Skeletonwitch, Serpents Unleashed

Jon Wiederhorn

By Jon Wiederhorn

on 10.29.13 in Reviews
Thirty compact minutes of brutality

Since 2003, Skeletonwitch have glorified war, death and violence with short, melodic bursts of blackened thrash that fuse the catchy hooks of Arch Enemy and Children of Bodom with the gargling vocals of bands like Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir. For their fifth album, Serpents Unleashed, they maintain this sterling formula, plowing through each song in an average of three minutes. Kudos to Converge’s Kurt Ballou (Kvartalek, Nails, Gaza), whose production captures the dichotomy between Skeletonwitch’s savage roar and tuneful midsections without favoring either. For a band that has never strived to reinvent the steel — adopting Motorhead’s ethos of “if they like it, give them more of the same” — Skeletonwitch continue to triumph. Serpents Unleashed improves upon the sound of 2011′s Forever Abomination and delivers 30 compact minutes of brutality perfect for either headbanging or humming along to at a church-burning.