Skeletonwitch’s Louder Than Light tour has had them storming venus all across the country since May 1st. The fourth-from-last show in this run brought them to Saint Paul’s Turf Club for the very first time.
The show was kicked off by the band Wiegedood. Hailing from Ghent, Belgium this black metal trio took to the stage without any fanfare or pomp at all.
Just two guitarists a drummer and their sigil on their amps were all that they needed to get their point across.
They delivered a gauntlet of razor-sharp black metal that filled the room with a gigantic wall of mesmerizing sound.
If you love your black metal thick and heavy with longer song structure, then you need to give Wiegedood a listen. You can thank me later.
Next to perform was Portland Oregon’s Softkill.
This was an unexpected tone shift from the epic and expansive black metal of Wiegedood.
Softkill started in a blackout and blanketed the area in a huge cloud of smoke from the two fog machines they placed at either side of the stage.
Once the ambiance was right, they broke into their set of moody, post-punk, dream poppy shoegaze, which I was not expecting at all.
The two guitarists put out all the shimmery, swirling goodness you would expect from that collision of styles. Expansive looping riffs full of delay and chorus that echo and fold back upon themselves.
Sitting between them was a fantastic, rock-solid bassist and drummer who did all the heavy lifting for their set. Their constant driving beat kept the crowd moving while the guitarist hit the outer limits of sparkle and shimmer.
With some deep moody vocals added on top, you got yourself a great set of self-described “sad rock” by Softkill.
Finally, it was time for our main event: Athens, Ohio’s Skeletonwitch!
Every aspect of this band is just fantastic. Each member could stand on their own as a shining example of elite heavy metal performers.
Their new album, Devouring Radiant Light, sees the band taking their sound in a new, evolved direction. They’ve added in more expansive passages and melodic movements that give their sound a more complex, epic tone.
Their sound has not “softened,” in fact, it has grown more dynamic.
There is also the matter of their new vocalist, Minneapolis native Adam Clemans. Changing the voice of any band can spell death but that is not a worry here.
Adams vocals fit the evolved sound as well as one of his leather gloves. His ferocity, range and killer stage presence make him an exciting addition to the band. It is my sincere hope they keep this party train rolling for a long time.
Their set was everything I was hoping it would be, blistering and exciting. It featured new tracks like “Fen the Shadows”, “Devouring Radiant Light” and “The Vault,” which Clemans dedicated to his family who was there, stage-side, supporting him.
Their set also included one of their best known “Classic” Skeletonwitch songs, “Beyond the Permafrost,” which is always a crowd favorite.
They kept the whole room in a frenzy their whole set. After one last encore, the club let out a steamy haze of happy Minnesota metal fans.
Should you have the opportunity to see Skeletonwitch live, I recommend you jump on it. You will be hard pressed to find a more engaging and exciting modern metal band to watch.