The soothing tones of an acoustic guitar float to the listener’s ear when you click play on the newest EP from Ohio’s Skeleton Witch. The Apothic Gloom swells to a crescendo of happiness before causing a windmill neck injury. This is the first recording with new vocalist Adam Clemans, formerly of Veil of Maya, and he does a fine job spitting venom with a blackened tinge.
The title track “The Apothic Gloom” has a happier melody than the title would suggest. Throughout the album you will hear leads of sunshine poking through the gloomy clouds of despair. It’s a nice contrast to the music. It is still heavy, dark and fast for the most part but the occasionally higher tones give an accent of hope.
The second track “Well of Despair” gets right down to business. Opening with a blistering lead into the abrasive vocals of Mister Clemans, it’s a blackened thrash clinic of the genre. “Black Waters” opens with a plodding riff before blast beating the listener quickly and moving on to riffs that reminisce of NWOBHM.
This all leads the crescendo of “Red Death, White Light,” a song of grand design with all the elements incorporated that came before it. Thrash, blackened or otherwise, litters the song to culminate in the band going all in on the final ninety seconds to evoke that sense of hope that was poking through the gloom the entire time.