It can’t be easy to achieve death metal supremacy, what with there being like 11,000 bands out there doing it right now, and a good bit of them are pretty goddamn good. But there are bands that find their way to cut through the high weeds and dominate the swamp by just creating great art and using talent and tenacity to stand in the upper echelon of creators.
Hailing from California, where living hell literally is spreading its way across, Skeletal Remains have been blasting out top-notch death metal for several years now, and their latest record “The Entombment of Chaos” is one of their deadliest servings yet. Their first release exclusively for Century Media (the label co-released 2018’s “Devouring Mortality” along with Dark Descent), the band delivers an absolute mammoth of a record that should excite any death metal fan on any level. And this is the real thing here, as it’s brutal as hell, features mind-bending musicianship, and isn’t looking to smooth any of the jagged edges, that Skeletal Remains use to slice up your psyche. Over 11 tracks (10 if you have the vinyl version, which sounds great, BTW) and 48 minutes, the band—vocalist/guitarist Chris Monroy, guitarist Mike De La O, bassist Noah Young, and drummer Charlie Koryn (Pierce Williams has since taken over drum duties)—essentially is a mostly retooled machine that sounds deadly as ever and delivers a record that’ll burn your soul beyond recognition.
“Chasm (Intro)” is a weird, trippy first cut that opens the crypt door and lets you into the record’s hellish hall, which begins in full on “Illusive Divinity” that rips open and crushes throats. Harsh wails mar, and a raucous fury delivers a beating while the drums are hammered, and soloing tears through bone. A manic pace and deadly roars combine with fluid leads to end the track. “Congregation of Flesh” mashes and pulls away at muscle while vile growls and searing leads scorch flesh. Tricky guitars add to the assault while brains are scrambled, and the track chugs away. “Synthetic Impulse” clobbers as blinding savagery begins to spark violence. The band thrashes and delivers staggering power while leads twist bones, and the attack fires up again and blasts through the gates. “Tombs of Chaos” explodes, bringing churning chaos and vicious hell over the verses. The chorus opens up the atmosphere a bit before the hammers are dropped massively as the leads jolt, and the vocals feel like they blast from Monroy’s throat. Guitars layer and add creativity to the brutality while the track fades into maniacal coolness.
“Enshrined in Agony” is an instrumental piece with classic-style guitar work and jarring trickery, as the haunting feeling at the back end of it blends into “Dissectasy” that absolutely erupts with blood and guts. The vocals are nasty as hell as the gnarly pace grinds flesh into the ground, and the guitars ignite with fluid power. From there, the attack is just relentless before the track comes to a monstrous end. “Torturous Ways to Obliteration” crunches bones as the vocals wrench flesh as the pace trudges through mud. Animalistic wails cut into the psyche as wild soloing tests wills, and the track comes to a manic finish. “Eternal Hatred” bleeds into the scene as a slow-driving assault begins as Monroy howls, “Above all, I will remain!” Hellish blazing roasts flesh, mashing away as Monroy commands, “Bow down and pray before me.” “Unfurling the Casket” is the closer on the vinyl edition and stomps bodies into paste after the guitars emerge from the horizon. It feels like strange symbols are being carved into your chest as the leads smother and even glimmer before guttural madness returns, and the band brings the assault to a horrifying end. “Stench of Paradise Burning” is the closer on the other editions, a cover of the Disincarnate track that first emerged in 1993, which they give rightfully destructive treatment.
The death metal world is completely swamped with bands, many of them doing premium stuff, and Skeletal Remains have been one of the leading destroyers for a few years now. That continues on masterful “The Entombment of Chaos,” a record that just rips your guts out and refuses to relent during the entire run. As far as tried-and-true death metal that has its heart in the early ’90s but maintains a deadly modern edge, you aren’t going to find anyone doing it better than Skeletal Remains.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/SkeletalRemainsDeathMetal
To buy the album, go here: http://www.cmdistro.com/
For more on the label, go here: https://www.centurymedia.com/