The Smashing Skull Sessions

The Smashing Skull Sessions is a podcast, interview and review website, set up to showcase and support the underground rock and metal scenes. Our goal is to promote artists and bands from right across the globe, giving them another voice and another forum in which to get their music out to a greater audience. We also have a new review series, The Review Room, which is another unique way of getting bands and artists some extra coverage and promotion

King Dude - Death

This is your last chance to dance with me tonight

When Thomas Jefferson Cowgill started King Dude around twelve years ago he already knew that he was going to end it again one day with this final album called Death. It was never intended to last forever, "Lucifer forbids for repeating and stagnating yourself", he thought. So now, he keeps his word and hangs up his black King Dude boots.

On the ten albums that were released, King Dude gave us music with inspirations coming from dark (neo) folk, goth-synth, acoustic, americana, post-punk, blues, country and rock n roll, while thematically and lyrically dealing with the obscure, Lucifer, love, fear, sex and death. Where some albums were more acoustic orientated, on Death, the overall vibe and instrumentation emphasizes goth synth/post punk/wave, evoking the sound of Sisters of Mercy Joy Division Bauhaus and the likes.

I typically love the King Dude songs that immediately get stuck in your brain thanks to catchy and repetitive lyrics, melodies and chorusses, you know, the singalong songs!, and this album is full of those. After having the record on repeat I find myself yelling and humming along with fantastic songs such as O’ Darkness, Everybody Goes to Heaven, Cast no Reflection and my absolute album favourites, Pray for Nuclear War and Silver Cord. Be warned for these last two, cause they are going to keep you awake at night. And let’s not forget the two duet songs Sweet Death (featuring Shannon F.) and Black and Blue (featuring Nicole Estil) that sound like kick-ass modern day Cash & Carter collaborations.

With Lay Waste of the Human Race, a sensitive piano and vocals song, (with the piano playing reminding me a bit of Jon Oliva in his Savatage and Jon Oliva’s Pain era) Death comes to an end. Or to a beginning of something new? We'll have to see what the future brings from the hand of Thomas Jefferson Cowgill. If so, one thing is going to be sure: it will be interesting and worth waiting for! Until that time, thank you King Dude for all the haunting and addictive tunes. Your legacy lives forth beyond Death.