- Band(s): Skeletal Earth
- Label(s): VIC Records
- Release Format(s): CD, Re-Release
- Release Year: 2022
- Review Date: February 8, 2023
- Author(s): FelixS
The Madison, Alabama, USA based Death/Thrash Metal band were not quite top of their league back in the early 90’s. They were best known in their own local scene as well as, remarkably enough, in The Netherlands. While it might be indeed a little odd to see The Netherlands mentioned here, but that was mainly due to their signing to the Dutch Foundation 2000 label, which was also responsible for releasing some undeniable classics, such as the first Gorefest, Carbonized and The Gathering albums as well as a cult classic such as ‘The Spooky Gloom’ by the massively overlooked Sempiternal Deathreign. But compared to almost all the other bands on the Foundation 2000 roster, Skeletal Earth were particularly underwhelming.
Underwhelming in terms of musical ingenuity as well as in the offered quality. Where most of their label compatriots were obviously pushing boundaries and even helped define and shape their respective genres, Skeletal Earth sounded downright silly and unmatured for the most part. While the musical idea in itself shouldn’t be too much of a weird idea: blending the basics of Death Metal with elements of Thrash Metal and a lot of Punkrock into something fresh and new, it never crystalized into just that. The at times frantic Death/Thrash Metal is heavily loaded with Dead Kennedys like Punkrock vibes and rhythms, creating something that sometimes borders bands like Suicidal Tendencies or even D.R.I., but it never gets into anything remotely of the same quality. A rather tasteless cover by The Kinks, ‘You Really Got Me’, is maybe exemplary for the musical level of the album.
Is it all doom and gloom? No, fortunately not, there are some ideas and riffs that actually seem to work and the Scott Burns production is pretty crisp and is actually lifting the music up a notch. But it is definitely not enough to save this album from sheer mediocrity. Sometimes albums and/or bands are somewhat forgotten for a proper reason and reissues are basically not all that necessary or needed.
Skeletal Earth’s marginal contribution to the metal scene is one of the most perfect examples of that. And besides that, the original copies are easy to come by – even unplayed stock copies are for sale if you know where to look. Coincidentally, I had picked up an original pressing of the album on vinyl a few months ago for just €8.
- Country: USA
- Style: Death Metal, Thrash Metal
- Country: Netherlands
- Style: Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Thrash Metal, Other
- Links: Homepage, Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp, Youtube