Hells Headbangers sets June 24th as the international release date for Shed the Skin’s highly anticipated debut album, Harrowing Faith. Late in 2014, Hells Headbangers released the quintet’s first recording, the Rebirth Through Brimstone 7″, and the buzz built about this “new” American death metal band. But Shed the Skin, in fact, include a number of considerable scene veterans: among them, Kyle Severn of Incantation on drums, Matt Sorg of Ringworm on guitars, Ash Thomas of Vladimirs and Faithxtractor on vocals, and Ed Stephens from Vindicator on bass.
With all that combined experience, it’s no surprise that Harrowing Faith is as massive as it is. Just like Rebirth Through Brimstone, the more fully fleshed-out Harrowing Faith is 100% DEATH METAL but does not bow to any one era, “school,” or region: simply, this is masterful songwriting coupled with utterly crushing production, all while proudly being “just” death metal. Granted, there’s a fine number of balances across the album – melodic vs. gutted, blastbeaten vs. doomed-out, headbanging vs. skullcrushing – but everything is done in service of the song. Each one explodes from the speakers and twists ‘n’ turns in ways unique to it, with all 12 tracks combining to create a swift but immediately memorable experience.
And now with the band slated to play this year’s Hells Headbash Part 3 and more live assaults on the way, Shed the Skin are poised to exert their dominance on the death metal scene: no better time, then, to indoctrinate to Harrowing Faith! Begin that indoctrination with the track “Putrid and Pious” exclusively here at Hells Headbangers’ Bandcamp, where Harrowing Faith can also be preordered.
Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Shed the Skin’s Harrowing Faith
1. Plasmic Flames
2. Daimonic Adytum
3. Harrowing Faith
4. Putrid and Pious
5. Unbound Revenant
6. Warband Under the Baphomet
8. Alpha and Omega
10. Inhuman Accretion
11. Innermost Sanctuary
12. Execration Divine
Shed the Skin are a Satanic old-school death metal band created by the minds of Kyle Severn (drummer from death metal legends Incantation, Acheron) and Matt Sorg (guitarist for Ringworm, Blood of Christ). These two disciples decided to create Shed the Skin after playing together recently in a tribute to the old-school Cleveland band Blood of Christ at a memorial show for their friend Tom Rojack, who passed away in 1997, never forgetting his amazing talent and the musicianship he contributed to the Satanic metal of the early ’90s. Matt was fortunate to have joined Blood of Christ after the 1991 demo and contributed to the band’s recordings and live shows for the duration of its existence, including the four-song Promo 1993 EP featuring the track “Shed the Skin.”
After the success of that tribute show to the late Tom Rojack, the members felt very comfortable together. Matt and Kyle decided to continue the Blood of Christ style of Satanic brutality and recruited Blood of Christ tribute members Duane Morris (Embalmer, Decrepit, Kurnugia) and Ed Stephens (Civil Disobedience, Ringworm, and Beyond Fear) to join their new creation. Due to scheduling conflicts, Duane would not be able to add his sick vocals to the project. So taking command over vocal duty would be veteran death metal singer Ash Thomas (Vladimirs, Estuary, Faithxtractor), who is no stranger to this style of death metal and has been a longtime friend and fan of Blood of Christ, as well. Brian Boston (From the Depths) was also recruited for his eerie, Satanic keyboard accents and intros.
With the lineup secured, Shed the Skin recorded two new tracks in Cleveland at Bad Back Studios with Dave Johnson engineering and had them mixed by the legendary Dan Swano at Unisound studios. Entitled Rebirth Through Brimstone, the two-song 7″ EP was released by none other than fellow Cleveland institution Hells Headbangers.
With the 7″ EP excitement from both band and fans still fresh, Matt and Kyle immediately starting working on new material, creating 10 brand-new songs and choosing to record an old Blood Of Christ track that Matt originally helped Tom create and which was lost till now. Together, it became Shed the Skin’s debut album, Harrowing Faith, holding the same aggressive death metal style as the 7″ – and as in 1990, all over again!
Supported by an intro created by Brian Boston and the help of Chuck Sherwood again writing lyrics, Harrowing Faith sees Ash Thomas belting vokills and crushing solos, the mighty Ed Stephens on bass, and lastly, Matt blazing out rhythm and leads that that old metal feeling! The whole album was tracked in Ohio and was again mixed/mastered by the legendary Dan Swano at Unisound Studios, Sweden. The cover artwork was created James “Human Furnace” Bulloch of Ringworm fame, who has outdone himself with a black & white Satanic masterpiece that puts him up there with the greatest of greats!
Shed the Skin are currently planning to bring their blasphemic creations to the stage, while honoring their past by playing Blood of Christ material in their live set. The band are also currently available for interviews and can be contacted via their Facebook page.
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