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Album Review: Church of the Cosmic Skull – Everybody’s Going to Die

A title like Everybody’s Going to Die can say a lot about an album, especially when it’s coming from a group as brazenly upbeat as Church of the Cosmic Skull. The band’s sunny disposition and occult pop style seem more or less unphased, making it even easier to imagine some sort of façade with tension bubbling beneath the surface. There ultimately don’t seem to be too many dramatic shifts in style on the band’s third album, but it certainly offers its share of tweaks.

In addition to song lengths and the overall runtime being noticeably shorter this time around, individual tracks have a certain snappiness to them. This is demonstrated right away in the opening “Fantasy,” which packs a Queen-esque romp in less than two minutes before sliding into the equally bouncy “Don’t You Believe in Magic?” “Do What You Want (With Love in Your Heart)” takes it even further with its clashing speeds.

There’s also still room for some moodier material. The title track and the closing “Living in a Bubble” have hints of somberness in their sweeping exaltations, and “The Hunt” grinds the pacing to a halt with its slower blues sprawl. Elsewhere, “Into the Skull” and “The Great Black Hole” are downright heavy by the band’s lighthearted standards, approaching Ghost territory with their amped-up guitars and more twisted attitudes.

Overall, Church of the Cosmic Skull’s third album provides more of the bright, cheerful existentialism that listeners have come to expect. While its shorter song lengths and quick release turnaround raise concerns of a possible rush job, the band’s persistently keen ear for lush arrangements keeps things from feeling underdeveloped. It’s another pleasant listen that reinforces their status as one of the modern rock scene’s most intriguing outfits.

Highlights:
“Everybody’s Going to Die”
“Into the Skull”
“The Hunt”
“The Great Black Hole”

Editor Grade

B+

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