|» Skeletonwitch 2009 11 08||
We were all breathing the fire last night at Uncle Pleasant's in Louisville, Kentucky. Unseasonably warm weather combined with throngs of moshing metal heads and the apparent absence of air conditioning made for one of the hottest shows I've seen in a while.
As breakneck thrash met epic black metal, even sweltering heat could not melt the permafrost. Donned in spikes, Skeletonwitch took the infernal stage as a hungry audience awaited one hell of a show.
When asked about the 95-degree stage, frontman Chance Garnette exclaimed, "It's hotter than a motherfucker in here!"
Promoting their new album, 'Breathing The Fire', Skeletonwitch opened for The Black Dahlia Murder on this leg of the tour. Having been on the road since early September, the five-piece act out of Athens, OH was not about to let fatigue hinder their performance. Swift, sweaty, and brutal, they hit the stage with a furious energy unparalleled by their touring counterparts.
Opening with "Upon Wings of Black", a chromatic assault of technical mastery, the bar was set high. Keeping with older material, next came "Fire From The Sky." This showcased their trademark sound: an unholy trinity of classic, thrash, and black metal. Next, the crowd went wild for "Crushed Beyond Dust" with its upbeat tempo and memorable chorus.
From there on out, 'witch's set consisted of a fairly even mix of old and new material. Being melodically inclined, I personally prefer 'Beyond The Permafrost' to their most recent endeavor. So I was thrilled when they played "Vengeance Will Be Mine," a superb track off of 'Beyond The Permafrost' showcasing eerie, wailing guitars and aggressive blast beats.
Frontman Chance Garnette struck a chord with the audience when he unveiled their video game debut with "Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery," one of my personal favorites. The song is featured on the game Brutal Legend where one can live out his or her fantasy as an epic hero in a heavy metal world.
Closing with their longest song of the set, clocking in at a whopping four minutes, "Within My Blood" sealed their deal with the devil. In exchange, Skeletonwitch received a triumphant ovation from an equally energetic crowd.
After the show, I had a chance to hang out with lead vocalist Chance Garnett backstage. He inquired about our rating system at Metal Covenant.
"So how are you going to rate us? From 1 to 666?" he asked. I hope 6.66 chalices will suffice.
7 chalices of 10
Upon Wings of Black