Skeletonwitch’s new four-track EP The Apothic Gloom is the debut of new vocalist Adam Clemans (Wolvhammer), replacing Chance Garnette who had been with the band since their early days. Any time a band adds a new vocalist, that brings extra scrutiny from fans who want to hear how it affects the band’s sound.

Writing and recording a full-length album can take a lot of time, and Skeletonwitch wanted fans to hear new material with Clemans as soon as possible, which is why they went the EP route.

The EP takes a while to get going, with the title track including an acoustic intro followed by another instrumental section before we get our first dose of Clemans about two minutes in. He makes his presence known with a passionate delivery. The song is longer and has more progressive influences than most typical Skeletonwitch tracks.

Clemans has a lot of experience and Skeletonwitch toured with his band in the past, so there was a relationship before he joined the group. The transition sounds very smooth, with Clemans’ style fitting Skeletonwitch’s sound very well.

Guitarists Scott Hedrick and Nate Garnette handle the majority of the songwriting duties, and also deliver excellent performances. The EP’s middle two tracks are right in the band’s wheelhouse, blackened thrash with plenty of bite. The seven minute EP closer “Red Death, White Light” is another song with progressive influences and ambient parts.

The Apothic Gloom should reassure fans that Skeletonwitch haven’t lost a step. While their core sound hasn’t changed, they have expanded it a bit. It will be interesting to hear if that continues on their next full-length album.

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