Review Date: October 2020
Released: 2020, Century Media
Two years after the release of Devouring Mortality, California death metallers Skeletal Remains are back with their fourth album THE ENTOMBMENT OF CHAOS. The beautifully macabre cover art by Dan Seagrave gives a pretty good indication of what’s to come.
“Illusive Divinity” has a vibe that reminds me of ‘Rapture’ from Morbid Angel’s Covenant album, and “Tombs of Chaos” has a cool early Sepultura feel to it, with some ‘Summoning Redemption’ mixed in. The band says that they’re inspired by the death metal greats of the late 80’s and early 90’s, but make no mistake – although the influences of acts like Morbid Angel are evident Skeletal Remains has crafted a sound of their own.
Around the half-way mark there’s a few moments of calm with the instrumental “Enshrined in Agony”, and then it’s right back to the brutality with “Dissectasy”. “Eternal Hatred” slows the pace down some, in a ‘Where The Slime Live’-type way, including some killer guitar solos.
There’s a difference between death metal done in an early 90’s style, and death metal that sounds like it was done in the early 90’s. A good example of that is the cover of Disincarnate’s “Stench of Paradise Burning”. The original is of course a classic, but when you listen to it today you can clearly hear that it was made close to 30 years ago. Then you listen to the SR version, and though the style is true to the original you would never mistake it for an early 90’s song. I’m a sucker for today’s recording and production technology, though I still enjoy the late 80’s/early 90’s sound. With this album you get the classic death metal vibe and the benefits of modern equipment.
Drummer Charlie Koryn is a beast, and it’s always astonishing to me that human beings are capable of this stuff. I’m also a sucker for intelligible lyrics in death metal. Vocalist/guitarist Chris Monroy has a brutal-but-understandable delivery style similar to guys like David Vincent and George Fisher. And there may be some John Tardy influence present in a few places.
The musicianship here is top notch, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this album included on some ‘best of” lists. Highly recommended for fans of the genre.