Skeletal Remains – Fragments of the Ageless

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California-based death metal act Skeletal Remains ultimately brings forth their newest album “Fragments of the Ageless” scheduled for a release date on March 8th, 2024, via Century Media Records. Thirteen years in existence, the band has enormously grown into a top-tier band. Skeletal Remains' fifth record is abrasively harsh and brutal. Everything from the instrumentation to the monstrous growls and riffing of Chris Monroy to the cyborg-like drumming of Pierce Williams (Azath, Ænigmatum), the mastery of guitarist Mike De La O (Morfin) with rumbling bass and keyboards of Brian Rush (Ænigmatum) bring the quartet in a visceral cohesion.

There are key factors that set this record apart from the previous album “The Entombment of Chaos”, although each of the past albums has delivered a quality death metal record to fans, Skeletal Remains raised the bar high on their newest endeavor. The riffs are impeccable crushing and there is more depth to the structure of the songs. Add to that Chris Monroy’s scorching riffs that stem from the riffs of Morbid Angel, the band takes the 90s sound of death metal to another level of execution. On this brutal record, Skeletal Remains pummels your skulls with bloodthirsty hammering beats, spawned from the classic roots of the Floridian death metal and European death/thrash bands like Death, Morbid Angel, Pestilence, and Disincarnate.

From the songwriting aspect, the guitar tone is colossal as there is enough quality to hook you to the brutal riffage in the opening track “Relentless Appetite” which is brazenly brutal and charged with infectious riffs. The chunky tone of the bass has a presence with the interplay of twin guitars and the straightforward drums resulting in tight blast beats, the band ticks all the boxes with their classic sound. Plenty of grooves and chunky skull-splitting riffs are dispersed in songs like “Cybernetic Harvest”. The drums utilize many tempo changes, altering between crushing double bass kicks and hypersonic blast beats, and they are right in your face.

The unmatched intensity takes elements from the band’s previous album, but what we get here is something massive. Be it the rhythm section, the visceral guitar work is professionally crafted, Skeletal Remains fuses more complex solos and the grooves are all over the place. The riffing is more prominent on this album and the guitar interplay has a fantastic level of technicality, the riffing on the album is extremely infectious and capable of unleashing plenty of brutality.

The drumming of Pierce Williams is absolutely brutal the sheer amount of aggression highlights the performance, Skeletal Remains combines its signature formula, and you can expect tremendous riffing prowess on tracks like “To Conquer the Devout”. The formula is extremely demonstrated by the results of hammering drums, chugging riffs, and intermittent blazing solos combined between the tempo changes.

Take for example the track “Forever in Sufferance” which offers a brutal experience to fans of old-school death metal with the riffs altering between the overflowing solos and catchy rhythm section the drumming stomps violently providing plenty of dynamic changes. “Fragments of the Ageless” is enhanced by a chock-full of festering death metal riffs and brutalized song structures that will set you ablaze with the insane drumming performance.

Verminous Embodiment” features many drum fills, and its full of punchy riffing that is brought with great effect before transitioning into thick groovier riffs. The mid-paced section is often volatile and full dynamic changes then we have an off-kilter soloing that shows the extreme level of technicality.

The album also includes one short instrumental track “Ceremony of Impiety” and it fits perfectly well among the loud, boisterous songs. It begins with marching drum beats and a dark, sinister synthesizer imbuing some kind of ominous soundtrack theme for the gods of the underworld. However, Skeletal Remains then delivers profound brutality on “Void of Despair”. The groovier pace of this song takes a similar approach, but there is resilience in the riffing prowess overall the sound can be devastatingly brutal, and Chris Monroy’s growls on the album are perhaps the best.

Unmerciful” continues its take with horrifying growls and chugs of death metal chords. And the most appalling factor of this track is the mid-pacing atmosphere that shifts with a force of brutality utilized by the clinical blast beats, face-melting solos, and organic instrumentation. The solos here are very catchy and memorable and could not be better performed, with relentless drumming and epic guitar solos that sound catchy.

Skeletal Remains on the fifth album showcases some of its best melodies that shift between some rapid picking riffs to mammoth-sized power chords. The blasting sections are well-balanced, the track “Evocation (The Rebirth)” is a pinnacle of the band’s sonic craft that offers unprecedented songwriting. The thick slab of chunky riffs opens the track imbuing epic solos before the rhythm section permeates the composition and the heavy pummeling of the drums adds to the heaviness of this epic song.


  • Music / Songwriting 10/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 10/10
  • Mix / Production 10/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 10/10

“Fragments of the Ageless” marks the highest pinnacle of achievement for Skeletal Remains and presents the band at its peak of songwriting, this is one of the best albums of the year and comes highly recommended!

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