Sound — 7
At One With The Shadows is the debut album from Athens, Ohio thrashers Skeletonwitch. Kicking the album off is the song "The Skullsplitter" and apart from a few acoustic intro's and interludes the album barely lets up the pace and intesity all the way to the end. The band has managed to find a near perfect balance between Black Metal, Thrash Metal & Melodeath. Unlike Beyond The Permafrost or Breathing The Fire, At One With The Shadows features less of Chance Garnette's deep death growls and most of the songs are predominantly black metal shrieks, all coupled together with some fast and exciting thrash riffs and NWOBHM style lead work. The production on this album is relatively weak and the drums and bass are pretty deeply buried in the mix, still, not bad enough to turn away most listeners.
Lyrics — 7
Lyrics on the album aren't bad, if you can understand them that it is and there were no lyrics printed in the album sleeve. Mostly the deal with the usual metal lyrics, occult themes feature heavily. Chance Garnette's vocals are excellent, not quite as good as the are on the most recent 2 albums but certainly a good performance. For me, having heard BtP before this album, I was a little disappointed at first due to the lack of death growls but peersonally I prefer Chance's black metal shrieks to his death growling anyway. The lyrics fit nicely with the music, but some people don't like the way the vocal delivery goes with the music. Personally I think it's great and as the latest 2 albums have shown, it was only going to get better.
Overall Impression — 8
Skeletonwitch are top of the pile for all the NWOTM (New Wave of Thrash Metal) bands. Very original and listening to this album gives me the impression that they absolutely shred live. Aside from the production it's a very solid debut album but if you've got into Skeletonwitch the way me and many others have, through Beyond The Permafrost you will only get 6 new tracks because the songs Baptized In Flames, Vengance Will Be Mine and Within My Blood were all first released on this album and re-recorded and released on BtP. Stand out tracks on the album for me (not counting the tracks that were re-released on BtP) are Onward To Battle, The Skullsplitter and the title track but all round it's a pretty solid album. If it were stolen or lost I would like to get it a new copy but I probably wouldn't due to the fact that the album is now out of print and pretty diffuclt to track down. I would reccommend this album and other Skeletonwitch stuff to anyone who enjoys Black Metal, Thrash Metal or Death Metal.