Late Week Quickie: Skull Servant- Astral Apothecary

It never fails. My list is ready for the March Doom Charts and I’m ready to hit “send.” Then a band, usually from North Carolina lately, finds its way onto my beloved Apple AirPods Max cans, and now the WHOLE thing needs revision. Like I’ve written a few times- I love this gig!

So, up the road from me in Chapel Hill are three guys that don’t even look old enough to shave, taking a stab at a style of music that emerged like…50 years ago. Their parents probably weren’t even born yet for all I know. Their budget for recording and promotion was probably less than my monthly allotment for pizza.

Somehow, against all rational probability, this EP fricking slays! It sounds as if these kids were breastfed on sour goats’ milk with an endless loop of Reverend Bizarre, Candlemass, Electric Wizard, Pentagram and Cathedral pumped into their nursery while their nannies were performing obscure and unspeakable rites in the basement.

Or, there’s just something in the water that’s producing bands like this, along with Evil Leaf, Cosmic Reaper, Mean Green, Holy Roller, Luurch and Doomsday Profit, to name just a few. It’s probably some insidious RNA protein thingy infecting these people with a predisposition for maximum riffage.

But to be serious, this kind of material comes from good, ol’ fashion hard work and dedication to craft. Astral Apothecary is just the latest example of young, very young, people carrying on and refining a musical tradition older than dirt, as they say around hea’. It’s definitely on the raw side, and the production is a million miles away from the pristine yet oh-so two dimensional blandness of most modern “metal.”

That’s the biggest appeal for me, to be honest. This is probably pretty close to what Skull Servant sounds like when they play live, and I sure hope I find out in the near future. In the meantime, stream it or even better- buy it at the link below:

You can even buy every release they have so far, like I did, for less than 7 bucks.

I still think I’m on to something in my first theory. In fact, I bet the cover is a realistic depiction of one of those nannies…

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