April 16, 2014

Filthy Music Review - 'Skelethal: Death Manicvs Revelations'

Skelethal - Deathmanicvs Revelation  (2014)

Iron Bonehead Productions

Review by Trevor Proctor

Skelethal are French two piece death metal band created in early 2012 by Gui Haunting and Jon Whiplash, both members of French thrash band Infinite Translation; they released a demo called “Morbid Ovation” during Summer 2012 to widespread acclaim at the same time attracting attention from leading labels such as Iron Bonehead who they are currently signed to. Deathmanicvs Revelation will be Skelethal’s debut MLP for the excellent, and ever productive Iron Bonehead; a label at the heart of the recent plethora of outstanding releases within the sub-genre.

The lonely thud of a church bell with thunder rumbling in the background leads to a short piano intro, use this brief respite wisely and catch a breath as this is pretty much the longest let-up you’ll have for the next 22 minutes as it’s a case of straight down to business as Skelethal pummel the eardrums with another six tracks in 22 short minutes of blistering, authentic, churning death metal. 

From the opening chords of Macabre Oblivion it’s apparent Skelethal have ditched the atmospheric/oppressive approach in favour of an all-out barrage of straight up death metal, they waste no time and are certainly not taking any prisoners. Mid-way the pace temporarily slows to let you catch another quick breath as Skelethal show there’s more to their sound than an all-out barrage; however the pace quickly returns along with a frenetic yet meticulously well played guitar solo that’s as furious as it is frantic - yet very precisely executed – this is as good a death metal solo as you’ll hear from many guitarists. 

There are plenty of other such solos peppered throughout the album that grab the attention due to the skill with which they’re played. The vocals are also very well balanced across the MLP’s duration, never inaudible or too guttural they feature effectively in the overall mix and help add to the overall authenticity of Skelethal with a sound familiar to fans of quality Old School Death Metal.

There’s a primitive rawness to Skelethal’s sound that’s reminiscent of early death metal recordings; it’s not overly polished or produced and it’s organic sound will appeal to many fans, aside from the music another factor that makes this creation even more significant is that it’s the brainchild of only 2 musicians, drawing similarity with their simply brilliant label mates Sheol who have also created and mastered their own version of genuine, totally authentic death metal.

There’s nothing retro or copycat about this act – with Deathmanicvs Revelation Skelethal have taken an age old formula and managed to improve upon it by adding their own slant on proceedings, it honours death metal from the past and is played with conviction and commitment that’s second to none - yet again Iron Bonehead have picked another top-notch group to bring to a wider audience and another essential release for 2014.

1 - Intro
2 - Macabre Oblivion
3 - Putrefaction
4 - Deathmanicus Revelations
5 - Curse of the Neverending
6 - Death Returns
7 - A Violation of Something Sacred.

Skelethal's Deathmanicvs Revelation is released by Iron Bonehead on 21st April 2014. It is also available on cassette via Caligari Records.

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