This is Place of Skulls' third album and it's their best. There is a wide range of tempos, from the upbeat opener to the slower but excellent title track. This is true doom; if you like Sabbath, Candlemass, Cathedral and early Iced Earth, then you'll like this. There's some stunning guitar work and chugging riffs. The lyrics are intelligent and the mix is very good; the vocals are audible and clear. There's even a cover of the Pentagram track "Relentless" (guitarist Victor Griffin's previous band). There's an authority and confidence about this that bodes well for the future.
I only came by this band as a result of a favourable review posted in a music magazine, but I'm so glad I took a chance on them. If you like anything by Cathedral, Pentagram or Corrosion of Conformity, you'll love this, but to be fair, with such fantastic soul filled vocals, I would imagine it crossing over to quite a large selection of the greater rock audience. With such a title, you'd expect it to be heavy, but its deceptively melodic. The guitars are detuned and epic, and there's a really raw bluesy, almost progressive vibe to it. Perhaps it will take most people several listens, but that goes for the best albums out there.
It opens with Prisoner's Creed, a great rock intro with melodic lead fills, and then incredibly, tracks 2 - 13 get better and better, with standouts including the title track, and the two great interludes, proving just good the musicians (including the great VG from Pentagram). The only poor track is We the Unrighteous - terrible lyrics and annoying music, but given the breathtaking quality of this album, I'll forgive them!
This is fantastic, powerful stuff - album of the year so far.