place of skulls - nailed

PLACE OF SKULLS
Nailed
Southern Lord Records
2002

Place Of Skulls is a doom metal band that hails from Knoxville, Tennessee…well, at least I think so. They’re listed as “on hold” on the Encyclopaedia Metallum archives, as to the vocalist/guitarist’s stints in side projects (which includes that of the legendary doom act Pentagram), so it’s not clear whether there will be any further albums beyond their last one in 2010. But I digress, here. Getting a bit ahead of myself. My bad.

Nailed is the first proper full-length release from Place Of Skulls, and it’s a rather crushing collection of heavy doom metal that plays straight from the retro style of doom metal, i.e. – slow, crunchy guitar riffs, bottom-heavy rhythms and haunting mid-range clean vocals. The sound is very similar to the classic mid-1970s era Black Sabbath, and given guitarist/vocalist Victor Griffin’s background with Pentagram, that isn’t very surprising. What is surprising is hearing the quality of the music. I’m not normally a big fan of the doom metal style, finding myself slightly bored after a while (sorry to say, really). But, there’s something about this release that really got inside my head, giving me an infection for the kind of \,,/METAL\,,/ contained therein.

From the opener “The Fall”, you’re given exactly what you’re in for with the entire album: heavy, mid-paced metal with very crunchy, hook-laden guitar riffs, a thick, solid rhythm that could withstand an F5-rated tornado hit, and vocals drenched with sorrowful emotion. Notably, there’s a cover of the song “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, which is the first cover I’ve heard done by a band that’s not an indie alternative band.

Overall, Place Of Skulls’ Nailed release is a good, solid collection of heavy, plodding and sludgy doom metal goodness that will appeal to those who consider heavy metal having been perfected with the fourth Black Sabbath album. It’s gone a long way to finally sparking an interest in the doom metal genre beyond mere curiosity with me, at least. Recommended.

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