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Canyon of the Skull - Sins of the Past

Canyon of the Skull
Sins of the Past
by Cherie Wong at 17 December 2019, 4:45 AM

On November 20th, 2019, CANYON OF THE SKULL released “Sins of the Past.” The aptly name band plays instrumental doom/sludge metal. CANYON OF THE SKULL was created in Austin in 2006 by guitarist Erik Ogershok. Together with Adrian Voorhies, the pair released two full length albums: “Canyon of the Skull” in 2015 and “The Desert Winter” in 2017. After Erik moved to Chicago in 2018, the lineup changed to Todd Haug (of POWERMAD) on bass and Mike Miczek (of BROKEN HOPE, THE ATLAS MOTH, etc.) on drums. Together, they present their third full-length release “Sins of the Past.” Although the album is only two tracks, the first and second track clock in at over 25 and 34 minutes respectively.

What I love about instrumental music is that the instruments are allowed to shine. That is definitely the case with “Sins of the Past.” Each instrument can be heard distinctly but also works together with the other instruments to create the overall atmosphere of the record. Both tracks feature some seriously sweet riffs courtesy of the guitar and bass. Not to be overlooked are the drums, effectively complementing and accenting the changing and building riffs. Towards the end of both tracks, there are even blast beats. In addition, the band takes advantage of the lengthy nature of the tracks by giving riffs room to breathe and develop. This is not a progressive metal album in that neither track on this album contains dozens of transitions over its duration. That is not to say the tracks are monotonous, because the guitar riffs still evolve, albeit slowly and deliberately. The album is atmospheric, but not in the pretty or melodic way.

For most of the first track, “The Ghost Dance,” the guitar riffs are powerful and heady. Adding to the massive low-end is the bass, chugging along steadily from beginning to end. The second track “The Sun Dance” begins with a softer guitar passage, which is a welcome calm after the first track. At over 34 minutes long, the main riffs are capable of lulling the listener into a trance. Overall, I recommend this album, especially to fans of sludgy doom riffs. This album is full of them! It is incredibly enjoyable as background music or when given your full attention. At first listen, it is a fairly accessible doom record, but even after repeated listens, there are little tidbits to be noticed.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Ghost Dance
2. The Sun Dance
Erik Ogershok – Guitars
Todd Haug – Bass
Mike Miczek – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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