Saturday, 2 June 2018

Turtle Skull - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: May 17th 2018. Label: Art As Catharsis. Format: CD/DD

Peace – Tracklisting

1.No News is Bad News 06:55
2.Take It Or Leave It 08:26
3.Eden 06:08
4.Empty Ships 08:23


Dean McLeod
Charlie Gradon
Julian Frese
Dan Frizza
Tobia Blefari


I wasn't fully sold on Turtle Skull debut album when I first listened to it. Maybe because the band create a different Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal sound. As they merge pop based melodies and vocals with heavy psychedelic doom/stoner metal sounds. Then again if it worked for Mars Red Sky then no doubt it can work for Turtle Skull. Though both bands sound very different to each other. I'm describing how Turtle Skull weave pop style sounds against the Doom/Stoner Metal atmospherics that the album fully contains.

Opening track - No News Is Bad News - opens with drone based guitar that blends elements of Psych, Doom and Stoner Rock for a heavy trippy sound. The vocals softens the mood as Turtle Skull build their heavy riffs on solid poppier foundations. The band fully take flight with a sublime progressive guitar riff that drifts between the different genres that Turtle Skull have included here. There is a dreamy sixties psychedelic vibe being played in the background that is paired against a free-flowing Doom/Stoner Metal backdrop. You may not realise this at first but Turtle Skull use a heavy amount of Drone based noises. This gives their music a slight unsettling feel.

Second track - Take It Or Leave It - is a darker neo-psychedelic number with the band playing a faster style of music. The trippy FUZZ based elements become the main focus with Turtle Skull's music building upto a faster and aggressive momentum.

The final two tracks - Eden and Empty Ships - continue with the hybrid and heavy progressive Doom/Fuzz/Pop/Stoner Rock sound have devilish fun creating. My only criticism is the album can be too repetitive at times with certain riffs and vocal arrangements that seem to go on for too long. It's only a few parts of the album but it did drag in places. I do admire Turtle Skull for creating a highly inventive and original sounding album at times.

The production is perhaps the best part of the album as Turtle Skull's music sounds fresh and dynamic. Even when played at a low volume this album is superbly heavy and overflowing with rich inventive ideas.

Turtle Skull have unleashed one of the truly weirdest psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rock albums I've heard this year. This is a trip worth taking over and over again.


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