Revelations of the Sacred Skull

Heavy Psych Sounds
rating icon 7 / 10

Track listing:

01. Black Acid
02. Motörcity Hellcats
03. Night Of The Serpent Woman
04. The Sacred Skull
05. Filthy Streets
06. Toxic Sludge
07. Vipere
08. Bloodmoon
09. The Rise Of Witchcraft

Bands playing hopscotch across genres has been the norm for years. But intuitively enough, musical amalgams that have an impact are the ones that are built by musicians who have genuine passion for the disparate sounds and styles in question. For Montreal's LUGER, various ingredients including doom, stoner, heavy metal, punk and hard rock are stirred into the pot, producing a filthy, sonic stew that makes sense. The Canadians return with "Revelations Of The Sacred Skull", their second full-length album that is likely to appeal to fans of bands as varied as FU MANCHU, THIN LIZZY and MERCYFUL FATE.

LUGER most certainly flirts with darkness, themes of the occult, horror, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. "Revelations Of The Sacred Skull" is campy. It is kitsch. And the way LUGER has its tongue planted firmly in cheek is exactly why "Revelations Of The Sacred Skull" is an enjoyable release. The quartet's appreciation of good times and hedonism — the projected notion of it, anyway — has run through their blood for years, forming in 2013 from the ashes of a garage punk project called JIMMY TARGET & THE TRIGGERS.

Both the song and music video for "Black Acid" — a punk-fueled, classic heavy metal ditty about a cult leader who transforms his young followers into blood thirsty zombies with a concoction called "The Black Acid" — highlight the unit's fun-loving energy. The upbeat, mischievous track comes across as a tasty hybrid of death 'n' roll era ENTOMBED and Brooklyn garage rockers AWESOME COLOR. The song even winds down with an epic and bold rock 'n' roll ENTOMBED-tinged ending. They similarly wrap up the slow, brooding bruiser "Night of the Serpent Woman", a song that eventually boils and bursts out of the cauldron.

Elsewhere, songs like "Toxic Sludge" and "The Rise of Witchcraft" are relatively more venomous, charging forth with zany, devilish riffs. Yet there's a PG-13 quality that, again, is a part of why "Revelations of the Sacred Skull" shines.

LUGER's members are seemingly in their twenties or thirties, though they come together and create nasty hymns with the spirit of curious, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed high school kids kicking out the jams in a garage. Sure, "Revelations Of The Sacred Skull" isn't exactly a mind-blowing release, but it is one that is likely to sit comfortably between MIDNIGHT and MANILLA ROAD in the playlists of open-minded metalheads.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
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