For Those About to Squawk: Waldo Pecks on Heathen and Skeletal Remains

What’s up, peeps? It’s your old boy Waldo here to let you know about some new releases to help get you through these trying times, this time, it’s a little, uh… different.

OG bay thrashers Heathen are back with, Empire of the Blind, their first in 11 years and fourth LP overall. Oh, what to say about this. This is usually tough for me; you know a band that’s been around like 35 years puts out a new record—it’s always potentially dicey. So enough about that, like that’s not why you’re reading right? So, if you DON’T know, Heathen is one of the original Bay Area thrash bands. Unsurprisingly, this is a mature record, which definitely sounds like it was recorded by a band that well into their career. The production is crisp and clear, but it’s a little without teeth. The song writing here is mostly what you’d expect, headbanging anthems, a couple Exodus style riffs (which is fitting since Lee Altus is in both Exodus and Heathen), but there are a couple of “slower melodic” jams that lend to the notion that this band is not comprised of teenagers. All in all, not too bad though. 6 Fucking Pecks.

Miss your OSDM WITHOUT caveman riffs? Looking for a little more from your OSDM? Well, look no further than Skeletal Remains’ The Entombment of Chaos. Hot off a substantial lineup change, this proves these guys are pure death metal. This is no knuckle-scraping fare though. Conjuring images of Morbid Angel, Pestilence and bands of the era (as well it should with a Dan Swanö mixing and mastering and a Dan Seagrave cover), this moves, shifts, and has mood. The one thing I beaking love here are the solos, they’re WAY chaotic and all over the place in a good way. There are blasts, that kind of death metal snarl, and did I mention the solos? It’s great to see a band release some of their finest work after such a huge lineup change. 8 Fucking Pecks.

Well, folks, I hope everyone out there is staying safe and healthy. Until next time… Waldo out!