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THE SKULL The Endless Road Turns Dark

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 @ 12:09 AM


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THE SKULL
The Endless Road Turns Dark

Tee Pee Records




For a good quarter century, doom metal merchants TROUBLE were masters of their domain in their native Chicago stomping grounds. Freewheeling hippies at heart with their axes tuned down to D, the quintet were a foot each squarely planted in both BEATLES and BLACK SABBATH territory, the fruits of their labor birthed in the form of classic doom metal staples such as Psalm 9 and Manic Frustration.

And, in particular, THE SKULL, from which the new version of the much-lauded doom legends have labeled themselves as following a period of inactivity and frequent lineup changes culminating in original members Eric Wagner and Rob Holzner opting to form under a new moniker in 2012. Since their inception with a lineup also consisting of longtime CATHEDRAL drummer Brian Dixon, guitarist Lothar Keller (SACRED DAWN), and guitarist Rob Wrong (WITCH MOUNTAIN), THE SKULL have headed forward with the sound and the spirit of the classic TROUBLE legacy thanks to their sophomore album The Endless Road Turns Dark.

A dark, ethereal yet also partly melodic album, Endless was recorded in Chicago's Decade Music Studios with the help of engineer Sanford Parker (YOB, TOMBS) and keeps the rustic moody vibe of 2014’s For Those Which Are Asleep. THE SKULL continue to do what they know is naturally best for their legacy: Drive home the old-school 70’s metal vibe while merging the 60’s psychedelia groove with some fine riffing and journeying rhythmic jamming. The average length of all eight songs on Endless clock in at over 6 minutes, including “Thy Will Be Done” and the hypnotic-sounding “Breathing Underwater”. Wagner still retains his distinctive and notable Robert Plant-like high octave yelp in places, particularly on the album’s title track; otherwise, he’s substituted that voice for a more soothing-sounding crooner style which dominates tracks such as the lucid-sounding “All That Remains (Is True)”. The guitar work of Keller and Wrong is particularly solid and soaring on “Ravenswood” and “The Longing”. “From Myself Depart” is also one of the album’s faster tracks once more thanks to the Keller and Wrong’s duelling solos midway before their riffs carry out a climatic slow modern blues jam. And while “As The Sun Draws Near” covers some familiar rhythm territory with the riffs drawing a parallel to “At The End Of My Daze” in parts, it still continues the song’s notable driving range and the overall feel of the whole album harkening back to the early years of Psalm 9 and beyond.

In summation, both THE SKULL and The Endless Road Turns Dark are taking the legacy of TROUBLE to further heights but you’ll still know who they are the moment the riffs walk into your head and give off a vibe that’s impossible to shake it off.

https://www.facebook.com/troubletheskull/
http://theskullusa.com/

4.5 Out Of 5.0


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