That was more than twenty years ago and now things are seemingly coming full circle with new bands like Finland’s Skeletal who are ready to re-examine the roots of extreme metal.
There was a time when all I listened to was Slayer and Death, aside from the Teutonic thrash masters there was nothing more extreme. Then Obituary, Deicide and Cannibal Corpse came along closely followed by At The Gates, Entombed and Carcass. The rest is history, death metal was born.
Reflecting back on this musical evolution, the progression from heavy metal to thrash was initially limited by accessibility. We resorted to overseas tape trading and rogue radio stations to get our fix. By the time thrash was replaced with death metal, the whole scene was more established. Record stores and music clubs has started to cash in on the music trend. Labels were willing to take chances.
Simultaneous scenes occurring both in Europe and America encouraged creativity. The scene evolved quickly with subgenres occurring regularly but the viciousness of death metal was doomed by its lack of mainstream acceptance. This wasn’t conventional thrash this was malevolent. The death metal flame dimmed and the trend was eventually replaced by black metal. That was more than twenty years ago and now things are seemingly coming full circle with new bands like Finland’s Skeletal who are ready to re-examine the roots of extreme metal.
Skeletal’s debut effort Dreadful life is throwback death metal in the classic sense. Think Death or Morbid Angel with a splash of Destruction thrown in. It’s a refreshing version of a pioneering sound. All the tracks are raw and have a production quality that would make you think this was recorded in the early ‘90s. The Skeletal attack is overly aggressive and heavily distorted. Their sound features low tuned guitars and devastating drums set to gnarling vocals but the band isn’t afraid to defile their noise with clean vocals or airy solos. The end result is an intriguing offering heavy on potential. Highlight tracks for me are: “Death Works Overtime”, “Sewers of this World”, and Leap of Faith” and “Return to the Grave”.
Skeletal has managed to break new ground by revisiting the old. Check out some Skeletal and start living your own Dreadful Life. \m/
- Make – Guitars
- Josa – Drums
- Samuel – Vocals, Guitars
- Roope – Bass