Skeletal Remains’ debut album ‘Beyond the Flesh’ caught people’s attention as they merged influences from bay area and florida death metal into chunky old school stuff. The production got tidier with ‘Condemned to Misery’, the riffs equally good and an overall more polished product. The guitar solos are usually stand out quality from all their releases. Their death metal is simple and fun. The drums are hoppy and the vocals are bursts of Obituary-esque shouting screams.
Coming to the new album ‘Devouring Mortality’, the approach seems a lot more straightforward, the groove has never been this prominent as far as the riff writing is concerned, and the production is clean and modern sounding. The band have tread off their usual path a few times on this record, and more often than before. I wouldn’t say that it works all the time though. Some sections, usually the groovier slow to mid tempo ones, sound duller than the bludgeoning sections where the band goes ham.
The drumming stands out in this album since the little experiments provide some room to construct the drumming canvas a bit more freely. The guitar solos again have that lush sound that accentuate the melodies effectively, although not every solo perfectly fits in the position it has been placed, even if in isolation they are really good. The salvaging point is that it’s not that there are some tracks that are dull while the others are exceptional. It’s that each track has a lot of variability to encompass both the great and not-so-great sections in them, so there is nothing I can suggest to skip.
Nonetheless, there are few stand out tracks that I would bump more often. “Mortal Decimation” is a absolutely devastating track. Heavy from the get go, the track’s heavy trampling and the memorable solo hits all the required marks. “Internal Detestation”, the final track of the album, is another one of my favourites from the album. We see exceptional drumming and pacing of the riffs, and it probably is one of the heaviest tracks as well. The sections where they tear away in ripping speeds is one of the highlights of the album and a great way to end it as well.
‘Devouring Mortality’ is, all the conventionality and corniness aside, is an extremely fun death metal album if you like to find your old favorites in a new package. Of course there was no intention to reinvent the wheel here, which makes analysis in the lines of what this brings to the death metal of today not a suitable direction of inquiry. Just grab a beer and have some fun, would you.