SHED THE SKIN “Thaumogenesis”

By Dr. Abner Mality

SHED THE SKIN is something of an Ohio supergroup featuring Kyle Severn from INCANTATION, Matt Sorg and Ed Stephens of RINGWORM and Ash Thomas from SURGIKILL and FAITHXTRACTOR. The triumph of this record is that it really doesn’t sound much like any of those bands yet it should appeal to fans of them. Not only that, but “Thaumogenesis” sees STS touching on all sorts of extreme sounds to come up with an effort that is extremely varied.

The surprises start right away as “Ingress-Thaumogenesis” starts with a tumbling waterfall of twin guitar melodies that sets up a creepy, almost black metal vibe. Though I would say SHED THE SKIN is predominantly a death metal band, they aren’t afraid to get influences from other subgenres like doom, thrash and black metal. “Hounds of Orrea” is a lumbering rhino of doom death until it speeds up to a thrash-like chug at the end. “She oi Urgarit” blasts off with screaming guitar solos and is charging death with a sizable dose of melody. “Blood Runs Red” is bass-driven and has a juicy groove that suggests what PANTERA might be if they went full bore death metal.

You get the picture. The songs have identity and many of them are riff factories that are thoughtfully laid out. It’s not just random riffology, but something put together in service of a song. The grunting vocals are the one aspect that stays the same, almost serving as an anchor. I’m not greatly familiar with SHED THE SKIN’s previous output, but based on “Thaumogenesis”, I would say they are now operating at peak capacity.