HELLS HEADBANGERS is proud to present SKELETHAL’s highly anticipated second album, Unveiling the Threshold on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats.
It’s been like an ever-flowing stream for SKELETHAL, ever since that very first fateful spontaneous rehearsal occurring between Gui Haunting (vocals & guitar) and Jon Whiplash (drums & bass) back in 2012. While the pair initially both played with Bay Area-like devotees Infinite Translation, they instantly bonded not only over classic death metal but its Swedish late '80s/early '90s counterpart, back when that subgenre was still in its infancy yet still did reek of that unmistakable stench, away from modern trickery and trends.
Eight years later, their (malicious) intent is not only intact but stronger than ever. Yet, besides an impressive outlet of various splits and demos completed by a first proper full-length (Of The Depths…), what once was a studio-only side-project has now turned into a powerful and fully-fledged band. SKELETHAL first recruited live session members in 2014 to respond to the live demand, while Jon ended up leaving the band in November 2018 for personal reasons. Assisted by Lucas from Mortal Scepter, who became an official member after serving for over five years as lead guitarist, Gui vowed to recruit a whole lineup, recruiting first Julien on bass and then Lorenzo Vissol from Schizophrenia on drums. By January 2019, the "new" SKELETHAL started working on the forthcoming second album.
Preceded by the demo-cum-proper-EP Antropomorphia, whose title track has actually been rerecorded here, Unveiling the Threshold succeeds in both staying true to its historical roots – you’ll be easily forgiven if you first think you’ve stumbled into an unreleased Hetsheads or Carnage demo – while going beyond the simple and now too-limited Swedeath tag. Way beyond.
Wasting very little time with its opening salvo "Sidereal Lifespan," the album first grabs you by the throat before circling the listener like a vulture. They may still tread on the left-hand path, but besides resurrecting a certain idea of the underground – some may say "true" – that seemingly disappeared back in 1991, it’s actually how genuinely evil and undiluted their death metal is that’s most striking about Unveiling the Threshold.
Mostly written by Gui, with contribution by Lucas – who came up with all the music for "Adorned With The Black Vertebra" and helped co-write "Repulsive Recollections" – yet with all four members pitching in for arrangements, the whole album was ironed out throughout 2019. To keep it raw, they opted to record everything by themselves in their rehearsal room in Tourcoing, nearby Lille, in France before handing the result over to Greg Wilkinson from the now-(in)famous Earhammer studios (Necrot, Undergang, Acephalix, etc.) for the mix last June.
Indecent and obscene, rounded by a colorful yet on-purpose cryptic and ominous artwork perfectly illustrating its title by the one and only Eliran Kantor (Bloodbath, Hate Eternal, Athiest, etc.), Unveiling the Threshold is the proof that SKELETHAL are not here to crawl, but to climb to the very top of the Swedeath food chain. Beware! (text by Olivier Zoltar Badin)
A statement from the band reads: "We are very thrilled to present our second full-length, Unveiling the Threshold, which holds the most brutal and in-your-face material composed by SKELETHAL to this day. On this second album, we were able to develop our death metal in a more efficient way, incorporating a second soloist, faster relentless drums, and allowing the songs to reach the ferocious grounds of early grindcore while still in the realm of Swedish death metal. Overall, the songwriting process has been more personal and included a greater number of influences."
Continuing, they say, "Actual OSDM thrives worldwide with a very unique sound, behind which we can often find Greg Wilkinson from Earhammer Studios (Undergang, Necrot, Mortuous). This is the reason why we wanted SKELETHAL to collaborate with him for the mixing and mastering of the album. This, in addition to a new recording process and a still-fresh lineup, enabled us to achieve the heaviest sound we ever had - deep vocals, chainsaw-buzzing guitars, a crushing bass, and an explosive snare drum. The production might be cleaner than our previous releases, but still has its important share of filth and aggressiveness that defines death metal to its core."
Concluding, "Finally, we asked the talented Eliran Kantor to bring Unveiling the Threshold to life throughout hisvery singular and remarkable paintng. The final result fits perfectly the identity of the band and the album, where monoliths rise from the sea and portals open up to a tormented sky."
Guillaume Zeller - guitars / vocals
Lucas Scellier - guitars
Julien Bouly - bass
Lorenzo Vissol - drums
Band photos by David Pauwels