Skeletal Remains’ The Entombment Of Chaos: old school death metal for a new generation

Skeletal Remains serve up death metal brutality without the nostalgia on new album The Entombment Of Chaos

(Image: © Century Media)

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If Skeletal Remains have been plagued with accusations of being Pestilence clones over the past nine years, The Entombment Of Chaos is the moment where they’ve finally offered a thorough defence. Not only have the Californians outgrown their main influence, but they’ve surpassed it too.

Guitarist and vocalist Chris Monroy is Skeletal Remains’ sole survivor of the purge that followed the previous album/tour cycle, so this is almost a brand-new band and their fourth full-length is bigger, bolder and meaner than anything they’ve done so far. They’re still very much rooted in the classic death metal sound of the 90s, but while the music remains old school at its core, the delivery and sonic impact is very much 2020.

Think of a high-budget Michael Bay remake of a (good) 80s action flick with no absolutely no holds barred. You like it loud and flashy? They’ve urged Swedish maestro Dan Swanö to go as bombastic as he could with the mix. You’re missing the era when guitarists engaged in extensive solo duels? Both six-stringers have gone ballistic throughout. You dig sludgy anthems like Morbid Angel’s Where The Slime Live? They’ve fully embraced seven-string guitars on a couple of tracks to give them extra weight, most notably on Eternal Hatred. And to remind us they consider themselves as guardians of a certain tradition, they’ve once again asked Dan Seagrave to create the tortuous artwork and, as with their three previous albums, revisited an old classic – this time Disincarnate’s Stench Of Paradise Burning, with Carnation’s Simon Duson on vocals.

Veterans from the golden age of death metal might complain that what lies beneath all the that shiny armour has been done before, but for the millennials looking for a larger-than-life entry point into the realms of classic death metal that isn’t weighed down by nostalgia, this could well be a revelation.