Possibly a rather befitting post, seeing as how a dual headlining Australian tour has just been announced featuring Ohio's Skeletonwitch and Oregon's Toxic Holocaust. I hadn't planned it this way, but this is the new Skeletonwitch full length, "Serpents Unleashed" pressed by Prosthetic Records. My copy is of what I would assume is the wider pressing on black vinyl. I hadn't really anticipated picking up this LP, stumbling across it rather randomly at my local larger music retailer was my method or procurement, but I guess I'm glad I saw it there.
The last time I actively spoke about this band on the blog was more than three years ago when I first discovered them and their brand of melodic thrash metal. I haven't seriously paid attention to the band since not too long after that, during which time they managed to release another album and a handful of EP's. Those three years seem to have offered the band a sufficient amount of time to refine and pronounce further their sound, as the music on offer here with this new album is arguably much more polished and clinical than anything that I was familiar with before. There's no denying how high end and 'studio' this recording is. The band still choose to brutalise the willing listener with a barrage of catchy leads, crunchy riffs, and octopi percussion, and Chance Garnette's high/low vocal approach is still in masterful swing, but the sheer cleanliness of the sound here is somewhat of a turn off for me. I always like it a bit rougher sounding though, so I suspect this album should please both new and old fans.