Monday To-Do: Skeletonwitch | Rock Candy

Friday, January 10, 2014

Monday To-Do: Skeletonwitch

Posted on Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Skeletonwitch plays at George's Majestic Lounge Monday.
  • Skeletonwitch plays at George's Majestic Lounge Monday.


SKELETONWITCH
9 p.m. George's Majestic Lounge. $10.


The re-thrash metal scene that really kicked off in the early '00s found a seemingly inexhaustible supply of denim-clad headbanger dudes doing their best to record the next "Kill 'Em All" or "Bonded by Blood." I never personally got too deeply into it, aside from a few spins of albums by Municipal Waste and Warbringer. That scene's obituary was written last April by Invisible Oranges' Joseph Schafer, who took aim at what he saw as a whole lot of aping the past and not much real inspiration.

Two notable exceptions were Vektor and Ohio's Skeletonwitch, who had long been lumped into that crowd. "Both of those bands see the past not so much for what it was or was not, but for what it might have been — and could still be," Schafer wrote. "Most importantly, they write songs I want to hear over and over again in the course of their revisionist histories."

This would prove to be a bit prophetic, as Skeletonwitch released probably their best record yet a few months later. "Serpents Unleashed" is lean and mean, short on song lengths (only one over the four-minute mark) and long on bitchin' riffs, melodic guitar lines and memorable solos (especially "Burned from Bone"). All of which is what many critics found lacking in the re-thrash scene. I bet these tunes sound particularly vicious live.

Also on this bill: Arkansas death metal stalwarts Vore and Charnal, out of Fayetteville and Fort Smith.

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