Iron Bonehead Productions
French death metal duo Skelethal might just be 2 years young, but the age of the band says nothing about their knowledge, nor their ability to dish out some filthy, old school death metal. 2 years after their formation, the band releases their first EP, in the form of Deathmanicvs Revelation.
The soothing piano intro may trick one into thinking of this as one chilled out release, but as soon as the chaos of Macabre Oblivion hits the listener’s ears, one is quickly reminded of the filthy, bestial style of bands such as Bestial Raids or Antediluvian. But the band throws another surprise to the listener soon enough, and they go into full on Finnish death metal mode, with the sounds of Convulse and Purtenance, before finally settling on a style that is more akin to old school Swedish death metal. The raw production quality, along with the playing style of Gui Haunting, alternating between the rapid, chugging riffs and trem-picked sections, easily remind one of Swedish legends such as Entombed and Dismember. Jon Whiplash’s drumming are also bestial and barbaric as fuck, and when he isn’t showing his speed and intensity, he is engaging in some energetic d-beta work, like on Putrefaction, further strengthening that similarity to Swedish death metal.
By now, the obsession with old school extremity should be obvious to listeners of Skelethal, as the band doesn’t forget to include doom-paced sections in the middle of the release as well. For instance, the doomish moments towards the end of Macabre Oblivion easily invokes an almost ritualistic feel not unlike one that Archgoat emanates, or Abhorrence.
While merely 23 minutes short, Skelethal‘s debut EP effort has left me utterly impressed, and the whole range of old school influences that have gone into the writing of the record will ensure a non-stop headbanging experience for old school metalheads.