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Turtle Skull - Monoliths

Turtle Skull
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 September 2020, 7:15 AM

From their Facebook page, “Monoliths” is about “the intimate connection we share with the Earth on which we stand. It’s about the world and your place in it. It’s about looking deep inside yourself and seeing what you find. It’s about life and death and everything in between. It’s about greed, racism, colonialism and technological destruction. It’s about hopelessness and despair. It’s about self-love and introspection. It’s about friendship and the power of shared experience. It’s about life-changing psychedelic journeys. It’s about connecting with the source. And most of all it’s about the pure joy of creation.” The album contains eight tracks.

“Leaves” leads off the album; a seven-minute track. At first, the monotone vocals create a calm feeling, then a slow and heavy riff drops. It’s almost like Doom Metal in terms of the fuzzy, pulverizing riff. The spacey guitars create an atmosphere of something from another world. “Rabbit” is a shorter, more linear sound. It has a groove to it, but also an old school sound, like LED ZEPPELIN. The vocals are dreamy and ethereal. The lead guitar parts create these really nice melodies, and draw you into their world. The octave guitar riff stretches give the song the tasty flavor.

“Heartless Machine” is another slower song, with an easy listening riff, and some tense moments in the opening. It’s actually an odd mix of the old with the new. LED ZEPPELIN meets MUSE. The heavy guitar strikes leave their mark. The flanger before the guitar solo is a spot on effect, as the song mesmerizes you. “Why do you ask” moves with a little more pacing. “Why do you ask if you don’t have the time” he asks over and over. The vocal harmonies keep some melody at the forefront of the music.

“Who Cares what you Think” opens with some easy drum strikes and a little friendly guitar riff. The vocals are once again dreamy, light and airy. The bass echoes the guitar here and it takes a trippy turn as it rides out a lengthy ending. “Halcyon” is a shorter song, that opens with solitary guitar notes and a calm and easy feeling. The definition of the word is “denoting a time in the past that was happy and peaceful.” That’s exactly what you get here in this song. Just a flat landscape of happy thoughts. “Apple of your Eye” brings nice, warm melody to your front door that you want to let inside and share the day with.

“The Clock Strikes Forever” closes the album. It’s a beast, as close to 12-minutes in length. A jovial, and slightly trippy riff, opens the song. The guitar riff gets going a bit, but this will be a lengthy ride; an almost free-jam of ideas. Around the half-way mark, it changes, with fuzzy and heavy riffs being dropped out of the sky like meteorites. Then, the amps overload, and it all goes to and ending of what sounds like a space shift lifting off, taking you happily with it, to explore what else is out there.

This album wasn’t quite what I was expecting, nor my normal “go-to” when it comes to music in general. But there was something about it that just pleased me very much. That combination of old-meets-new was very pronounced here. It also has a mesmerizing touch to it that just draws you in. It’s familiar like your favorite blanket, but also new like that expensive comforter you’ve had your eye on. For the entire listening experience, I was immersed in their world, without a care of much of anything. Isn’t that the point of good music in the first place?

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Leaves
2. Rabbit
3. Heartless Machine
4. Why do you ask
5. Who Cares what you Think?
6. Halcyon
7. Apple of your Eye
8. The Clock Strikes Forever
Dean – Guitar, Vocals
Charlie – Drums, Vocals
Dan – Synth Drone
Julian – Bass, Vocals
Tobia – Tambourine, Percussion
Record Label: Art as Catharsis Records


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