Skeletonwitch
Devouring Radiant Light


3.9
excellent

Review

by Xenophanes STAFF
July 30th, 2018 | 93 replies


Release Date: 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 (169)
Chart.
3.9
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 
Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2018


1254 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

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

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 30th 2018


27541 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: mewithoutYou - (Untitled) E.P.

DungeonBoy
July 30th 2018


4428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, and good decision to feature the other review

Digging: Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Light

RippingCorpse1986
July 30th 2018


2568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

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 =)

Digging: Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Light

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2018


1254 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

This is my first crack at them so I’ll check out the rest. I was very surprised by the polish and unique aggression here—it reminds me a bit of what I liked about that last Cobalt record. These guys are from my city too, and they come here pretty regularly so I’ll have to catch them now.

RippingCorpse1986
July 30th 2018


2568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

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


12988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love this album

Digging: ERRA - Neon

bloc
July 30th 2018


51359 Comments


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

Digging: Karate High School - The League Of Tomorrow

Toondude10
July 30th 2018


12988 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 30th 2018


2568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

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


48 Comments


This is fun

Dewinged
July 31st 2018


10871 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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



You are top class Xeno. Great concise review.

Digging: Tomberlin - At Weddings

DDDeftoneDDD
July 31st 2018


1707 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well this was fun. Great production as well.

Digging: Pink Floyd - Animals

Demon of the Fall
July 31st 2018


7318 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: Tropical Fuck Storm - A Laughing Death in Meatspace

DDDeftoneDDD
July 31st 2018


1707 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

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


6187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

real close to 5 here, this is fucking phenomenal

Piripichotes
August 1st 2018


461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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

Digging: Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Light

Trifolium
August 1st 2018


300 Comments


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

TheBarber
August 1st 2018


3711 Comments


Not gonna lie, came for the artwork

Trifolium
August 1st 2018


300 Comments


Me too, looks great!



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