`Remnants…’ is the second full length studio album from Californian crew Rude, and it is quite a bone-crushing release I can tell you! Forget sunshine, forget glamour; this band sound like they live in a cold, dark, filth-smeared wasteland. This, folks, is an output of pure, grim, old-school death metal.

Everything about this album screams `old school death metal’ (aside from the music, which we will get to in a minute); the cover has been created by none other than Dan Seagrave for goodness sake! There is plenty of denim, long hair and frowns on display on the back of the CD booklet too, although the sunny day does detract a little from the dark and malevolent atmosphere the band are trying to create.

The music however, is really, really authentic. If someone had told me this was released in 1993 for example, I would have believed them. I’ll tell you now; I really like it! It ticks all the essential boxes to be good death metal as far as I’m concerned; it’s crushingly heavy, it has a dark, grim atmosphere, the songs have great dynamics, and there is a real sense of creativity at work here.

Unlike a lot of other so-called old school death metal bands, Rude (OK, I do think the name is a bit daft) don’t sound like they are trying to copy a particular band. Instead I am reminded of a whole plethora of different bands from the early to mid-nineties. I can hear plenty of classic Morbid Angel in here for a start: eerie, swirling, fast-picked single note riffs, thunderous drums with those extra little emphases on certain beats (the way Pete Sandoval does it). There is plenty of fire and brimstone; Rude can really pull off the dark malevolent atmosphere of their influences. The drums are classic too; no blast beats here, just pounding, heavy and mostly mid-paced, with the odd dash of intense speed.

There are also several nods to some of the more technical death metal moments of the nineties, plenty of muted, mournful guitar harmonies and drifting, Death-like melodies too. They even throw in a really interesting instrumental track.

You can tell that Rude are really developing their own sound rather than aping one or two bands that they love. The music is dark, crushingly heavy and very authentically old-school, but it doesn’t sound like Swedish Death Metal or a carbon copy of Morbid Angel; instead Rude create their own amalgam of fantastic riffs, frantic guitar solos, mysterious melodies and dark, grim atmosphere.

Fans of classic death metal should find plenty to love here.

(7.5/10 Jon Butlin)