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SKELETAL REMAINS Unleashes Music Video for New Single, “To Conquer the Devout”

American death metal purveyors SKELETAL REMAINS are now unleashing yet another brutal new single, “To Conquer the Devout,” along with another mind-bending music video! The track is taken from the band’s upcoming full-length, ‘Fragments of the Ageless,’ which is due via Century Media Records on March 8, 2024.

The band comments: “It is a speed driven groove fest perfectly capturing the aggression of an archaic deity ridding the world of all who follow the incoherent word of their false religion through blasphemy inspired by the power of ignorance and blind faith which continues to poison the minds of millions throughout this fucked up planet.”

In addition, SKELETAL REMAINS will be embarking on a run of album release shows throughout the U.S. West Coast this March! The trek will kick off on March 7 in Santa Rosa, CA and will conclude on March 10 in Las Vegas, NV.

SKELETAL REMAINS Album covers

‘Fragments of the Ageless’ Tracklist:

  1. Relentless Appetite
  2. Cybernetic Harvest
  3. To Conquer the Devout
  4. Forever in Sufferance
  5. Verminous Embodiment
  6. Ceremony of Impiety
  7. Void of Despair
  8. Unmerciful
  9. …Evocation (The Rebirth)

Skeletal Remains’s ultra-brutal new album, Fragments of the Ageless, is upon us! The Americans—featuring Mike De La O (guitars), Chris Monroy (guitars/vocals), Pierce Williams (drums), and newcomer Brian Rush (bass)—kept busy after their much-hailed The Entombment of Chaos landed into a chaotic world in 2020. Rather than sit idle, the re-energized quartet crafted their penultimate statement. Tracks like “Void of Despair,” which Monroy describes as “aggressive and spastic,” “To Conquer the Devout,” “Relentless Appetite,” and “Verminous Embodiment” are death metal manifested in sound fundamentals, killer musicianship, and the right attitude. While Skeletal Remains have had four full-lengths since forming in 2011, Fragments of the Ageless is the band in their highest grotesque gear yet.

“With every record, we try to push ourselves to make a better record,” Monroy says. “We don’t get into, ‘We need to sound more like this or that.’ What comes out of us is natural. Actually, that’s how it’s been since the first record [Beyond the Flesh]. As death metal fans, we write what we enjoy and want to listen to. Having Pierce and Brian join the band played a big part in the new album. They live in Portland, and the rest of the band is in Los Angeles, so there’s a bit of a gap, but we use technology a lot when we write. They gave us a fresh set of ears.”

The principal songwriting for Fragments of the Ageless started during the pandemic but picked up considerable steam once the band were back on the road in 2022, where they played countless shows and festivals in the U.S., Europe, South America, Central America, and Australia. With Pierce and Brian fully in the fold, Monroy and De La O found themselves, in a way, back to square one, namely the “entire band effort” that comprised their 2012 debut, Beyond the Flesh. The savage DNA of Skeletal Remains is intact, but it’s been altered—no, improved!—iteratively to attack more, devour absolutely, and technically inspire. Tracks like video singles “Void of Despair,” “To Conquer the Devout,” “Relentless Appetite,” as well as deeper album cuts “Forever in Sufferance,” “Verminous Embodiment,” and “Unmerciful” are ravenous.

“It’s more brutal than the last one,” says Monroy. “We were pushing ourselves to be more extreme—vibing on that as much as possible. Obviously, we’re not tech-death now, but I think we took inspiration from the techier side of things. We took things up a notch and dialed in on the technicality and ever-increasing intensity while maintaining catchiness. We still have songs like ‘Eternal Hatred’ [from The Entombment of Chaos]. There’s always room for super-simple mid-paced songs in Skeletal Remains. On one end, we’ve increased in density and brutality; on the other, we wrote a few songs with longer and more ‘epic’ structures. ‘Fragments’ is simply the next evolutionary step in our sound.”

Lyrically, Skeletal Remains took the left-hand path. Rather than topics and themes inspiring the cover art, Dan Seagrave’s (Suffocation, Entombed, et al.) famously atramentous detail conversely informed the lyrics and album title. Monroy says they had working titles that they conveyed to Seagrave, but the final painting sparked the title, Fragments of the Ageless. Of course, the usual influx of sci-fi, historical, personal struggles, and fantastical also played a part.

“Seagrave completed the cover art before we had a title,” Monroy says. “That was kind of weird, but it worked in our favor. The cover art directly inspired a few of the lyrics and musical themes, tying multiple pieces together, which is a first for us. We did show him different pieces of art—10 in all, I think—that we liked, so there was direction. We wanted a mixture of things, with the final idea being a creature being taken apart and its DNA extracted. Seagrave’s crazy brain made it all come to life.”

Skeletal Remains recorded Fragments of the Ageless at various home and professional studios. Most of the guitars, bass, and solos were tracked DIY. The band wanted the drums to sound as imposing as possible, so they booked Trench Studios (Intronaut, Hirax) with John Haddad, while the vocals were cut at Birdcage Studios with Allen Falcon (Pestilent Death). Once the album’s core had been recorded, Monroy and the team sent their sick slab to Swedish studio ace Dan Swanö (Asphyx, Incantation) for mixing and mastering. If the blistering leads of “Void of Despair” and “Verminous Embodiment” don’t impress, then check out the blasting drums of “Cybernetic Harvest” and “Relentless Appetite.”

“Dan really gets it,” says Monroy. “He’ll send us mixes, and he’ll automatically add stuff like effects and little details throughout the back and forth. He knows what we want before we can tell him. Dan understands what we’re going for. There’s mutual understanding and respect. Of course, he’s been mixing and mastering for a long time and has made a name for himself, but we’re really happy with the production on ‘Fragments.’ It jumps out at you.”

Monroy says the band’s goal with Fragments of the Ageless is to continue death metal’s lineage—to honor the past and present. The future, however, is lined with more touring and festivals. Having just come off a stateside run with Suffocation and Incantation late last year, Skeletal Remains are poised to ravage more of the world, with high-profile slots at Wacken (Germany) and Alcatraz (Belgium) festivals already secured.

Death… Is just the beginning with Skeletal Remains’s Fragments of the Ageless.

SKELETAL TOUR

Line-up:

Chris Monroy – guitars/vocals
Mike De La O – guitars
Pierce Williams – drums
Brian Rush – bass

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