(EP, Tee Pee Records, 2014)
Is there any metalhead / collector out there who hasn’t a sweet tooth for special editions, limited printings or any other collectible stuff still considered as rarity these digital-infested days? And what about when a limited edition is actually a teaser for a future full length release and functions like an appetizer for the main dish? Then, Chicago-based THE SKULL’s two-song limited edition white vinyl replica CD “Sometime Yesterday Mourning / The Last Judgment” is a must-have for your collection (just wait to see how sweet this white lil’ piece is...). “But what about the content, the music itself?” you may be thinking. Do you really have doubts about what this new band, featuring original members of US Doom Metal legends TROUBLE, is able to produce anno 2014?
In side A (ok, there is such thing as two sides in a CD, but you get my point), there is the brand new mid-tempo track “Sometime Yesterday Mourning” that will instantly grab you by the throat with the TROUBLE-dipped groove and Eric Wagner’s lethal right-on-target vocals proving that some things get better with time, just like old wine. The guitar duo means serious business (editor’s note: Chuck Robinson has been replaced by the ex-PENTAGRAM guitarist Matt Goldsborough after this release), bringing effortlessly in mind the twin-attack Franklin / Wartell image from the early 90s (yup, “Manic Frustration” that is), while the overall songwriting takes Doom back to the hippie basics that all the TROUBLE fans miss these days, especially after seeing the legendary band’s more Grunge-y approach. However, it was the second track, “The Last Judgment” (the revisiting of the classic TROUBLE song, originally appeared on 1983’s “Metal Massacre IV” compilation) that gave me goosebumps, even though what is missing in the epic feeling of the original version, it is counterbalanced by its massive Doom personality. Yes, it’s been 30 years since this track had seen the light of day, but still THE SKULL found the way to make it sound fresh like a morning-cut daisy with Eric’s more focused, earthy vocals and Olson’s thick, mournful drumming.
So, what’s not to love here? It seems that THE SKULL is not a bubbly project seduced by the wind, but they mean their business. Just give a listen to the revisited “The Last Judgment” below and you’ll get my saying.
01. Sometime Yesterday Mourning
02. The Last Judgment (TROUBLE cover)
Eric Wagner - Vocals
Jeff Olson - Drums
Ron Holzner - Bass
Lothar Keller - Guitars
Chuck Robinson - Guitars