Skeletonwitch 

Beyond The Permafrost

Beyond The Permafrost rides the current wave of revivalist thrash metal with an impressive arsenal of menacing riffs, gravelly vocals and a penchant for effectively soaking up other metallic influences, including black metal and Viking metal.

Opener “Upon The Wings of Black” assaults the ears in the best way possible, with a twin attack from guitarists Nate Garnette and Scott Hedrick. The two alternate between riffs that recall early thrash bands like Exodus and Sodom, as well as black metal pioneers Bathory and Mayhem. Meanwhile, vocalist Chance Garnette sounds like he’s gurgling blood as he spits out dark lyrics, like, “Arise demon/off into the midnight sky/arise evil rise.”

From there, this quintet stays the course with blackened thrash that’s heavy on driving riffs—such as the storming “Baptized in Flames”—as well as sinister lyrical themes and fast-paced guitar solos that don’t overstay their welcome.

In the end, Skeletonwitch blazes its own path on this release by diversifying its palette beyond much of the competition, creating a hybrid approach that sounds remarkably good.

Skeletonwitch plays the Palace Thursday, June 11, at 9 PM, with Undun. $10/$8 advance.
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