Release DetailsLABEL Mainstream
RELEASED ON 5/1/2006
Place Of Skulls
The Black Is Never Far
posted on 3/2006 By:
Unfamiliar with this doom outfit, I could only assume through its lineup that what was to follow consisted of music of the highest quality, and what I found on The Black is Never Far vast exceeded expectation.
This third album from Place of Skulls encompasses an aesthetic that voluntarily or involuntarily contributes to a well-established canon of complex and diverse doom that incorporates dirge rock, rollicking groove, subtle psychedelic touches, and an underbelly of sweat, tears, and the sense that one is cutting straight through the meat to arrive at the B vitamin of emotions. With members who have made stellar contributions to projects like Pentagram, Revelation, and Molly Hatchet, it’s by no mistake of the gods that the album sounds as good as it does. With no basis for comparison in terms of previous releases by Place of Skulls, I can only make the argument that fans of Sabbath, Pentagram, and other dark doom outfits whose common threads are the questioning of social structures, the carefully and organically constructed production of music that speaks for itself, and a visceral, “fuck you” attitude aimed at the ignorant who walk through life with nary an introspective thought or societal complaint will enjoy the hell out of this.
Songs like “We the Unrighteous” and “Prisoner’s Creed” speak to a desire for social change from the ground up, starting with how we as humans belittle each other to the point where we’re no longer individuals but representative of a greater entity belonging to powerful social stereotypes. While the subject has been approached with far greater subtlety, the immediacy of the lyrics in “We the Unrighteous” is forceful and effective. “Prisoner’s Creed” broaches the issue of human compassion in a personal sense: “There’s a man in need…brother from the gutter…Compassion I feel your strife…I offer you this prayer the peace that you will find inside.” Personalizing the issue of human compassion makes the lyrics more accessible to listeners and prevents the song from biting off more than it can chew.
While there are undoubtedly moral influences stemming from vocalist and guitarist Victor Griffin’s religiosity, one never feels as if the social mores are preached from a church pedestal. Concerns like human compassion, comfort with oneself, and individual purpose are universal. There is an honesty in Griffin’s voice that permeates The Black is Never Far like a commanding mist, and it doesn’t hurt that the music will slap and beat you into submission worse than an angry, apocalyptic evangelical ever could. Buy this. Now.
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