American act Skeletal Remains prepare another death metal assault on Fragments of the Ageless for Century Media. The line-up of Chris Monroy (guitars/vocals), Mike De La O (guitars), Pierce Williams (drums), and Brian Rush (bass) embody the genre, going deeper, darker, and to the edges of brutality. The long-awaited follow-up to The Entombment of Chaos (2020) is pinned by four crushing singles “Void of Despair,” “To Conquer the Devout,” “Relentless Appetite,” and “Verminous Embodiment.”
“Fragments of the Ageless is a pummeling slab of pure death metal,” says the band. “A tyrannical blast-laden barrage of no-frills riffs and compositions. Everything about this album is f*cking brutal and in your face.”
Skeletal Remains wrote Fragments of the Ageless between European and US tours/festivals with Emperor, Morbid Angel, Mortician, Left to Die, and Defeated Sanity among others. The songwriting sessions were characterized by a no-limit mindset, where creativity and known genre rituals were given equal footing. The outcome was not just a definitive death metal showpiece—exemplified by “Void of Despair” and “Verminous Embodiment”—but an evolution.
“We took things up a notch and really dialed in on the technicality and ever-increasing intensity while still maintaining catchiness,” the group says. “With each new record, we strive to better ourselves in our musicianship and songwriting capabilities. On one end, we’ve increased in density and brutality, and on the other, we wrote a few songs with longer and more ‘epic’ structures.”
The lyrical themes of Fragments of the Ageless span folklore, science fiction, history, and personal struggle. They were inspired by the striking Dan Seagrave (Entombed, Memoriam) cover art. The album was co-produced by the band and studio maven Dan Swanö (Opeth, Incantation), who also mixed and mastered.
Death metal’s not dead with Fragments of the Ageless. It’s never been deadlier!
Early in their career, Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Morta Skuld accomplished the impressive feat of being signed by leading British independent metal label , but with no company showing similar interest in their homeland, they never quite managed to ascend beyond the underground death metal scene. Originally founded in 1989, Morta Skuld recorded and circulated two separate demos (1990's Gory Departure and 1991's Prolong the Agony) before pairing up with Rhode Island's for a split single in 1993, which would duly get both bands signed to . Morta Skuld struck first, however, unleashing their Dying Remains debut later that same year and heading out on tour with genre fixtures like , , and , then repeating the pattern with 1994's As Humanity Fades and 1995's For All Eternity, which were followed by more rigorous roadwork in support of , , and others.
But, as mentioned earlier, none of these releases, though brimming with ably performed American death metal, made it into record stores unless imported from overseas, and so Morta Skuld's frustrated members, Dave Gregor (vocals/guitar), Jason O'Connell (guitar), Jason Hellman (bass), and Kent Truckenbrod (drums), decided to link up with U.S.-based for the release of their fourth album, Surface, in 1998. Unfortunately, by then it was seemingly too late for the group, which was splitting at the seams. O'Connell was the first to bounce (or get bounced!), quickly followed by Truckenbrod, and after hiring a new drummer in former man Jason Mooney, the new trio renamed itself MS2 and sold out to nu metal before morphing yet again into a more groove-metal-oriented direction as , recording one EP and two albums in the late 2000s. The band's early career dreams were compiled for posterity by in 2005's Re-Surface: The Best of Morta Skuld, and in 2017 Morta Skuld resurfaced with founding member David Gregor (guitars/vocals), guitarist Scott Willecke, drummer Eric House, and bassist Al Lewandowski, and released their first collection of new music since 1997, Wounds Deeper Than Time. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
The San Fernando Valley, California-based Melodic Death Metal band Upon Stone have announced Dead Mother Moon, their debut album set for release January 19th, 2024 on Century Media Records. Produced and mixed by Taylor Young at The Pit (Twitching Tongues, Nails), Dead Mother Moon‘s title track and video are out now.