HOT GIG ALERT: Skeletonwitch at ONCE in Somerville, MA (05.02.19)
Skeletonwitch have succeeded where many have failed: they have reformulated their sound mid-career and found more success by doing so. Since their inception over a decade ago, Skeletonwitch have been known for blending and bending metal subgenres. The members’ collective love of Judas Priest, classic-era Metallica and Immortal has always been worn on their sleeves and remains evident. However, it’s the band’s black metal leanings that have shifted to the forefront and altered the tenor of the through line on their newest album, Devouring Radiant Light.
While black metal has always been a recognizable component of the Skeletonwitch sound, Devouring Radiant Light sees the band diving deeper into the subgenre than ever before. And where Skeletonwitch previously ran its output through a Second Wave Black Metal filter, their latest offering incorporates a strong atmospheric influence.
Originally hailing from Ohio, Skeletonwitch were cheekily dubbed the Sons of Midwestern Darkness in their early days. That nom de guerre now applies in spirit only as the band’s members span the coasts. This separation forced the band to transcend geography, crafting and refining the material digitally from a distance.
Devouring Radiant Light was recorded by Converge guitarist and engineering specialist Kurt Ballou at local GodCity Studio in Salem, MA. The band’s rapport with Ballou provided the familiarity necessary to embrace uncharted creative territory. Melodeath genre architect Fredrik Nordström mixed the album at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden. The record was mastered by Brad Boatright of metallic hardcore greats From Ashes Rise at Audiosiege Engineering in Portland, OR.
Featured image by Nico Poalillo