On a crisp fall evening, October 23, 2013, Skeletonwitch warmed their blood at the Union Bar and Grill just before they embarked on the "Into the Everblack 2013 Tour" (10/24 -11/27/2013) as direct support for The Black Dahlia Murder. Skeletonwitch, with special guests Dismemberment ( "pure evil thrash metal from southern Ohio" ), and Athens own Unmonumental celebrated 10 years of the Witch proper. Skeletonwitch played their first live gig at the Union ( See Ohio's homegrown heroes are firmly rooted in hometown tradition ). So, naturally this is the place Skeletonwitch chose to celebrate 10 years as a band and unleash their new album 'Serpents Unleashed' officially to the public.
The night started off with Unmonumental. A local band full of Athens music scene veterans. Their self described brand of "slow and building psychedelia to heavier post-rock inspired instrumentals" spoke volumes of the rich and diverse music culture that helped spawn Skeletonwitch. Unmonumental's set ended with a hearty cover of "Subliminal" by Suicidal Tendencies, followed by an original song "Drug Tunnel" featuring special guest vocals (see full slide show).
Next up the Dismemberment set changed the pace for the rest of the evening and satisfied hungry crowd member's cravings for thrash. The unsigned four piece from the hills of southern Ohio already have two EP's under their belts 'The Condemned' (2011) and 'Denied Salvation' (2012) and are scheduled to release their first full length album 'Embrace The Dark' in early 2014. The band was very happy to be on the same stage with Skeletonwitch in support of their 10 year anniversary. Dismemberment is fueled by the same passion and ambition that led a younger Skeletonwitch from the very same stage to the Billboard charts and eventually playing bigger venues around the world. Dismemberment is definitely one of the top unsigned Ohio band to watch out for in 2014!
Finally Skeletonwitch took the little stage that started it all back in 2003. After ten years of hard work, the band has risen from southern Ohio strife to an ever increasing amount of success in the music industry. Yet, they remain humble and true to the roots that so strongly supported them as an up and coming local act. It was a special occasion, being their 10 year anniversary (what's the appropriate gift for that..beer cozy?). There was a sense of magic in the air. The extended set was nothing short of spot on soul crushing black sorcery. Nate Garnette (guitar), Scott Hedrick (guitar), and Evan Linger (bass) performed a set that was as seamless as it was brutal, all the while Dustin Boltjes mercilessly kept time on drums. Dark, demonic vocals spewed easily from Chance Garnette, who seemingly had bottomless lungs. In a genuine, heart felt moment, Chance broke his brooding persona and addressed the crowd, voicing his gratitude for all the years of hometown support. Skeletonwitch would not be where they are today without the people of Athens and southern Ohio. Overall, the 10 year anniversary/album release party was one of the best live sets this Examiner has witnessed to date. Packed full of furious riffs, resounding vocals and galloping drum beats, it truly was a special moment in the history of Skeletonwitch.
'Serpents Unleashed' officially drops on Oct. 29, 2013. Buy it now on tour or pre-order here. Pre-order deals as low as $8.00 (or $19.99 for a 10 Years of the Witch shirt and CD!) and remember it is available on vinyl and cassette for all you retro thrashers!
10/24 Cleveland, OH Peabodys
10/25 Lancaster, PA Chameleon Club
10/26 Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory
10/27 Providence, RI The Met
10/28 Burlington, VT Higher Ground
10/29 Quebec City, QC Le Cercle
10/30 Montreal, QC La Tulipe
10/31 Ottawa, ON Ritual
11/01 London, ON Rum Runners
11/02 Toronto, ON Mod Club
11/04 Thunder Bay, ON CROCKS
11/06 Winnipeg, MB WECC
11/07 Saskatoon, SK Louis’
11/08 Edmonton, AB Avenue Theatre
11/09 Calgary, AB The Den
11/11 Vancouver, BC The Biltmore
11/12 Spokane, WA The Center
11/13 Eugene, OR WOW Hall
11/15 Fresno, CA Strummer’s
11/16 Pomona, CA Glasshouse
11/17 Tucson, AZ The Rock
11/19 Odessa, TX Far West Event Center
11/20 Oklahoma City, OK Conservatory
11/21 Springfield, MO Outland Ballroom
11/22 St. Louis, MO Firebird
11/23 Iowa City, IA Blue Moose
11/24 Bloomington, IL The Castle Theatre
11/25 Joliet, IL Mojoes
11/26 Grand Rapids, MI The Intersection
11/27 Flint, MI The Machine Shop