Tuesday, 29 September 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Skeletal Remains, "The Entombment of Chaos"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 11/09/2020
Label: Century Media Records

“The Entombment of Chaos” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Cosmic Chasm (Intro)
2). Illusive Divinity
3). Congregation Of Flesh
4). Synthetic Impulse
5). Tombs Of Chaos
6). Enshrined In Agony
7). Dissectasy
8). Torturous Ways To Obliteration
9). Eternal Hatred
10). Unfurling The Casket

The Review:

“The Entombment of Chaos” is album number four for these Californian death metallers. It's incredible, really. It's not because of their longevity, but instead it is incredible they are not from Tampa, Florida and this is being released in 2020 and not 1992. This album is a beast. It's resolutely old school and nods to the best bands of the genre; Death, Morbid Angel, Obituary et al. The promo photo says a lot; Obituary and Grave shirts proudly on display and the band looking like they are deathly serious- which they are.

The fact that the bonus track is a Disincarnate cover- that's the James Murphy Disincarnate- shows that these guys are very interested in going for real old school fans of the genre and also that they are exactly that themselves.

Of course, this is fast, of course this is brutal, of course this is pure death metal; but it's never at the expense of riffs and attitude. It's not fast for the sake of being fast and doesn't overstep the mark into unlistenable brutality. Instead, there are plenty of melodic shifts and tasteful leads (“Synthetic Impulse” has this in spades). The atmospheric intro of “Cosmic Cavern” nods to the tech greats like Cynic, while the opener proper “Illusive Divinity is headbanging heaven.

Elsewhere, the propulsive thrashing of “Tombs of Chaos” is very satisfying- with added blasts for seasoning. Ten tracks (eleven with the bonus track) is more than enough of this type of carnage. Just like their forbears, this is to the point and focused- just as well because if this ran to a full hour or similar it would be hard to get through. Instead, the band know that a little goes a long way and the record clocks in around the length of one side of a TDK 90 cassette (which I used to have Death albums dubbed onto).

What Skeletal Remains have done here is recreate the atmosphere and approach of classic early 90s Floridian death metal, and they have done so expertly. It's really good death metal, complete with a mood setting intro, a clean interlude (“Enshrined In Agony”) that kicks off the second half and all the good points of the genre rolled into one album.

There are echoes of Deicide's riffing approach in “Dissectasy” and Morbid Angel's angular musicality in “Torturous Ways To Obliteration”. Yep, for the old school death head, there is nothing to dislike here. The production is spot on, too. This is a great throwback to the g(l)ory days of death and makes me want to dig out everything from “Cause of Death” to “Altars of Madness” to “Tomb of the Mutilated” and feast upon their innards.

It's a deathly delight from start to finish. Have a listen to any one of the eight full original songs here and you are bound to agree- if you have any interest in any of the aforementioned bands. Death metal the way it was and the way it should be; loud, fast and raw with grit and guts aplenty. 

“The Entombment of Chaos” is available HERE 

Band info: facebook