Skeletonwitch: Live Review
By Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal
February 11th 2010, The Roxy, West Hollywood CA:This was another one of the Scion Metal shows, free for the public with an RSVP. As a result, there was a pretty huge line outside the venue when I got there about an hour before the doors opened. Even with the RSVP everyone wasn't guaranteed an entry and they cut the line off after counting a certain number of people. But as much as I know, most of the fans were able to get in, making the Roxy as packed as I've ever seen it.
The opening band were stoner metal/hardcore punk/death n roll band Doomriders from Boston, Massachusetts. Their music wasn't bad and they seemed to have a lot of their own fans despite them being the openers here tonight. This was quite a young crowd with plenty of teenage kids doing the whole mosh pit, crowd surfing and stage diving thing. The guitarist seemed to get particularly annoyed with the kids diving on stage as they were messing up his pedal board and monitor. He even kicked a guy in the face and gestured him to get the hell off the stage. A lot of people might hate him for doing that, but I felt it was a fair thing for him to do. There isn't much point of having fun stage diving if you are ruining the band's performance because of it. I personally couldn't get much into their music as I was really there to see Skeletonwitch and was eagerly waiting for them to hit the stage.
At around 10 o' clock, the curtains were drawn up and the ever-energetic, aggressive quintet from Athens, Ohio everyone was waiting to see, appeared. Skeletonwitch came out all guns blazing with the song 'Submit To The Suffering'. The head bangers including myself were going absolutely nuts and the place literally exploded with excitement and there was an old-school thrash metal vibe to it. 'Upon Wings Of Black' followed and in my opinion it's the best song of theirs. There is simply nothing you can dislike about this song and every time I see them play it live, in a mere 2 minutes and 30 seconds, it literally blows the audience off their feet.
They had quite a few of their best songs in this set and I was delighted to see them headline a show of this magnitude, giving the fans a chance to hear them for more than just the 30-40 minutes they get while touring with bigger bands. 'Beyond The Permafrost' was no less brutal than the previous one I described above. It was the first time I saw them do songs off of the new album 'Breathing The Fire' and they sounded as good as on the other songs. They played as many as nine songs off of 'Beyond The Permafrost', which didn't surprise me. That album is just phenomenal. The band, specially the vocalist Chance Garnette, were really enjoying themselves on stage and it showed in their flawless performance. They sound exactly like they do on the album, which makes me feel like I'm at the Roxy all over again every time I listen to any of these songs.
The latter part of the set included the amazing 'Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery' and they ended the night with 'Within My Blood'. People in the crowd definitely looked like they wanted more of this and didn't want the thrash-fest to stop at this time. I felt they could have played the song 'Baptized In Flames' and was surprised to see it missing from the set tonight. Other than that, the band never disappoints in a live show and they proved that yet again. Skeletonwitch may be from Athens Ohio, but in Los Angeles California is where they belong! Horns up!
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