When the meeting of metal kinds between Exumer vocalist Mem V. Stein and Church Of Misery mainman Tatsu Mikami colliding in a new band named Skull Pit was announced , speculation was rife with what the new bands sound could be. Would it combine Exumers high octane thrash assault with Church Of Miserys Sabbath worshipping sludgy doom or something completely different? Now that the bands highly anticipated self titled album has arrived that question has been answered, and while the Skull Pit sound is closer to Exumer than Church Of Misery, the bands sound is pure heavy metal worship. Think Venom, think Motörhead, think Raven, think Razor and you’ll get where Skull Pit are going with their frenetic metal.
From start to finish, this is metal done with passion, skill and precision and fans of heavy metal and the N.W.O.B.H.M in particular will find so much to love with this album and added to that there is a definite snotty punk rawness to proceedings that definitely adds to the fun.
From the moment that opening track “Double Cross” rears its head in true head banging style, the relentless nature of Skull Pits music never stops until the very last note has faded out.
The full on speed of “Fire Breather” is a definite highlight of the album as are the Motörhead tribute sound of Soul Raiders, the punk metal of Marauders and the DiAnno era Maiden-esque “Wolf Spirit” but the whole album is a non stop riot of full on metal mayhem with only the groovier metal of “Year Of The Dog” (the closest the band get to sounding anything like Church Of Misery) letting the manic pace slide although this only seems to enhance its heaviness.
The album closes in fine style with a faithful cover of another influence on the attitude and grit of the band in Rose Tattoos All The Lessons that features a guest appearance from former Madball guitarist Brian ‘Mitts’ Daniels and marks a great sendoff to the first Skull Pit album.
This is such a fun album to listen to and makes you realise what you loved about metal in the first place, which is a high compliment indeed. It sounds like Stein and Mikami have been playing together for years, if not decades considering how in sync the whole album sounds and how free the music sounds making the results that are produced undeniably phenomenal. An album for all lovers of heavy metal and one that will make you want to bang your head for ages to come.
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