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CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL - Everybody's Going To Die

Release date November 29/19 (Bandcamp)

Two records have already knocked me on my ass early in 2020 (albeit both are late 2019 issues, but let's not let calendars get in the way). One is Moonstone's unfathomably heavy doom debut, the other being Church of the Cosmic Skull's third full length, Everybody's Going To Die. Essentially working as polar opposites, Moonstone takes you to the Earth's core via a hand-of-doom-battering-ram-of-a-rhythm-section, while Church Of The Cosmic Skull lifts spirits high, awash in beauty and hope. Suggestion: put these albums on your turntable back-to-back for one hell of a listening experience.

Okay, first-off, you headbangers need to hang in there for the payoff. Don't let the band's Angel-esque wardrobe, acid-tripping cosmic views (check out their website - wowza!) or claims of "putting the Abba in Sabbath" (!) scare you off. There's no doubting that this ain't metal and it sure as hell is different, but there's enough hard rocking heft and guitar soloing at the core to keep you appeased as you try to figure this damn thing out.

Now that I (hopefully) have your attention, you're likely thinking 'what the hell does it sound like then?'. The easiest way to describe this is as a holy amalgamation of theatrical rock (think Meatloaf), proggy-Styx and classic rock ELO, led by a Brian May-worshiping guitarist and Peter Gabriel soundalike at the mic ... backed by a Hammond organ and church choir. Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds weird, but it works surprisingly well.

The lush vocals and uplifting rhythms just beg for radio attention, but there's enough rockin'-out here and there (even including a dose of doom) to appease hardened denizens out there. Totally unique, you owe it to yourself to check this out. We metalheads need some downtime every once in a while from cranking decibels after all.

Go ahead, drink the Kool-Aid and teleport yourself to another dimension for a few minutes. Great stuff.

Note: The band will be touring the U.K. in February. How about a North American tour to follow?!

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