Skeletal Remains from California are old school deathsters and class is most definitely in session!

This Debut album from Skeletal Remains will make you dewy eyed with nostalgia.

Well this takes me back. Skeletal Remains have obviously invented a time machine. They sound so retro, sooooo Morrisound – I had to check to see whether Scott Burns produced the thing.

The band were formed only in May last year as ‘Anthropophagy’. They recorded 3 song demo – ‘Desolate Isolation’ and, after a couple of line up changes have delivered this little gem.

For such a young band, all of whom were born A.R.I.B. (after Reign In Blood), Skeletal Remains are clearly well schooled. I have no doubt that if any of them were on Mastermind, their chosen subject would be ‘Florida Death Metal between 1989 -1994.

This is of course, not such a bad thing and while I’d give them zero marks for originality they do score higher with their flawless execution of a classic musical style & sound, even more impressive as they’ve been together under two years!

Musically we’re talking ‘Spiritual Healing’ era Death, with a bit of Pestilence & Gorguts thrown in to add some extra technicality.

Vocalist Chris Monroy sounds  like the love child of Martin Van Drunen & Chuck Schuldiner (RIP) and Skeletal Remains songwriting is mainly a mix of faster thrashing elements & the more pounding mid-paced tracks that bring early Deicide to mind. Guitar work is very melodic and the (not too) complex song structures ensure the album is a grower rather than being instantly memorable. Which, apart from the lack of originality is my only gripe – more hooks required please fellas.

Having said that, there’s some great tunes on here the groovy ‘Desolate Isolation’ & blazing fast ‘Reconstructive Surgery’ really put a smile on my face.

As an old bastard who remembers (and still loves) this type of music from when it first came crawling out of the Florida swamps I find it heartening to know that it’s still being appreciated, especially by a band who weren’t even walking when ‘Altars Of Madness’ hit the shops.

And that makes me all warm & fuzzy inside. Good job guys.


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