The Skull – The Endless Road Turns Dark album review

Trouble frontman returns with his all-star doom crew The Skull for The Endless Road Turns Dark

The Skull – The Endless Road Turns Dark

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The Endless Road Turns Dark

The Skull – The Endless Road Turns Dark

1. The Endless Road Turns Dark
2. Ravenswood
3. Breathing Underwater
4. The Longing
5. From Myself Depart
6. As The Sun Draws Near
7. All That Remains (Is True)
8. Thy Will Be Done

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In a way, the ultimate compliment for a doom record is ‘Man, I can’t believe no one did that riff before!’ Still working out of Iommi’s 50-year-old rulebook, you might think that every downcast chord progression and sinister melody had been interred by now, yet on their second LP The Skull continue unearthing intrinsically satisfying new variations on doom’s hoary blueprint. 

Not surprising, since this band is a spin-off from Chicagoan ‘white doom’ pioneers Trouble, with Eric Wagner’s otherworldly voice sounding wiser and more relaxed, but more authoritative and powerful than on The Skull’s 2014 debut, For Those Which Are Asleep

There are subtle yet effective twin guitar harmonies – conspicuous by their absence from the debut – plus a tasteful dash of 60s psych/prog eccentricity on From Myself Depart and All That Remains (Is True), and if you think the thunderous drums pack a familiar wallop, you’re right: ex-Cathedral skin-punisher Brian Dixon has at last found a new vehicle for his sublime hammer-of-doom skills. 

Additionally, the guitarist’s from Witch Mountain, so you know you’re in safe hands with this veritable doom supergroup, expertly blending the soulful American blue-collar doom rock approach with the more mystical, macabre European tradition.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.