Skeletonwitch: Breathing The Fire-2009.

Skeletonwitch is an American metal band from Athens, Ohio, formed in 2003. The band currently consists of lead guitarist Nate Garnette, rhythm guitarist Scott Hedrick, bassist Evan Linger, and vocalist Adam Clemans. Original vocalist Chance Garnette was fired from the band sometime in late 2014, or early 2015. In early 2018, drummer Dustin Boltjes left the band as well after a 7-year tenure. Jon Rice, formerly of Job for a Cowboy, is currently substituting on drums for live performances.

Skeletonwitch was formed in 2003 in Athens, Ohio. Guitarist Hedrick heard the demo tracks from Nate Garnette’s former band, Serkesoron, while they were both college students at Ohio University and decided to form a band.[2] Skeletonwitch released their first album, At One with the Shadows, on August 11, 2004 with Shredded Records. After forming the band, they sought a vocalist, whom they ultimately found in Nate’s older brother, Chance Garnette. These three have been the only constant members, having gone through three drummers: Tony Laureano, Derrick “Mullet Chad” Nau replacing Jimi Shestina, then Eric Harris with Evan Linger on bass guitar.

After being signed to Prosthetic, Skeletonwitch released Beyond the Permafrost on October 2, 2007. In 2008, Skeletonwitch was featured as one of four opening acts for Danzig‘s Blackest of the Black tour.

On October 13, 2009, Skeletonwitch released their third studio album, Breathing the Fire, which debuted at No. 151 on the Billboard 200 charts. Skeletonwitch’s song “Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery” was featured on the soundtrack of the video game Brütal Legend. The song “Crushed Beyond Dust” became featured on the Rock Band network on February 28, 2010. Skeletonwitch was featured on all of the dates of Ozzfest 2010.

Skeletonwitch was featured on an Adult Swim video for their song “Bringers of Death” in 2010. “Bringers of Death” also appears on the Adult Swim heavy metal compilation titled Metal Swim.[3]

In March 2011, Skeletonwitch parted ways with drummer Derrick “Mullet Chad” Nau and temporarily replaced him with Tony Laureano.[4] Skeletonwitch’s fourth studio album, Forever Abomination, was released on October 7, 2011. It is the first album to feature Dustin Boltjes on drums, replacing Derrick Nau.[5] Skeletonwitch was banned from playing the House of Blues in Orlando after they were deemed “unfit to be associated with Disney.”[6] The band released its fifth studio album Serpents Unleashed in October 2013.[7]

Vocalist Chance Garnette withdrew from live appearances partway through a tour in October 2014.[8] Garnette’s last show with Skeletonwitch was October 15, 2014, at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT. Days later he appeared in Worcester District Court in Worcester, Massachusetts, and was “charged with assault and battery on a family/household member”, and the case was continued to December 10, 2014. Garnette was released on $500 bail.[9] He was replaced on a European tour the following March by former Cannabis Corpse vocalist Andy Horn, and it was later confirmed that Garnette stated that he had been fired from the band due to alcohol abuse, for which he sought treatment.[10] His permanent replacement was confirmed in February 2016 as Adam Clemans, frontman of blackened sludge metal band Wolvhammer and former vocalist of Veil of Maya.[11]

On April 26, 2018, the band announced Devouring Radiant Light as the title of their new album being released on July 20, 2018.[12]

Discography:

Live, Friday the 13thVideo2004 
At One with the ShadowsFull-length2004
DemoDemo2005 
Worship the WitchEP2006
Beyond the PermafrostFull-length2007
Breathing the FireFull-length2009
At One with the Shadows / Bringer of DeathSingle2010 
The Skullsplitter / No Rest for the DeadSingle2011 
Onward to Battle / The Infernal ResurrectionSingle2011 
Tragedy of DaysSingle2011 
Forever AbominationFull-length2011
Serpents UnleashedFull-length2013
Unending, EverlivingSingle2014 
Well of DespairSingle2016 
The Apothic GloomEP2016
Devouring Radiant LightFull-length2018
Scott Hedrick
Guitars (2003-present)
Nate “N8 Feet Under” Garnette
Guitars (2003-present)
Evan Linger
Bass (2008-present)
See also: ex-Insurrect
Adam Clemans
Vocals (2016-present)
See also: Noose RotPulchra MorteShaidar LogothWolvhammer, ex-Iron Thrones, Liar in Wait, ex-Veil of Maya, ex-El-Ahrairah (live)

Past Members:

Jimi ShestinaBass (2003-2005)
Derrick NauDrums (2003-2011)
Chance GarnetteVocals (2003-2015)
Eric HarrisBass (2005-2008)
See also: Gygax, ex-Gypsyhawk, ex-Huntress, ex-Holy Grail
Dustin BoltjesDrums (2011-2018)
See also: Chrome WavesDemiricousSacred LeatherWretchChrist Beheaded, ex-Black Arrows of Filth & Impurity, ex-Kvlthammer, ex-Summon the Destroyer, ex-The Dream Is Dead
Songs
1.Submit to the Suffering02:18  Show lyrics
2.Longing for Domination02:47  Show lyrics
3.Where the Light Has Failed02:18  Show lyrics
4.Released from the Catacombs03:21  Show lyrics
5.Stand, Fight and Die03:32  Show lyrics
6.The Despoiler of Human Life02:29  Show lyrics
7.Crushed Beyond Dust02:33  Show lyrics
8.Blinding Black Rage02:38  Show lyrics
9.Gorge upon My Soul03:43  Show lyrics
10.Repulsive Salvation03:41  Show lyrics
11.Strangled by Unseen Hands02:56  Show lyrics
12.…and into the Flame03:43  Show lyrics
 35:59 

One thought on “Skeletonwitch: Breathing The Fire-2009.

  1. Xyrth, May 27th, 2011

    From the moment I knew the ancient demon-worshipers, melodic extreme metal crafters that go by the name of Skeletonwitch were going to release this one I got extremely anxious to get my hands on it, since Beyond the Permafrost became my daily meal. When I finally got it, couldn’t avoid comparing Breathing the Fire to its predecessor, and continued to do it after several (dozens) of repeated listens. Sadly, my ruling didn’t change: I firmly find myself among those few that hold Skeletonwitch’s sophomore in higher regard than this one, their third installment.

    That doesn’t mean Breathing the Fire doesn’t kick tremendous ass. In fact, this album boasts the best production work ever in Skeletonwitch’s “brief” existence, and a helluva cover artwork. Despite my utmost respect and admiration for John Dyer Baizley and his artwork, many bands started using him, mirroring the Seagrave-syndrome of the early 90’s death metal scene. Don’t get me wrong, many bands pick Seagrave or Baizley ‘cos they fucking own, but I think Skeletonwitch were wise to pick someone else (Andrei Bouzikov in this case) for their artwork, and it works magnificently. Meatier colors for meatier production, thicker than, yet as crisp as, on the previous album.

    However, this album didn’t enthrall me immediately as its predecessor. It took it some time to grow on me, starting with “Submit to the Suffering” which is a strong opener, but it’s pretty short and leaves you wanting more. Same thing with the next couple of tracks, “Longing for Domination” and “Where the Light Has Failed”. Now, its until I got to “Released from the Catacombs” and especially “Stand, Fight and Die” that I started to feel the true power of this band being unleashed. Not that any of the twelve thrashers here are devoid of it, and surely you’ll find yourself compulsively headbanging and thrashing to them, but they’re not as instantly ensnaring as on Beyond the Permafrost despite possessing the same type of massive riffage, excellent soloing, metal-solid percussion and signature Chance Garnett’s unholy throat onslaught.

    Skeletonwitch rarely reaches the 4-minute mark in most of their songs, but in this case I think some songs are just too darn short, and were suited for further development, an idea reinforced by the fact that the best songs of Breathing the Fire are the longer ones. “Stand Fight and Die” is a mid-paced, epic feeling thrasher with a slick outro, “Repulsive Salvation” has killer tremolo melodies and an obliterating breakdown (and I’m not talking about anything “core” here), the closer “…And into the Flame”, has an interesting drumming motif while my personal favorite, “Gorge Upon My Soul” has the most interesting vocal parts, lyrics, solo, and overall composition. The exception of this “fact” is the brutal, unrelenting and brilliant “The Despoiler of Human Life”. And while actually BTF is just two minutes shorter than BTP, I was hoping for Skeletonwitch to break a bit from their mold and come up with more ambitious ideas, perhaps like Soilwork experienced with their first two albums, almost doubling their songs in length from their debut to their sophomore to great avail.

    In a nutshell, Breathing the Fire is a great companion to Beyond the Permafrost, keeping the evil spirit alive, but not an improvement, at least in my humble opinion. Some passion and ambition is lacking, but it still destroys most melodic extreme metal offerings being crafted in the 21st century, so you can’t go wrong in picking this one up. Let your ears breath the fire! (oh, what a cheesy review ending…)

    Liked by 1 person

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