Anyone interested in what a perfect metal production job sounds like would be well advised to check out this record. Rarely have I heard a better sounding disk. The bass sound is absolutely phenomenal, the drumming sounds natural and the many varying guitar tones are exquisitely rendered. This is state of the art recording in every way.

That perfect sonic palette is applied to some great American doom metal. THE SKULL is basically Chicago’s legendary TROUBLE with some different personnel. If you thought THE SKULL’s first effort For Those Which Are Asleep was heavy, you haven’t heard anything yet. The opening down-tuned thunder of the title track is what doom is all about, with a deep groove that carves its way into your soul. Such an archetypal song! And there’s more where that came from, with Eric Wagner’s trademark nasal vocals relating odes of suicidal longing and a strong desire to depart this world.

This band knows what many have forgotten. You’ve got to mix up your sound instead of using the same guitar and bass tone on every tune. So many bands persist in this monotony, but not THE SKULL. On tracks like ‘Breathing Underwater’, ‘The Longing’ and ‘From Myself Depart’, they use a wide variety of guitar sounds – all so perfectly realized – to keep your interest. But at the end, they always bring the doom, heavy, slow and foreboding riffs.

If this were a TROUBLE album, I’d put it right behind the first two, it’s that good. This is something that no fan of true doom or even emotional heavy music can pass up.

THE SKULL
The Endless Road Turns Dark
Tee Pee Records
5.5 / 6

Reviewed by: Dr. Mality