THE SKULL - The Endless Road Turns Dark
October 20, 2018, a month ago
Man, do I ever love The Skull, and for good reason: with ex-Trouble legends Eric Wagner on vocals and Ron Holzner on bass, as well as ex-Cathedral drummer Brian Dixon (replacing former Trouble drummer Jeff Olson), in its ranks, there’s no way this isn’t going to be incredible doom. The band’s 2014 debut, For Those Which Are Asleep, totally ruled, and this album absolutely picks up where that one left off, the band channelling both early Trouble and incredible Def American-era Trouble here, the songs oozing doom majesty, Wagner’s voice lulling us all to a wonderful place of pure doom glory.
The first two cuts here, the great title track and “Ravenswood”, focus on the slightly more up-tempo doom/rock sounds that Trouble perfected later in their career, while songs like “Breathing Underwater” and “All That Remains (Is True)” go slow and low and deep and hard, the band diving deep into doom, moving along like a slug but also embracing great melodies, with Wagner’s vocal lines, as always, uplifting and soul-crushing all at once. And let’s talk about riffs: songs like the rulin’ “From Myself Depart” contain some of the greatest doom guitar work I’ve heard in years and years, soul just dripping from every note; seriously, I can’t stress enough how great these riffs are, ditto for rockin’ closer “Thy Will Be Done”, the band riding off into the sunset on the power and the glory of the riffs, and of the voice.