Ohio's extreme metallers Skeletonwitch are streaming their new album Devouring Radiant Light exclusively with Metal Hammer.
It's the follow-up to 2013's Serpents Unleashed and the first full-length to feature new vocalist Adam Clemans on vocals – formally of Veil Of Maya.
Devouring Radiant Light is out Friday 20 July via Prosthetic Records, but you can listen to it in full below, along with a track by track guide from the band themselves.
Fen Of Shadows
Scott: "This was first piece of music written for the album and I think it does a nice job of setting the tone and pacing for the rest of the record. It’s grandiose, contains most of the stylistic elements that are explored throughout, and it eases the listener into not only this album, but Skeletonwitch 2.0 if you will. It’s the sound of something massive being put into motion."
When Paradise Fades
Nate (Garnette, guitars): "This song is a great representation of where we started and what we’ve become. All the classic elements are there, but are executed more seamlessly than before. Starting with a filthy rock element and dragging you down the path to darker things, this is my favourite new song to play live."
Scott: "Nate wrote and recorded every part of this tune, but he lets me play his guitar solo live because he likes playing the rhythm parts so much ha ha! I really love the way he ended this song. It's probably my favourite ending to a 'Witch song that he’s written to date."
Temple Of The Sun
Scott: "I think this is the only song that was not written in a linear fashion. I was sitting on the intro and the chorus for quite a while, and I built the rest of the song around those elements. Maybe some cats prefer to write that way, but it was a challenge for me to build bridges between those two points. I kept at it because I thought that chorus was strong and I already had that vocal pattern in my head for the 'We...Do…Not...' bit. Adam (Clemans, vocals) really shines on this track – no pun intended. I love the way he mapped out the backing vocals for Nate and Adam’s idea, and the performance of the clean vocals near the end of the track bring an entirely new dynamic to the table. Adam unequivocally quashes any potential detractors with this track alone."
Devouring Radiant Light
Adam: "This was the track I was most concerned about during the writing and pre-production stages. Not because it’s a bad song by any means, but because it was so drastically different for the band at large. The more I began to put pen to paper, the song's identity began to reveal itself to me more and more. In my eyes, this is the centrepiece of the album as it conceptually sums up the album as a whole. I’m very proud of it."
Scott: "This song is probably the largest departure from the classic 'Skeletonwitch sound.' Adam was wise to suggest that it be placed in the middle of the record. Its monolithic, plodding nature breaks up the intensity of the faster material. The intro actually comes from a more fully realised piece of instrumental music that I was working on for a solo record, but in the end I decided it was better suited for Skeletonwitch. I also think the intro was subconsciously influenced by Tool. I love that band."
The Luminous Sky
Nate: "I call the intro to this song our Hell’s Bells. This track is a super shredder with hints of rhythm and grime sprinkled throughout. I especially love Adam's vocal performance – it’s raw as hell and cranks the knob to maximum power!"
Scott: "There’s a lot going on with this one. For the intro I was attempting a Morricone-esque vibe but with less grit and more emotion. It’s as if the dust is settling after a traumatic event or the sun is finally rising after a protracted darkness. When the full band kicks in, things get doomy with a touch of post-rock in the heavily delayed lead guitar – two genres that several of us in the band listen to, but we had yet to fully incorporate into the Skeletonwitch’s sound."
Adam: "This track is one of my favourites. It has an undeniable energy and a pacing to it that recalls the stronger moments of Serpent's Unleashed. Vocally I wanted to make this song as aggressive as possible while maintaining its catchiness. Lyrically speaking, this song basks in the glory of what we all love, that being heavy and dark music and everything that comes with it."
Scott: "This was the last piece of music I wrote for the record and I fully intended it to be the album closer. This is the first time that Skeletonwitch was not writing songs in a vacuum. I was consciously considering the ebb and flow of the record as a whole while I was writing and Nate was sending me the songs he wrote. As he and I progressed a cohesive aesthetic became clearer and clearer. The more we wrote, the more what I was writing was being influenced and guided."