Album Review: Skulled to Death – Skulmagot


The following story is largely fictional, largely…

McDonald’s arrived in Finland in 1984. While opening up the facilities, some of that American beef fat slipped into the Nordic sewage system, unfiltered and toxic green. There it met the foulest filth cold war Finland had to offer. Lager infested diarrhea, black blood vomited up with high percentage of alcohol in it and enormous mountains of cigarette buts, yellow with nicotine and disease. When American filth met the Finnish-Ugrian excrement this biological horror story reached a critical mass and after getting crossed somehow with a radioactive Commodore 64 unit, this substance of utter fright manifested itself as a new life-form. These beings, so hideously ugly that human brain refused to see them, remained unknown to man through the years until in 2015 the garden-gnomes from the haunted waste created a form of communication through mysterious sound waves. If they could not be seen, let them at least be heard, and heard they were. In weird gurgling tones and the sounds of sculptures of fermented lard gone wild and partying. Wobbly, violent, guttural, but yet somehow captivating. These strange noises were captured on tape by scientists of a shady kind and now the whole world can hear a sound that will leave the Cthulhu-myth pretty much in it’s wake, when it is distributed through the black market for sale across the globe.

Okay. Let’s cut the crap, get on with it and insert a picture of a Terry Gilliam drawn deity right here. The rest of the story is hard cold facts, trust me…

Skulmagot, the Finnish gore-lords from Helsinki, are spraying us with the proverbial fecal matter that is their debut album “Skulled to Death”. Released through one of the finest and purest underground labels in Europe of today – Old Skull Productions – this 30 minute tape of raw, very minimally polished and extremely powerful Old School Death Metal should be a must for all of us into any of these things before mentioned. Especially the fecally oriented, or fans of fermented lard will without a doubt enjoy a record that introduces us songs such as  “Cum Culprit, Body Varial Error, Gastrointestinal Armageddon”, takes us to “Terror Barn”, and give us a “Furnace Tan”.

Musically, this trip is a somewhat lo-fi, very much non-produced, yet extremely well performed take on early Cannibal Corpse. The whopping immensity is met with the occasional gloom of early Finnish Death Metal, minced, stirred and served from an unwashed bucket. Actually, the combination of unpolished and well-played might actually be the biggest reason for the fascinating outcome here. After all, contrasts create tension and tension fascinates the listener. Soundwise “Skulled to Death” is like all our favourite demos from bygone times. Golden, cult and a bit shabby. A tape-distributed gem that in most of the cases preceded the much lamer debut album. Only that this particular record was done in 2010, is not a wee bit lame and actually IS the debut album.

Skulmagot owe obviously a beer or three to a certain vile and eaten back to life bunch from Buffalo, but there are similarities to Cranial Torment, and the legendary demo of Funebre as well. Plenty of goodies in such a short time, to cut a long story short. They do not ride the fuzzy retro-wagon of hundreds of Entombed clones for the sake of it. They write music for today, but their methods of self-expression do not bother with turtle wax and polish. Shit gets recorded, shit gets roughly mixed and mastered and shit gets released. And that’s that. This is a half an hour ride of blunt-force blastbeat trauma, some of the very best guitar and bass riffs of the year, and supremely heavy crawling bits. Add to that sudden bursts unexpectedly forwards, lots of gurgly, barking vocals and the screams of a mummified cat that once belonged to the pharaohs expressing it’s viciously bad take on the afterlife. This is sick, ugly, twisted, immense and mind-blowing Death Metal. Simple as that. A wobbly surface where Finnish and American Death Metal meet with highly exceptional results.

Rating – 4.5/5

Get some maggots in your noggin’ here!

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