As I get older I get more and more excited when things come full circle. When the music I liked 15 years ago was "cool" to play and eventually it makes a comeback. Well Skeletonwitch just made my fuckin year. Bringing back the beloved late 90s/early 2000s melodic death metal or as many called it Swedish metal. Now keep two things in mind. 1. Yes many over the last decade have still played this style. Many falling short of what it could and should be. and 2. Don't think for a second that Skeletonwitch have abandoned their blackend thrash style. What makes things work longtime for bands is when they take chances and present something new. When you try new things by blending them in an already gnarly recipe. Serpents Unleashed does just that. With this album Skeletonwitch took their black metal thrash style, perfected it then added a plentiful amount of catchy and melodic leads and riffs to the mix. While doing all that they still managed only writing one song over 4 mins (the last track mind you). Which never leaves the listener weary or bored.

In Flames, Arch Enemy and Amon Amarth lovers everywhere do yourself the favor and please go listen to this stream and or pick Serpents Unleashed up immediately. It'll bring back tons of memories of humming the happiest of melodic leads over thrashy death metal. Not to mention over the top lyrics and vocals. I mean what would a metal album be without the good type of obnoxious lyrics? Probably some flavor of the week term ending in the word "core". Amiright?


Every song fires off in its own intensity in each of the 11 tracks. Each track ends at what I may consider at the perfect time. After every outro you're anticipation of the next track is sky high. Which makes this a perfect driving album too I might add. How many times have you listened to a metal album and thought the complete opposite, I'm sure a ton. Songs like "Beneath Dead Leaves", "From A Cloudless Sky" and "Unending, Everliving" are to me perfect examples of this record. A perfect blend of their style and the new influences I've mentioned above.

Now I know this isn't too far off from what this band has done in the past. But adding the both major and minor influences all of which I think make this their best and most interesting work to date. For fans old and new I can't see how any could be disappointed. For only the newer the only complaint I can see would be vocally. I love it, but at times I can see the blackend gargles with only slight changes getting to some. Besides that for any fan of fast and heavy music I'd like to hear their complaints. So I can drive them to the crazy house.