Inner turmoil is an extreme test for any band in this day and age. Losing an original member, let alone the frontman and vocalist, is a test a lot of bands can’t seem to pass. I was extremely concerned for the future Skeletonwitch after the departure of lead singer Chance Garnette due to his eclectic stage presence and vocals that were instantly recognizable. I am not taking anything away from Scott Hedrick and Nate Garnette‘s dynamic and melodic guitar playing, but Garnette just had “that sound.” That said, they found a very good fit in Adam Clemans (Wolvhammer, Veil of Maya). His vocals aren’t quite as dynamic as his predecessor, but he fits very well into The Apothic Gloom EP which features four very different songs.
The title track opens up with an acoustic intro before diving into a darker, more doom feel than Skeletonwitch have ever explored. It still has that tinge of melody the band is known for, but it just comes across as different. “Well of Despair” has a more familiar feel to it than any other song here. It’s melodic and thrashy, yet it retains that black metal element that only Skeletonwitch can produce. “Black Waters” once again pummels with blast beats and Cleman’s vocals shine. “Red Death, White Light” is a masterpiece featuring elements that I’ve never heard from these guys, although it retains an air of familiarity. It’s dark as hell but still melodic, and it delivers more of a black metal element than they ever have before.
Although it’s only four songs, The Apothic Gloom shows what Skeletonwitch have more in store for the world. They have a new lease on life and are poised to prove themselves to everyone.
The Apothic Gloom is out August 19 on Prosthetic Records. Pre-order it here!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):