Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Have you ever listened to an album so heavy and bludgeoning that you don't even finish it? And instead, you just say "Jesus Christ, this is so crushing?" 'Cuz that is what happened to me with The Entombment of Chaos.
This is the fourth album from the California death metal quartet, and like with Mortal from Necrot, this album was highly anticipated. Skeletal Remains have already made a big name for themselves for their groove-laden, highly catchy, and downright viscous brand of death metal, mixing in the catchiness of old-school death metal and the technical brutality of modern death metal. So with all of that said, do Skeletal Remains continue their ascent into modern death metal legends? We shall see...
Right off the bat, as soon as the intro track is done, you are skull-fucked by the massive power of "Illusive Divinity." This groove-laden beast does not let up. Much like with the rest of the album, this song is a sledgehammer to the skull. Skeletal Remains have always been a viscous band, but I feel that this is them at their most aggressive and feral. Their's a certain immediacy to these songs that makes you feel like they're playing as if their lives depend on it. With tracks like "Congregation of Flesh" and "Dissectasy" you get that signature Skeletal Remains sound but with the added ferocity and plenty of devastating grooves.
The tracks I would like to pinpoint the most are "Tombs of Chaos" and "Eternal Hatred." While the former keeps within the realms of what Skeletal Remains does the most, the main focus is groove. Every riff in this song feels like it was crafted to perfection. The perfect amount of catchiness and skull-crushing weight. The main riff is lethal. I'd even go as far as to say it's probably one of the top 10 best riffs in death metal in 2020. In contrast, "Eternal Hatred" is basically a death/doom song. Now I can't say that it's necessarily a slow dirge of a song, it's certainly the slowest song on the album. For over six minutes, this song just drags you by the hair through a pit of knives. Crunchy, chuggy, and fat are the perfect ways to describe this song.
It also needs to be said: the flow of this album is remarkable. I love the added inclusion of both an intro and an interlude. They add a new dimension to these tracks, and really set a mood and atmosphere. They also help make the runtime of this album fly by so fast, in turn making the replayability feverish.
I also need to mention the production. Now as many of you know, I'm a guy who loves raw and gritty production, but even I can't deny that the extremely clean production on this album was warranted. It's razor-sharp, crystal clear, but with plenty of beef. Praise need to be given to the almighty Dan Swano for his mixing and mastering job. Drummer Charlie Koryn is the star of this show. His drums are so upfront in the mix and his drum tone is stellar too, that's not to mention his drum performance too. I have absolutely no complaints on the production on this album. Also special shoutout to the legendary Dan Seagrave for the stunning artwork he presented to the band. Another classic in the arsenal.
So, with that being said, how does this album rank? Very highly! Skeletal Remains have crafted an absolute mammoth of an album. While a lot of death metal bands take themselves seriously, as they should, they lose the fun-factor to their music. You can still be brutally heavy and have fun while making such crushing music. Skeletal Remains are one of those bands, this album has so much replayability. In one day alone I listened to this album probably four-five times. It's an album that you can keep coming back. It still feels fresh and has that power and impact. This is, without a doubt, one of the best death metal albums of the year. While 2020 has had a slew of great death metal releases, I found that they were coming out in the second half of this year. Ulthar, Incantation, and Necrot hold the throne for death metal this year, and now Skeletal Remains have ascended to said throne. If you haven't already, fucking check out The Entombment of Chaos! Bang your head, mosh in your bedroom, growl along, do whatever. Just check out this goddamn album. Congratulations to Skeletal Remains!
Skeletal Remains - The Entombment of Chaos was released Sept. 11th, 2020 from Century Media Records
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!