Skyeater – The Maw of Time (Review)

SkyeaterSkyeater are a blackened doom band from the US and this is their debut album.

Featuring members of Crowhurst, The Maw of Time is an album that mixes black metal and funeral doom. I must say that the resulting four tracks are quite exceptional.

Does one classify this as black metal with a side helping of doom, or as doom with a side order of blackened nastiness? Ultimately it doesn’t matter, and blackened doom probably covers it, but I think I’m leaning towards a black metal appellation overall, for whatever that’s worth…(not much, I know).

Regardless, we get four long songs lasting 51 minutes in total, and each one is worth its length in blackened, charred gold.

From a black metal perspective the songs are fiery and full of textured content. The band obviously know what they’re doing with this kind of material and have the talent and experience to fully realise their vision for their music.

When they slow things down the doom side of their music truly comes to the fore, marking them out as having a strong predilection for misery-drenched funeral doom. Full of woe, despair, and strong negative energies, the band succeed in being crushing not only with heavy distortion, but also with weighty emotion.

The reality of The Maw of Time, of course, is that the divide between black metal and doom is not so clearly delineated as my rather simplistic descriptions above might lead you to believe. Although there are definitely some parts of these tracks that are clearly more in one camp or the other, a lot of the material here takes aspects from both to create a well-rounded experience for the listener to enjoy. For example; evocative and emotive melodies are used well regardless of whether the band are leaning towards their more blackened side or their more doom-oriented one.

Each song is extremely well-written and performed. All of the members know their art well, and I must commend the nuanced drumming and deep guttural growls as being particularly enjoyable.

The Maw of Time is a hideously accomplished album. With so much darkly rich content the band effortlessly create emotive soundscapes that are extremely rewarding and eminently enjoyable.

This is so highly recommended that it hurts. Get this.

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