Review by Joe Harvey
Skeletonwitch know what they want to do and they seem to do it pretty damn well. Many have pegged them as one of the bands that are part of the Thrash Metal Revival group, and with Breathing the Fire, that is more than apparent. The general sound of the album has a dated sound to it, which for countless amounts of people out there is a really good thing. With the metal scene going in the hundreds of different directions it is, there doesn’t seem to be too many bands who take a look back instead of just looking forward and trying to do something radically different. Skeletonwitch, members of the seemingly ironclad Prosthetic Records, have indeed looked back and decided to bring some good ol’ fashion thrash back to the table, and did so with great success.
After pushing play and beginning to listen to the album, my body instinctually wanted to start headbanging and circle-pitting. As cliché as that sounds, it, IMHO, is a magnificent thing. Each song is littered with fast-paced riffing and great vocal patterns, both guttural and higher-pitched black metal vocals. “Dispoilee Of Human Life” is a really cool song. It takes a lot of different turns, but still keeps to the formula that makes you want to get up and move. “Blinding Black Rage” pretty much opens up exactly as you would expect it to judging by the title. The bridge before the end of the song also houses some of the best material on the album, including a goddam great guitar solo and some awesome riffing. “…And Into The Flame” opens up with some nice drumming and quickly rips into another badass thrash song, wrapping up the record on a very good note.
Breathing The Fire will appeal to a nice, wide age group. It will impress old trash heads, and also hook some new fans into the style. If a band can do that with a single release, it is without a doubt a success. I can’t see Skeletonwitch blowing up into a world-wide phenomenon, but at the same time I highly doubt they are expecting that. Their sound doesn’t really bring anything new that table that has yet to be done, but clearly that could not have been the intention. As mentioned earlier, they seem to know exactly what they are trying to put out and do a hell of a job. If you are a fan of old school thrash or even if you are not, give this band a listen.