Skeletonwitch
Devouring Radiant Light


3.9
excellent

Review

by Xenophanes STAFF
July 30th, 2018 | 156 replies


Release Date: 07/20/2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Skeletonwitch have crafted one hell of a banger with “Devouring Radiant Light”; a wondrously executed record filled with viciousness and morose joy that sees the Ohio natives operating with an ingenious understanding of modern metal.

Being from Columbus, Ohio I’ve been keenly aware of Skeletonwitch for some time now. Maybe it was the merch or their logo, but I was always under the impression that they played a commercial version of thrash or a standard brand of power metal—two areas of the metal spectrum I tend to unconsciously avoid. After stumbling upon Devouring Radiant Light and finally giving Skeletonwitch a fair shake, I’ve realized that, surprise, my completely baseless assumptions were incorrect.

Devouring Radiant Light is anything but commercial or standard; it’s a raucous and vicious black metal record in the vein of Reinkaos era Dissection, with heavy middle-era Enslaved implications. It has a rollicking feel of Municipal Waste, with the thrashy worship of the Big Four. It calls on progressive influences without sound overtly “progressive,” meaning, it’s tethered to a defined vision with unlikely poise. Most surprising is the sheer variety of skills at play. “Carnarium Eternal” is a short and blistering track, with one foot in 80s thrash and the other in modern Nordic black metal. This butts up to “The Vault,” which has more in common with modern YOB than anything listed thus far. Meanwhile, “Temple of the Sun” throws in clean vocals for a mood unique amongst the rest of the album. It’s this wild mix of unstructured influences and chaos that would sink most albums, but Skeletonwitch keep everything jelled nicely with a pleasant, albeit surprisingly nuanced, production job via Kurt Ballou. All of this makes Devouring Radiant Light a fun, taut, and compelling package of powerful black metal from a band of tried and true pros whose understanding of modern metal—and the subtlties and opportunities for bombast therein—is expert.



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user ratings (271)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
WinterMartyrium1992 (4.5)
Masterfully closes Skeletonwitch’s well-loved blackened thrash period while simultaneously opening...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
July 30th 2018


32895 Comments


Oops, good thing I read the comments. I featured yours without even thinking. If you want the spotlight back even just for a little shout me.

Digging: Burial - Tunes 2011 to 2019

DungeonBoy
July 30th 2018


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, and good decision to feature the other review

RippingCorpse1986
July 30th 2018


3226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Very good review. Also thank you very much for the comment =)



This is indeed an incredible album, everything here is SOTY-worthy imo. I have been fan of these guys since I heard Beyond the Permafrost and Forever Abomination when I was getting into modern thrash stuff, so seeing them evolve their sound and getting plenty of attention on this site is cool =)

RippingCorpse1986
July 30th 2018


3226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Their previous stuff is more a blend of thrash, black metal and occasional nwobhm and melodic death metal tinges. They also had another vocalist, Chance Garnette.



They might haven't been breaking new grounds with those albums, but compared to other thrash bands from the early/mid-2000s wave (Evile, Bonded by Blood), I think they've created an identity and a distinct sound of their own.

Toondude10
July 30th 2018


14126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love this album

bloc
July 30th 2018


58906 Comments


This is much better than anything else I've heard from these guys

Digging: The Cleaners From Venus - Midnight Cleaners

Toondude10
July 31st 2018


14126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so I just found out that Kurt Ballou produced this...



though he did produce their last album so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised

RippingCorpse1986
July 31st 2018


3226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think the production work here fits well with the dissonance and punch of the songs, but I can see why some wouldn't dig it.

fatneckbeard
July 31st 2018


54 Comments


This is fun

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2018


17261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"FYI to the mods: you can keep the other guy’s review featured."



You are top class Xeno. Great concise review.

Digging: Church of the Cosmic Skull - Everybody's Going to Die

DDDeftoneDDD
July 31st 2018


9192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

well this was fun. Great production as well.

Digging: Vukari - Aevum

Demon of the Fall
July 31st 2018


14089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No idea why but I've bookmarked this as one of the few 2018 releases to check & that decision was made precisely 5 minutes ago, with no previous knowledge of the band. Sounds intriguing.



Nice review & nice decision to feature the other review (which was also excellent).

Digging: Can Bardd - The Last Rain

DDDeftoneDDD
July 31st 2018


9192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ahaha it was quite random in that way for me to. I think you'll dig this one...still figuring between 3.5 and 4 for me (inner fight between "this is good" and "I love/ will relisten to this)

Essence
August 1st 2018


6326 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

real close to 5 here, this is fucking phenomenal

Piripichotes
August 1st 2018


542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

loving this A LOT, best metal album of 2018 so far IMO.

Trifolium
August 1st 2018


12171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, like it too! Not sure about my rating yet, but it's cool!

TheBarber
August 1st 2018


3855 Comments


Not gonna lie, came for the artwork

Digging: Deathprod - Occulting Disk

Trifolium
August 1st 2018


12171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Me too, looks great!

Demon of the Fall
August 1st 2018


14089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah the artwork was a definite attraction, I often select reviews to read on that basis alone.

DDDeftoneDDD
August 1st 2018


9192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yap artwork is really nice [3]



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