I get to stare at possibly my best tattoo every day, which is for Skeletonwitch, which sometimes give me the skeleton itch. Meaning I want to hear new music from the boys. They’re from my hometown and mean a great deal to me, all of them lead different lives now, and getting music from them as the years pass by does not seem likely. So, I’ve let Necropanther fill that hole without their consent.

What I’m saying is that if you’re looking for killer black thrash, let this dead panther into your home and heart, or some shit. These guys have been putting out killer albums since 2016, this new one is no different, and it’s certainly an early 2023 highlight.

It has everything you could want. Riffs? Fuck yeah. Leads? Bring it on. Grooves? Also yes. With an excellent modern production to top it off. If you haven’t heard them, you might even mistake them for the previously mentioned Athens, OH band. Paul has that black thrash snarl that sounds, yeah like early Skeletonwitch’s long since departed Chance Garnette. The first track, “One and Only” gives you all of this in just about 3 minutes.

They’re no copycat, though. Take “Into Danger” for example. There are hooks along with the normal galloping riffs and guitar heroics. It’s not just riff piled onto a riff, which is then piled onto another, which is something the early material of the many times mentioned above band enjoyed. What I’m saying is that cool riffs don’t overshadow songwriting every time, kids.

In my opinion and therefore yours, the best track is “Out to the Sand,” as I like black thrash, but far more enjoy when the bands get into a dirge/groove, and this one is relatively downtempo, giving it a menacing feel. Its only goal is to brutalize you before the closer.

That closer is of course the title track, “Betrayal,” and is the longest on the album. However, it’s not some 15-minute epic, it’s barely over 5 minutes. This is, however, the band at their most anthemic. The last two minutes of the track are definitely expected of a closer. Amp feedback follows the final guitar strumming, and it’s over at around 40 minutes, but feels like a lot less.

It’s safe to say I dig this and would highly recommend it if you’re even slightly into black thrash. I don’t expect to be covering my tattoo anytime soon, but if the boys in Necropanther keep this up, maybe I’ll get some of the alluring artwork from this beast permanently marking my skin.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
March 9th, 2023


  1. Commented by: F.Rini

    Yo James-great review and skeletonwitch comparison is spot on. Necropanther are like their little cousin. Loving this new album, it’s their best produced one and I will obtain the rest of their catalog on digital by this wknd. \m/

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