Album Review: Skelethal – Interstellar Knowledge of the Purple Entity

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Skelethal [France]
Interstellar Knowledge of the Purple Entity
2014
EP
Iron Bonehead Productions
Death Metal

Earlier this year, French death metal maniacs Skelethal surprised me with their excellent EP release Deathmanicvs Revelation, leaving me craving for even more of the abrasiveness and darkness that was on that record. A short half year later, the band followed up with that release with yet another EP, Interstellar Knowledge of the Purple Entity. With the artwork keeping to the same theme that the band has set up with Deathmanicvs Revelation, one would also instinctively expect the band to maintain that style that was so captivating as well.

Skelethal certainly did not disappoint. Kicking off with that similar vibe as they did on Deathmanicvs Revelation with a piano-driven ambient track Subterranean Sigh, the band sends chills down the listener’s back with that haunting atmosphere that is set up on the track. The real fun begins as soon as Sabbatical Demonic Invocation kicks things into high gear, and instead of the bestial black metal that one would expect with a track title as such, the band instead presents some nice old school death metal with Swedish and Finnish touches. The abrasive tones of Gui Haunting along with his playing style quickly bring to mind Swedish pioneers such as Entombed and Dismember, especially the chugging riffs on the title track. That slight punkish style that Jon Whiplash displays behind his kit also invokes comparisons to Autopsy or the more d-beat driven style of Bastard Priest or Bombs of Hades.

Yet at the same time, the band ensures that the listener is constantly shrouded in this oppressive darkness while listening to Interstellar Knowledge of the Purple Entity. The doomish vibe that the band incorporates into their music can get rather reminiscent of Finnish classics of Convulse and Demigod as well. This especially so with the rather generous usage of synths and keys to create that atmosphere, like towards the end of Sabbatical Demonic Invocation.

The French may be known more for their weird black metal styles, but bands such as Skelethal and Mercyless bear the flag for old school death metal out of the region. Interstellar Knowledge of the Purple Entity is an fine example of old school death metal perfection.

[xrr rating=5/5]

Skelethal on the internet:
BandCamp
Iron Bonehead Productions

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