Album Review: Skeletal- Dreadful Life

One of the most complained about subgenres of metal is unquestionably death metal, however don’t misunderstand the meaning behind that statement. It isn’t just about people who don’t care for the genre, feeling the need to bash it; it’s a combination of those haters and avid listeners alike- people who just want it to sound “how it’s supposed to sound.” All music is an acquired taste and all art is up to interpretation (by both the artist and the observer/listener). There shouldn’t necessarily be a “right” or “wrong” way to convey art, but when it comes to death metal (and all other forms of art), you just can’t please everyone. Most fans of “pure death metal” (from the ’80s and ’90s) just want their genre back. And as luck would have it, I may (or may not) have found the ideal album for you.

Dreadful Life is the debut full length album from Jyväskylä Finland’s own, Skeletal.


They are:

Guitar/Vocals: Samuel Lehikoinen
Lead guitar: Markus Tiainen
Bass guitar: Roope Hytönen
Drums: Josa Lahti

So much of Dreadful Life seems to pull from the classic death/thrash albums of the ’80s and ’90s that really kicked off the “authentic” death metal sound that so many fans endlessly search for. It’s only 8 tracks deep, but there’s enough going on throughout these songs to satiate the palette of any fan of Death’s Scream Bloody Gore, Deicide’s self-titled debut, Slayer’s Show No Mercy- Reign In Blood, or Death Angel’s The Ultra- Violence (just to name a few).

Right from the opening riff in the opening track “Death Works Overtime”, you immediately get a sense of everything you’re in for. It’s all fast, driving drums, filthy speed picking and a variety of hoarse yells, shrill screams and devastating gutturals from start to finish on this beast, with the exception of track 8, entitled, “Return to the Grave”- a sad sounding epic that keeps the overall demonic presence of the album, but caters more to fans of dark, foreboding and melancholic riffing.

As for promotional releases, the band only offers this short YouTube teaser and a video for “Death Works Overtime”, both of which I’m happy to include here:

I’d also like to include a link to their EP, Rotten Inside Out:

Dreadful Life will be released on Inverse Records on February 3, 2017.

Also, we’d once again like to thank Joni from Inverse Records for sharing another one of his amazing artists with us. We’ll be doing a few more reviews of overseas bands from Inverse Records, as well as Mind Eraser PR in the days/weeks to come.

Stay tuned for more sick tunes and thanks for reading!


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