your first listen will be nice, and maybe even refreshing. After 5-6 listens, “Forever Abomination” will be removed from your I-pod, mp3 player, and ultimately be that cd that collects dust under your car seat, lost for ages while the true dogs(artist) bite your ears.
• Solid musicianship
• Variation of riffs and tempo
• Solid Production
• Short album, short tracks
• Imitation of something so much better
• Too many weak tracks
Reduced to the Failure of Prayer
Choke Beyond Betrayal
Sink Beneath Insanity