"The Apothic Gloom"

By Professor Jocko

In 2003, Nate Garnette and Scott Hedrick traded in their books at Ohio University for a guitar and microphone and never looked back. Five studio albums and three EP’s later, are still kicking ass harder than they ever have before! The band just recently parted ways with lead vocalist and founding member, Chance Garnette, so with new vocalist, Adam Clemans, are now exploring uncharted territories with the possibility of maintaining their loyal fan base. 

The band has developed a truly distinctive sound over the years; one that was first heard by the majority of the international death metal community in 2008’ promoting their “Beyond the Permafrost” album on the Blackest of the Black tour. That album certainly put Skeletonwitch on the map, but it was a mere appetizer compared with “Breathing the Fire”, which debuted at No. 151 on the Billboard 200 charts.” The Apothic Gloom” is certainly going to be a change with a new vocalist, but still remains unquestionably intense and possesses impressive displays of technicality and originality, giving Adam Clemans more attention and acclaim in the global metal scene. 

I don’t normally review every track, but with a 4-song EP, will cover all of them! With “The Apothic Gloom”, the guitars have an unprecedented dose of melody in the beginning. However, don't expect an easy run; because with drummer Dustin Boltjes and his blast-beats galore, won't let you breathe even for a minute. Also, the guitars, a little buried in the mix, are occasionally supported by unexpected bass and drum fills. The following track titled  “Well of Despair” flows between intense head-bang and inducing thrash sections which are led by some immaculate, shredding leads and catchy rhythms, encapsulating bass and intense drumming (blast beats and otherwise).

My personal favorite of the quartet of songs is called “Black Waters”. This track is more dynamic to the fact that if you refocus your theory on death metal and note the fringe-dwelling location of the bands innovate writing style, will realize that the adaptation of the sub-genre begins to make a lot of sense. There just seems to be certain areas that allow this track to resonate with the listener. Track number four is called Red Death, White Light and contains drum beats which are absolutely unforgiving and don’t stop churning from the minute the needle drops until the minute it lifts. This is completely reinforced by the vocals, which spew the most prolific of guttural sounds. This album is perfect for anyone craving Voivod-inspired progressions and intense thrash, which goes highly recommended for anyone who is seeking a little more out of an ever-changing thrash movement.