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Canyon of the Skull - Canyon of the Skull

Canyon of the Skull
Canyon of the Skull
by Andrew Sifari at 24 April 2016, 12:20 PM

There’s an old saying that posits, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” You can say the same thing about music: the many interpretations of a song’s sounds and inflections can be host to scores of mental images that words alone cannot do justice. In this way, the self-titled debut effort by CANYON OF THE SKULL strives for such vivid, wordless description of a thousand different scenes, centered around their crushing instrumental power.

At 35-minutes long, you wouldn’t think that “Canyon of the Skull” was a particularly protracted experience, except that the entire duration is split into two songs at over 17-minutes apiece. Well, that’s Doom Metal for you, right? Their style is a little closer to bands like COUGH or CONAN than, say, BLACK SABBATH or CANDLEMASS, but the sounds that echo off the canyon walls are very much the band’s own in their earthy ambience. Starting with “The Path (Of Bear & Wolf)”, it lurches and rolls its way through a great, primal vista under the gaze of a hot sun. It is the sound of a hammer at the forge; it is the marching beat to which great, stone structures were labored upon by people of long-gone civilizations; it is the heartbeat of the hardcase that beats the desert sand with the footsteps worn-yet-sturdy boots. With the album’s titular epic beginning, with a swell of guitar like mid-afternoon’s heat, the listener is invoked with feelings of exhaustion and yet mellowness, of both strength and withering.

For those of you who aren’t as fond of such prose, you’ll find that Erik Ogershok’s heavy, crunching riffs fall like the footsteps of giants, simple, yet monumental in their impact. They are offset brilliantly by Adrian Voorhies’ inventive and kinetic drumming, giving the music color where, in some places, there might only be grayness, and his impact is felt consistently throughout the album. The duo do a great job of getting the most out of a riff and the music carries itself confidently, from beginning to end.

Canyon of the Skull” is a unique and enthralling pilgrimage through caverns of distortion in its own right; a slow, lumbering work that should delight Doom Metal fans looking for something more than the usual dark, electrified Blues.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Path (Of Bear & Wolf)
2. Canyon of the Skull
Erik Ogershok - Guitars, Bass
Adrian Voorhies - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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