The Georgian Skull: Mother Armageddon, Healing Apocalypse

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The Georgian Skull: Mother Armageddon, Healing Apocalypse
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The Georgian Skull: Mother Armageddon, Healing Apocalypse
Doom Metal, Stoner Metal
Scarlet Records
2008 / March 8th, 2011
Release length: 52:57
Myspace

The Georgian Skull formed in Canada back in 2007, and plays a combination of Doom and Stoner Metal. That same year, the band recorded their demo EP themselves, which eventually led to the release of Mother Armageddon, Healing Apocalypse a year later. Roughly three years later, Scarlet Records is bringing this album to the States. While there’s no new release yet, or perhaps this is a move by the label to push their debut as much as they can prior to the band releasing their follow-up full-length effort. But, that’s not what we’re here to discuss. The real question about this album is a simple one, and one that simply must be addressed. After nearly three years of not being available State-side, is it actually worth picking up?

Mother Armageddon, Healing Apocalypse is actually a rather enjoyable album. Much of the band’s material seems to be focused more on a Stoner Rock/Metal approach, such as with the catchier “Demon Cripper” that takes on a stronger Stoner foundation in the music then anything. Of course, there’s also songs that take that kind of musical foundation, but slow the pace down from a heavy, yet catchy approach, to a slow, crushing, dismal approach with that slight Stoner Rock/Metal groove to it. That’s how the album introduces itself with “Final Days of Doom”, setting up the release to be a very soul crushing release, though later tracks completely contradict the song with great elements of Rock and groove to it that are infectious more then catchy, and sometimes they greatly stand out. “Hearts Burning”, for instance, is a track that brings in more of a Southern party atmosphere, almost like a celebration one might expect to see during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, a very surprising aspect of the band’s music considering their Canadian roots.

But, none of that will even begin to brace you for the sudden switch that happens on the CD. “Becoming Machines” completely throws the CD for a loops, going far from either the strong Doom Metal influences, or the Stoner Rock/Metal aspects of the band that made up “Demon Cripper” and “Hearts Burning”, as the song storms into a Deathcore breakdown and the rhaspy/shouting harmonizations are replaced with gutterals and will lead you to think you’re listening to a whole other song from a completely different band at around the halfway mark, and again near the two-thirds mark to close out the track, but only briefly due to the random chords that echo out until the end. Of course, there are still some musical elements that reflect the Southern approach showcased on “Hearts Burning”, but it’s the most insane, random change to the album the band could possibly have done outside of, perhaps, a full shift to Hardcore and Emo mixed together. That same type of style carries on into the following track, “The Funeral”, which takes the general flow of the breakdown, but makes it a Stoner Metal track. While not a bad idea, the lead guitars are just obnoxious and annoying. They just sound like someone scrating away at something, much like a spinning record, and they completely dominate in the mix, drowning out everything and making it one annoying as hell song that will have the listener scrambling for the skip track button.

The remainder of the CD seems to find the band finding an adequate mix of all these various ideas, but moreso sticking with a blend of Stoner Rock and Metal more then anything. The only real complaint about some of the following tracks would be that sometimes the band plays material that just seems to clash. These kinds of moments happen throughout the last half of the album, and some tracks, like “Hunting the Ghost” just get out of hand with it and they end up just sounding like noise with no real fundamental foundation related to the styles the band plays. These tracks also can sometimes bleed into a faster, more upbeat version of earlier Type O Negative at times, but not to the point where it becomes idol worship, but like a background reference in the music then anything, and those sections really seem to send the band on the straight and narrow as far as keeping within a specific style is concerned. But, truth be told, these songs still feel cluttered, and seems to find the band lost of direction, leaving the second half of the album to just not be that enjoyable.

One of the big perks for this album, however, is the production quality. For the atmosphere the band tries to capture on a number of tracks, the production of the release is top notch. The bass really stands out on the recording and gives the songs a stronger edge to them, which does help a good number of songs and really aids the entire release out in many ways, though the bass typically doesn’t really stray from the lead guitar patterns. Aside the bass, there’s the vocals, and their level of quality. For the most part, the vocal vary between rhaspy and shouting, but almpost always have a slight reverb to them, as well as are pushed back a bit in the production, giving them a slightly raw feeling, and a more more emotional element too that aids some of the Southern sounding tracks with a more Blues approach to the Stoner Rock/Metal style the band incorporates into their material.

Mother Armageddon, Healing Apocalypse definitely isn’t bad, but at times it really is a struggle. The band has good ideas for some tracks, but then there are times where it feels cluttered, like they try to do too much, and it greatly backfires. The Greorgian Skull have the ability to create some really catchy Stoner Rock and Metal here, and their straight forward Doom Metal song “Final Days of Doom” isn’t bad either. If the band can try to stick with a specific music foundation, and definitely leave out some of the effects on their instruments that sound like they let Freddy Krueger go crazy on one of their songs, then their material will definitely be a lot stronger. Until then, The Georgian Skull is a band to keep an eye on, but Mother Armageddon, Healing Apocalypse just isn’t really that strong an album to make it a priority purchase of any kind.


01. Final Days of Doom – 4:04
02. Demon Crippler – 4:54
03. Hearts Burning – 3:07
04. Becoming Machines – 2:51
05. The Funeral – 4:43
06. Intermission – 5:40
07. Hunting the Ghost – 6:29
08. Possessed Obsessed – 3:51
09. Doom Lord Pusher – 5:45
10. Where the demons Dwell – 2:56
11. Smoking Your Exorcism – 8:37
Initial Pressing Score: 5.5/10

The Georgian Skull
The Georgian Skull

Digital review copy of this release provided by Scarlet Records
via Freeman Promotions.