Dead Neanderthals and Scott Hedrick’s Haunting “Ghosts”

Source: Invisible Oranges.

With last year’s release Devouring Radiant Light, Skeletonwitch abandoned their brand of scorched death-thrash metal, their bread and butter throughout five albums over a decade, in favor of ambitious black metal atmosphere. It was a risky move that was brought on by the musical growth of guitarist Scott Hedrick.

In our interview with the guitarist, he explains, “In the last couple years I’ve really gotten into all kinds of crazy free jazz music, and lots of ambient, world music and stuff. It’s not like our record’s going to sound like any of those things directly, but there are elements creeping in from my love of Brian Eno, my love of Pharoah Sanders or Don Cherry where I come up with ideas that are pretty wacky when jamming.”

The new direction alienated some longtime supporters, but also gained Skeletonwitch newfound respect from others. This did not only include a litany of metal music critics falling over themselves to praise the disc, but also René Aquarius, drummer for avant-garde “New Wave of Dutch Heavy Jazz” duo Dead Neanderthals.