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Same Content, Different Release - 65%

VilliThorne, July 4th, 2012

Worship the Witch is the third installment from blackened thrashers, Skeletonwitch. The material coming this time in the form of an EP, having previously released a full-length album and a demo. This EP is self released and is comprised of a mix of three new songs and two songs from previous releases. Is the content here enough to justify the need to release this EP?

The entirety of the content has a far superior audio quality when compared to the releases that came before it. There is an echo that surrounds the drums and helps to set this track apart from the other layers. For the first real time the bass guitar actually stands out and is decently audible, adding a crunchier groove to the songs than what was manufactured before. This would be thanks to the work of Eric Harris, then-bassist for Skeletonwitch who makes his debut with the band on this EP.

It's really difficult to put a rating on this release. On one hand, you have a higher production value that comes equipped with decent layering and mastering. On the other, everything up to this point has been sorely repeated. Lack of fresh material, or even material that doesn't show up on a later album, really makes this release unnecessary and more of a sampler to showcase a more vibrant sound and new line up. "Fire From the Sky" was even taken directly from their free demo, which featured another bassist oppose to Eric Harris, and not rerecorded.

"Beyond the Permafrost", "Feast Upon Flesh" and "Forever in the Abyss" are the three new songs present, the former would go on to become the album title for their follow up full-length album. "Forever in the Abyss" is the only content on Worship the Witch that was never previously release and has to date never been reproduced. Opening up with a slow picked guitar intro, coupled with light cymbal use on the drums and the heavy bass comes in soon thereafter, the style of this song's beginning is very similar to "Dante's Inferno" by Iced Earth. The only complaint with this track is that the beginning is somewhat glitchy, the guitar is solely in the left speaker but there is some conflict in the right speaker that makes it sound like the track is struggling to come through before it finally fades in a few seconds later.

The lack of new content and growing reputation for redistributing previously released content is the largest take down for this EP. While the songs that lie within are great picks, Worship the Witch is really an unnecessary release seeing as everything here, for the exception of "Forever in the Abyss", would appear on their next release.

- Villi Thorne