(Southern Lord Records)
It is not everyday you get a masterpiece like this. PLACE OF SKULLS is the new band formed by the ex-DEATH ROW / PENTAGRAM guitarist and composer extraordinaire Victor Griffin, who secured the service of his old partner in crime Lee Abney on bass together with new recruit Tim Tomaselli on drums. This three piece works perfectly and delivers a barrage of Heavy Doom the way it should always be played. Each of the nine songs is a jewel, but my preference goes for ‘Never Die’ and ‘Song Of Solomon’, I can’t assure you will never forget these two once you listen to them, instant classics! The production is beyond belief, the rhythm section of the pair Abney / Tomaselli sounds absolutely splashing, a feast of groovy foundations on which the fat, warm and low tuned riffage of Griffin could lean with ease. PLACE OF SKULLS marks a true rebirth for Victor, after years of bad karma. Lyrically wise, “Nailed” deals with Christian beliefs but don’t expect dumb proselytism here, but rather the expression of strong emotions, of hope tainted with melancholy. The pleasure to play music again is obvious here, and that alone could explain how much excellent “Nailed” turned out to be. I dare say that this material put into oblivion large parts of the BLACK SABBATH back catalogue, I think I am saying it all here. If you are hungry for the kind of heaviness already found on “The Skull” by TROUBLE or the last PENTAGRAM masterpiece, buy “Nailed” without delay. My only (minor) complaint comes from the ANIMALS cover track ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’, I would have preferred another original instead, even if PLACE OF SKULLS inject a strong dose of molten lead in this old 60’s track, I can tell you! Well, I am feeling a little wordless trying to describe this album for you, because of its class and grandeur, as it is way more easy to contempt than praise. So let’s the music do the talking! Buy this ULTIMATE classic!