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On disc: Place Of Skulls

As A Dog Returns - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

As A Dog Returns

As A Dog Returns
(Exile On Mainstreet - 2010)

Place Of Skulls was founded in 2000 by ex-Pentagram Victor Griffin. As A Dog Returns is their 4th album, their last album The Black Is Never Far was released in 2006, so the band took a creative break.
They kick off with The Maker, a Southern rocker with a doomy edge. The track shows reminiscences to old Black Sabbath which isn't really a surprise as many bands been influenced by them. Slowly they head into Breath Of Life, even if they get heavier, the lava-ish riffs slowly go ahead. More a slow Southern rock tune then a doom monster. Griffin's vocals fit well to the music, he gives the song depth. And then he let his guitar speak. Great tune. Balladesque they kick off Though He Slay Me, for a bit they get heavier and then return to the balladesque parts. Another emotional tune is Psalm, first balladesque, then based on a heavy groove. The title once more shows Victor Griffin as a born again Christian and isn't afraid of showing his beliefs or playing powerful ballads. Dayspring is just shy of 10 minutes and the long track is the center piece of As A Dog Returns - and probably documents best what PPlace Of Skulls is about in 2010... Timeless Hearts is a Southern rocker with harmonica, but also offers some heavy riffs and an 70's rock vibe. Before they close this chapter with the title track they offer a cover of Steppenwolf's Desperation. The song was on Steppenwolf's self-titled debut which was released more then 4 decades ago and contains their smash hit Born To Be Wild, good idea to pick another one to cover. And even if the song isn't as heavy as the other tracks on As A Dog Returns it fits in. For the title track they add a dash of psychedelic sounds and so the song sounds very 70's.
Place Of Skulls is presenting a good album which isn't pure doom metal, more stoner or Southern rock, but quite entertaining. And music should be entertaining, so check out the trailer for As A Dog Returns and if you like it, buy it!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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