Album Review: Skeletal Remains – Beyond the Flesh

Skeletal Remains - Beyond the Flesh

Skeletal Remains [USA]
Beyond the Flesh
Full Length
FDA Rekotz
Death Metal

Originally going by the moniker of Anthropophagy, the band soon changed its name to the current Skeletal Remains, with the band quickly releasing its debut full length album Beyond the Flesh a short year later.

But unlike many of the other old school death metal revivalists that prefer the Swedish sounds of Entombed or Nihilist, or those that walk a darker path of that bands like Incantation have created, Skeletal Remains with Beyond the Flesh displays a style that sounds more like a fusion between old school Floridian and Dutch bands. This is most obvious first with the vocal style of Chris, whose howls sound like a cross between Chuck’s vocals on albums like Scream Bloody Gore, Martin Van Drunen’s and John Tardy’s works. The frantic riff work throughout the album also bring about comparisons to those on Death and Pestilence material, especially with the slight thrashy edge that is present, and the band at times even brings out some slight Morbid Angel influences, making this the perfect album for those looking for death metal in the Floridian tradition.

One thing that stood out and made Beyond the Flesh even more enjoyable than it already is for the old school death metalhead are the lead guitars on the album. These are often fast as hell yet they manage to remain somewhat melodic and even emanate some neo-classical influences at times, and this definitely helps to make Skeletal Remains sound different from the plethora of death metal bands of recent times that tend to focus too much on crushing brutality. Often Adrian’s soloing borders on being self-indulgent and while this often is the source of complaint for many albums, they somehow fit like a glove on Beyond the Flesh, ending up as one of the personal key attractions, like on that mind-blowing extended soloing on Desolated Isolation.

Yet this does not mean that the music lacks aggression as drummer Christian provides lots of the energy on the record as well, and bassist Adrius provides the low end growl to create a heavy, well-rounded sound, and this heaviness is clearest on the mid-paced tracks such as Desolated Isolation where the band’s anger is easily communicated to, and felt by the listener. The band’s proficiency and mastery of their music is also heard in the production quality of Beyond the Flesh, sufficiently raw yet not compromising any aspects of their music, sounding like a true record out of the 80s, upping that nostalgia factor of their craft.

In fact, Skeletal Remains‘ Beyond the Flesh is so well-crafted that when placed back to back to an album like Scream Bloody Gore or Spiritual Healing, the differences are almost undiscernable, making this potentially a death metal classic.

Skeletal Remains on the internet:

FDA Rekotz

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