Saturday, November 7, 2009

Initial Impressions: Skeletonwitch and Destruktor

Skeletonwitch is often lumped in with the retro thrash movement, although I'm not completely sure that that is justified. Skeletonwitch has some retro thrash elements to their music, but their influences are closer to Bathory, Celtic Frost, and Venom than they are to Metallica, Exodus, and Testament. That's not to say that those bands definitely were not influences, just that Skeletonwitch has a more blackened thrash metal sound than classic thrash influenced bands such as Warbringer, Municipal Waste, and Evile.

This is the band's followup full length to their breakthrough Beyond the Permafrost. The album finds Skeletonwitch honing their sound and getting some of the kinks worked out in the process. The band is more melodic this time around, particularly where guitar leads and solos are concerned, while still having the major elements of their sound intact. The songs sound a little more complete, although they are still often very short. No song passes the 03:45 mark. The vocals are more refined, still having that blackened rasp, but the band incorporates some more death metal styled grunting as well. There are no clean vocals.

This album finds the band continuing down the path they began on their last one. The band is getting tighter and more controlled. If they keep at it, they may become one of the best newer metal bands from the United States.

Destruktor is a member of the Australian war metal scene. That scene has been on the downswing of late, unfortunately, due to the loss of bands like Atomizer and Abominator. However, there was a new album released by Destroyer 666, this album, and the emergence of Trench Hell to give some new hope for that incredible scene.

Destruktor is a thrash metal band with some pretty heavy black and death metal influences and one hell of an evil atmosphere. The band is not as refined as Destroyer 666, being significantly more chaotic.

This is the band's first full length album, prior to this the band had released only a couple of EPs and demos. The band's songs are often a little longer, certainly longer than Skeletonwitch but not as long as groups like Devastator. The riffs are powerful and call to mind a mix of Sodom, Kreator, and Immolation.

Destruktor and Trench Hell are the new hopes for the scene which looked to be on life support. If Destruktor continues to put out albums like this, the scene will make it.

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