CONFESSOR, Confessor (1992 Earache)
Impeccably simple: a boxed-out side view of a skull, stippled white on black, topped with the band’s beautiful looping logo in a two tone fade. It’s nearly perfect, this cover, and while The Council always and forever prefers a face-forward rendering of a skull, the artistry of this Confessor EP is so great that even our hooded masters welcome it unreservedly into the Skullection, without the usual grudging complaints that a skull from the side is better than no skull at all (or, even worse, two skulls).
No other band ever sounded like Confessor, and their self-applied label of “technical doom metal” is perfectly apt. Spastic drumming over odd-time perversions of Sabbath riffs are the basis for the Confessor sound, added to which Scott Jeffries piercingly high vocals create a sound unlike any other. Confessor are the sort of band where if you like all their influences, there is still no guarantee you’ll appreciate the final product. Take Trouble, for instance, who were so influential on this North Carolingian band that this three song EP contains TWO Trouble covers. While the guitars are played fairly straight on both, Jeffries replaces Eric Wagner’s smoky rasp with his shrieking, warbling highs (on the non-instrumental “The Last Judgement”), while Steve Shelton adds a burbling undercurrent of off-kilter triplets to the drum beats. The results, while still fairly faithful to the originals, are still undeniably Confessor, such that if you ONLY knew that band, you’d probably never guess these were not original songs. The third track on the EP is the pinnacle achievement of the band’s full length debut, the brilliantly twisted “Condemned”. In their original formation, the band released that album and this EP and then broke up, making this an essential piece, but the band regrouped in the mid 00s and released another EP and album, although neither attain the same heights as their original 90s releases. They’re still kicking around as a live unit, and it’s hoped by many that they’ll make it back to the studio to keep their unique brand of doom alive.
— Friar Johnsen