Skeletal Remains
Devouring Mortality

California’s Skeletal Remains have composed and performed one of the year’s best death metal albums with their 3rd studio full length record Devouring Mortality.  The attention to detail exhibited is outstanding.  Starting off with Dan Seagrave’s brilliant cover artwork (Morbid Angel, Entombed, Malevolent Creation), these guys clearly wanted to present the look of an early 90’s band.  Sound wise, having Dan Swano (Edge of Sanity) mix this adds a further old school edge to the overall package. Opening up with “Ripperology”, the first track builds with some scalier, lower end riffing with driving double bass. Once the verse riff and guitarist vocalist’s Chris Monroy’s Martin Van Druenen-esque (Pestilence, Asphyx) vox first scream you can feel the intensity of the album right away and actually is quite refreshing from guttural styled vox.  The modern production on this adds a shine and shimmer that definitely would be lost a bit with a twenty plus year production.  All instruments are crystal clear and makes for an enjoyable listen through the eleven tracks on this album.

If you have not checked out the video for “Seismic Abyss” it’s an excellent display of what these guys are all about.   With tracks like this one you can clearly hear how they break up the influences of groups like Death and Pestilence.  I cannot say enough of the production on this one.  I had to go back and listen to some earlier Skeletal Remains to get the context on how their sound has evolved. This isn’t the most technical band but the parts that they add that are technical are well thought out and executed. The James Murphy-esque harmony section towards the end of this tune leading to an ending solo is so spot on heavy that I got a sore neck from head banging to it the first few times going through this album for review.

“Catastrophic Retribution” opens up with a very intricate fretboard run riff that can probably induce a circle pit upon first listen.  The title track, “Devouring Mortality’ opens up with one of the cooler intro parts on the album. Got love the drum fill into a lower end riff.  I can also hear some old Morgoth and Considered Dead Gorguts in Monroy’s voice.   The track has one of the more up tempo blast beat sections on the record and then goes back into crushing mid paced riffing and drumming. “Torture Labyrinth” is also quite heavy and opens up with a cool harmony part into solo and then a double up harmony lead with a strong tremolo dive into some crushing down picked rhythms.  “Grotesque Creation” opens up with some thrashy power chord progressions into a windmill inducing, finger flying shred display.  This is all builds into an incredibly catchy beat down section and then right back into thrash triplet patterns with aggressive blasting over the top.

“Lifeless Manifestation” is a cool instrumental track later on the record that has a dirty Morbid Angel vibe to it. The album closes with “Internal Detestation” which ends with the same type of intensity as the majority of this album. Devouring Mortality is a unique death metal album. Skeletal Remains have managed to create a modern old school sound without losing any intensity. From the artwork to the production to each track by track assault this record should do well for Dark Descent Records and U.S Death metal. This is a catchy keeper that will keep you head banging start to finish.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
April 2nd, 2018

Comments

  1. Commented by: Evan

    Ive been a fan of these guys for 2 years now, saw them at MDF last year twice! They blew me away when I first heard them and when i saw them I felt like i took a time machine back to 1990/91. Cant wait for the lp to drop! Skeletal Remains rules.


  2. Commented by: Jay

    I’m a big fan of “Condemned to Misery.” They nailed that old school vibe to my ears, big fuckin’ time. Great review Nick and liking what I hear already.


Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. Your post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and maybe held up for further approval. We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Mystic Rites - Threads EP
  • Woorms/A Hanging - Split 7
  • Beyond Deth - The Age of Darkness
  • Thy Feeble Savior - And Darkness Fell
  • Altar - Youth Against Christ/Ego Art (Reissue)
  • Ghostbound - All is Phantom
  • Sadistik Forest - Morbid Majesties
  • Crisix - Against All Odds
  • Archelon - Tribe of Suns
  • Alien Weaponry - Tū
  • Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods
  • Order of Riven Cathedrals - Göbekli Tepe
  • Morgengrau - Blood Oracle
  • Rivers of Nihil - Where Owls Know my Name
  • Cavern - Eater