I enjoy Doom Metal immensely. I love the emotional draw, the darkened music, and the total atmosphere that makes you ask “what if.” Now what if we take the lyrics out of the equation? Can it still create that emotion; do you still feel that impending dread; is it even still doom metal?
To find the answers to this question I listened to some tracks off of “Laughing Skull’s” new album, “Captured in Mind.” The hunt became a little more elusive when I realized that Laughing Skull was a one man band. Being a classically trained guitarist led to frustration for this technical muse. Combined with the affliction of Lyme disease you have a man making music with no aspirations of commercial success, but for a way to quench his creative fires.
Although Laughing Skull claims his classical training was more of a hindrance than help, I tend to disagree as the technical aspect of his work is reminiscent of Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen. Although technically gifted; is Laughing Skull creating Doom Metal even though a vocalist is not telling us what to be scared of?
The first track I listened to was “Enemy Within” and it is very dark at the open. The guitar work over a monotonous bass certainly creates a dreaded feeling that you would expect. LS threw in some pace changes that are nicely transitioned. The song could have been the opening track of any doom album in the introductory way that many bands use to acclimatize the listener.
More questions answered after the warp:
“Endless Staircase” took a path down the classic Thrash highway with a consistent rhythm that will have you banging your head. The song is completely dominated by guitar from start to finish. At times I wondered if the song was just like a long winded Zakk Wylde solo. I certainly didn’t miss lyrics in this track because there was no room.
The self-titled “Laughing Skull” comes in at over 8 minutes and does a great job of adding to the mystery of Laughing Skull. There are lots of guitar effects and bass rhythms. Obviously when someone uses an “AKA” for their name you wonder what they are like. This song adds to that and advances the feeling you are in skilled hands.
My notes from “Anomalous Anomalies” are as follows: guitar, guitar, guitar – very cool time signature – guitars, guitars, guitars.
“Reasonless Universe” is a very jazzy song that could easily pass in any casino lounge in the world. It could until it breaks out into an all-out metal assault. This is one of the first instrumental tracks I have ever heard that I thought: lyrics would hurt this track.
Head over to www.reverbnation.com/laughingskull to give him a listen for yourself because what you will find is the question is an easy one to answer. Can instrumental be Doom Metal? It certainly can because Doom is more about emotion than lyrics. I felt the impending doom and I didn’t need anyone to tell me what it could be.
Show me your horns,
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