Artist: Skeletal Remains

Album Title: The Entombment Of Chaos

Label: Century Media Records

Date of Release: 11 September 2020

If you class yourself as a fan of ‘old school’ death metal, the kind that shows no mercy, has a dark, claustrophobic atmosphere and which goes on the attack from start to finish, then you may wish to read on…

‘The Entombment Of Chaos’ is the latest offering from Los Angeles-based death metal band Skeletal Remains, their fourth since forming nine years ago, initially under the moniker Anthropophagy. Thank heavens they changed the name as I find their original title difficult to say even when stone cold sober. Skeletal Remains they have become, and theirs is a name that is steadily gaining traction in the metal underground.

The first thing to say, is that the quartet, comprised of vocalist/guitarist Chris Monroy, guitarist Mike De La O, bassist Noah Young, and drummer Charlie Koryn does not apparently care one iota about creating anything particularly modern, ground-breaking or original. The sound that tears from the speakers like a rabid demon from the underworld is rooted in the best traditions of one of the dirtiest and ugliest genres of music that mankind has created. And that means, sinister and foreboding intro aside, that Skeletal Remains are hellbent on bludgeoning without mercy, all who have the bravery or temerity to listen to their music. This is savage stuff, the kind that was spawned a few decades ago by the likes of Obituary, Deicide and Pestilence, to name just a few of any number of salient protagonists.

‘Illusive Divinity’ is the opening proper salvo and it perfectly sets the foundations for what Skeletal Remains are all about. Dirty, heavy riffs that contain a touch of groove and a faint whiff of massively understated melody sit at the heart of the music, around which the drums inject some frenetic blasts alongside a bruising bass, guttural vocals and some swirling, writhing lead guitar solos that wail and gnash with barely-controlled fury. When I say ‘some’, I actually mean loads, as lead breaks litter the album liberally, something that I really like to hear in my death metal.

On first listen, there’s an apparent lack of diversity between the songs, meaning that 48 minutes initially goes by without any appreciation for what each song brings. However, with more listens, the intricacies do emerge, as do the nuances between tracks. For example, ‘Congregation Of Flesh’ becomes a firm favourite thanks to a couple of slower passages that offer up a little variation, as well as dark atmosphere and vague melodic tendencies.

Also in its favour is that ‘The Entombment Of Chaos’ has been given the mixing treatment by the great Dan Swanö, meaning that what could have become an ugly mess of unlistenable extremity, sounds great to these ears, providing clarity without stripping the power of the music, or wiping clean the grit and grime that is such an important part of the output.

The behemoth that’s ‘Tombs Of Chaos’ is a personal favourite thanks to some sounds that are so despicable, they surely must be illegal in most countries around the world. There’s more pronounced melody too, as the guitar riffs are given more room to breathe in places. I’m also a fan of the menacing stomp of ‘Eternal Hatred’ which offers incredible drumming within its intro, as well as an initial riff that reminds me of Morbid Angel and their wonderfully disgusting track, ‘Where The Slime Live’.

To end the glorious torture, we’re treated to a cover of Discarnate’s ‘Stench Of Paradise Burning’, featuring a guest vocal appearance from Carnation’s Simon Duson. It’s a positive end to an album that us brimming with confidence and measured brutality.

If you’re looking for a slice of death metal that sounds both fresh and in the best old-school tradition of the genre, then you could do an awful lot worse than put Skeletal Remains and ‘The Entombment Of Chaos’ at the top of your shopping list.

The Score of Much Metal: 85%

Check out my reviews from 2020 right here:

Prehistoric Animals – The Magical Mystery Machine (Chapter One)

Ihsahn – Pharos

Hinayana – Death Of The Cosmic
Oceans Of Slumber – Oceans Of Slumber
Okyr – Premorbid Intelligence
Manticora – To Live To Kill To Live
Pain Of Salvation – Panther
Vanishing Point – Dead Elysium
Unleash The Archers – Abyss
Veonity – Sorrows
Nyktophobia – What Lasts Forever
Ages – Uncrown
Awake By Design – Awake By Design
Black Crown Initiate – Violent Portraits Of Doomed Escape
Gaerea – Limbo
Buried Realm – Embodiment Of The Divine
Navian – Reset
Selenseas – The Outer Limits
Quantum – The Next Breath Of Air
Ensiferum – Thalassic
Long Distance Calling – How Do We Want To Live?
Airbag – A Day At The Beach
Re-Armed – Ignis Aeternum
Atavist – III: Absolution
Frost* – Others EP
Darker Half – If You Only Knew
Atavistia – The Winter Way
Astralborne – Eternity’s End
Centinex – Death In Pieces
Haken – Virus
Pile Of Priests – Pile Of Priests
Sorcerer – Lamenting Of The Innocent
Lesoir – Mosaic
Temnein – Tales: Of Humanity And Greed
Caligula’s Horse – Rise Radiant
…And Oceans – Cosmic World Mother
Vader – Solitude In Madness
Shrapnel – Palace For The Insane
Sinisthra – The Broad And Beaten Way
Paradise Lost – Obsidian
Naglfar – Cerecloth
Forgotten Tomb – Nihilistic Estrangement
Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn
Firewind – Firewind
An Autumn For Crippled Children – All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet
Havok – V
Helfró – Helfró
Victoria K – Essentia
Cryptex – Once Upon A Time
Thy Despair – The Song Of Desolation
Cirith Ungol – Forever Black
Igorrr – Spirituality and Distortion
Nightwish – Human. II: Nature.
Katatonia – City Burials
Wolfheart – Wolves Of Karelia
Asenblut – Die Wilde Jagd
Nicumo – Inertia
The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous
Omega Infinity – Solar Spectre
Symbolik – Emergence
Pure Reason Revolution – Eupnea
Irist – Order Of The Mind
Testament – Titans Of Creation
Ilium – Carcinogeist
Dawn Of Ouroboros – The Art Of Morphology
Torchia – The Coven
Novena – Eleventh Hour
Ashes Of Life – Seasons Within
Dynazty – The Dark Delight
Sutrah – Aletheia EP
Welicoruss – Siberian Heathen Horde
Myth Of I – Myth Of I
My Dying Bride – The Ghost Of Orion
Infirmum – Walls Of Sorrow
Inno – The Rain Under
Kvaen – The Funeral Pyre
Mindtech – Omnipresence
Dark Fortress – Spectres From The Old World
The Oneira – Injection
Night Crowned – Impius Viam
Dead Serenity – Beginnings EP
The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic
Deadrisen – Deadrisen
Blaze Of Perdition – The Harrowing Of Hearts
Godsticks – Inescapable
Isle Of The Cross – Excelsis
Demons & Wizards – III
Vredehammer – Viperous
H.E.A.T – H.E.A.T II
Psychotic Waltz – The God-Shaped Void
Into The Open – Destination Eternity
Lunarsea – Earthling/Terrestre
Pure Wrath – The Forlorn Soldier EP
Sylosis – Cycle of Suffering
Sepultura – Quadra
Dyscordia – Delete / Rewrite
Godthrymm – Reflections
On Thorns I Lay – Threnos
God Dethroned – Illuminati
Fragment Soul – A Soul Inhabiting Two Bodies
Mariana Semkina – Sleepwalking
Mini Album Reviews: Moloken, The Driftwood Sign & Midnight
Serenity – The Last Knight
Ihsahn – Telemark EP
Temperance – Viridian
Blasphemer – The Sixth Hour
Deathwhite – Grave Image
Marko Hietala – Pyre Of The Black Heart
SWMM – Trail Of The Fallen
Into Pandemonium – Darkest Rise EP
Bonded – Rest In Violence
Serious Black – Suite 226
Darktribe – Voici L’Homme
Brothers Of Metal – Emblas Saga
A Life Divided – Echoes
Thoughts Factory – Elements

You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here:

2019 reviews
2018 reviews
2017 reviews
2016 reviews
2015 reviews