Shed the Skin

For reasons I can’t quite begin to understand, the American Midwest has become a veritable hotbed for super evil, no-holds-barred, Satan-loving metal for metal’s sake. Something about all those hotdishes and passive-aggressive politeness come together to manifest the likes of NunSlaughter and Midnite and Nachtmystium and scores of other bands dedicated to high-octane, heretical carnage. But for all the bigger names championing the dark arts in the land of corn and widow-making food combinations, one band that has (not-so) quietly been doing it better than perhaps anybody over the last half-decade or so is Ohio’s Shed the Skin, and on their new album Thaumogenesis, the band feels primed to step out from the abyss and bring their brand of chaos to the masses.

While Thaumogenesis is by no means a re-think on the band’s already-established mix of Blackened Thrash and Death Metal, it’s again delivered with such an infectious intensity that you’d be hard-pressed to escape its demonic charms. There is not, nor has there ever been any doubts about the band’s technical abilities, but that’s not at the forefront of their attack, either. From opener “Ingress – Thaumogenesis” to closer “Voces Mysticae-Egress,” your head will remain in a constant state of banging with a smile wider than the lake of fire. But where the band continues to bash and pummel with the tools general weaponry they’ve deployed to this point in their career, they’ve made one small, but very much appreciated tweak to their sound – with guitarists Ash Thomas and Matt Sorg opting for more of that Swedish Buzzsaw tone this time around. Don’t get me wrong, they haven’t gone full Entombed-worship here, they’ve just added a good thick dose of HM-2 crunch that just innately gives everything a filthier vibe, and goddamn if it doesn’t sound great here.

On breakneck tracks like “Slaughtered in the Solar Eclipse” or “Quenched from Kapala,” that tone manifests itself in those grinding riffs that sound akin to a dentist’s drill or mortician’s autopsy saw zipping through bone and cartilage. They’re the kind of tracks that muster a sort of maniacal glee as they plow through riff after nasty riff while Kyle Severn’s busy drum work steadily breaks you to shards like a tray of peanut brittle. But then there’s slow-burners like “Invincible in Iron” and “hands of Orrea” that instead take their time to strap you down and saw through your guts with a blood-caked Husqvarna. Sometimes bands who thrive on the more on a high-speed attack have a hard time slowing things down effectively, but that most certainly is not the case here. Thomas’ bellowing lows help these slower sections really dig in deep for maximum impact and beg you get down in the mud and blood along with them.

There’s really no need to point out a standout track or performance on Thamogensis, because frankly, everything just RIPS. The vocals are just varied enough and delivered with the kind of hostile energy that accentuates every note makes everything land with even greater impact. The guitars provide a smorgasbord of deliciously nasty riffs, and the bass tone is absolutely spot-on perfect. Thaumogenesis is an absolute scorcher from start to finish, purpose-built for all your sacrilegious needs. Frankly, I feel no need to waste any more of your time when you could just be listening to this record on repeat like myself, instead. So go! Get out of here! Get your hands on Thaumogenesis now. Thank me later.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
May 31st, 2022


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