Skeletonwitch, Live in London

Thrash survivors offer a frenetic new face

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Tonight starts impressively with MORTALS’ [7] amalgam of doomy post-rock structure and white-hot extremity. Definitely worth a second look.

GOATWHORE [8] are on fire tonight – with the bit between their teeth and a determination to steal the night, they run through a set of savage, thrash-tinged death metal with some top-quality, tongue-in-cheek between-song banter. Most of it about whisky. It’s the music that really stuns, though, and watching vocalist Louis Benjamin Falgoust II glass-gargle his way through When Steel And Bone Meet is truly exhilarating and throws the gauntlet down hard to SKELETONWITCH [8].

The fickle hand of fate has toyed with Skeletonwitch ever since they came to prominence during the mid-00s thrash revival. Being one of the bands – maybe the only band – that offered something other than a mere pastiche, they’ve endured brief dalliances with the mainstream but, after being last seen supporting Havok last year, are on the way up again.

With new vocalist Andy Horn stepping into Chance Garnette’s bullet belt they seem tighter, more energetic and more at ease than before. And, of course, the blackened, Teutonic-influenced thrash of Cleaver Of Souls is still as uniquely brutal and catchy as ever./o:p

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.