Skeletal Remains shouldn’t be unknown anymore by any Death Metal fans. With their debut “Beyond The Flesh” they put themselves on the map of most promising newcomers in extreme metal. Their Death Metal takes influences mostly from the US, paired with some European ideas here and there, riffs reigning supreme, drums pounding and alternating very well between groove and fast beats, blast beats and vocals not of this earth. Chris Monroy’s voice is somewhere between Tardy, Van Drunen and Grewe, just to expand on feature releases. With this ingredients and the capability to write SONGS, the band grew more and more and released excellent records after that, like “Condemned to Misery” and “Devouring Mortality”, my favourite work so far.
So what happened the last 2 years? Charlie Koryn is playing drums on this record and he did an excellent job, keeping the songs fluent, incorporating interesting fills and beats, always playing for the song and not against it. Dan Seagrave and Dan Swanö did an amazing job once again, capturing the essence and spirit of the record on a visual and tonal side. The entire record has got a lot of variations in speed, which makes the entire record very enjoyable to listen to. The technical level seems to have risen, there are more twisted riffs and time signatures.
But no worries, Skeletal Remains keep things quite straight and don’t make the mistake to go too much for tech and still focus on song writing and songs. After the intro “Cosmic Chasm” they go all in with the brutal track “Illusive Divinity”, US-Death Metal done perfectly. Everything I like about it is on this track. “Synthetic Impulse” for example has got Hate Eternal as well as Morbid Angel vibes, still recognizable as Skeletal Remains, just awesome! The presence of a band like Morbid Angel might be obvious, and some ideas might think you of this or that track, but still, everything is well written and woven into the Skeletal Remains formula, like in “Tombs of Chaos”, with 7 string guitars, Gateways vibes and still that brutal groove of Skeletal Remains. The twin vocals have been expanded on this record for which I am really thankful, I simply love it! The leads fit the songs as well, having a Azagthothian/Rutan vibe. Sick track!
With “ Enshrined in Agony” a beautiful instrumental has found its way and place in the middle of the record to let the listener breath a bit. Fans of Death will like it. Afterwards the brutality is back, striking with fury. “Dissectasy” blows your brain down and cuts deep wounds into your belly to let the blood flow profusely! A real banger, those riffs, that drumming…aaarrgghhh!!!
Feel it’s enough? No way! The party continues! “ Torturous Ways to Obliteration is probably the fastest track of the band, chaotic riffing, brutal as fuck, more like on the Hate Eternal debut. Most brutal track on the record. With the following “Eternal Hatred” the mixture Hate Eternal meets Morbid Angel meets Skeletal Remains goes into another round. A real atmospheric track, dark, obscure and heavy, (that opening), full of lovely riffs, leads, jaw dropping drumming and vocal lines. A bow to Morbid Angel on the last part included. Skeletal Remains keep the flame high during the entire record and include also a sick and kick ass cover of Disincarnate’s “Stench of Paradise Burning”, not only well executed but also with a different vocal approach, being much more deeper in grunts than usual, killer!
Back to the question, what happened during the last 2 years? A lot! An amazing 4th album which expands the sound of Skeletal Remains, claiming the throne of old school inspired Death Metal in the present. High contender for album of the year! Respect! May the chaos come once more…..(DPF)