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Listen to the first main riff played in "Pantheon of the Abyss" the below song taken from ...Of the Depths, the debut LP by France's Skelethal.

It is a simple, basic melody, but to my ears it seems almost sassy. I feel a certain swagger behind it. Not long after, the song downshifts into a flurry of D-D-beats and chunky, low-string riffs, but that first section takes the time to introduce the listener to an honest-to-satan melody. Skelethal do not play melodic death metal, even though their music calls back to early 90's Sweden. They could just as easily have omitted that riff and proceeded straight into the barking mosh-call that follows it.

So why the melody? Just because it sounds fucking cool. Skelethal sprinkle playful sections throughout ...Of the Depths. Pick slides. Trading solos. The latter in particular telegraphs whimsy since vocalist Gui Haunting recorded all of the bands guitar tracks. In other words, Skelethal know exactly what they want to do (The Sunlight Sound) and know exactly how they want to do so (by having fun).

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...Of the Depths drops on June 23 via Hells Headbangers. Order it here. Follow Skelethal on Facebook.

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