Druid Lord conjures deep decaying darkness with their third full-length album, Relics Of The Dead.
Druid Lord has been haunting the catacombs for more than ten years. After the initial long-player Hymns For The Wicked in 2010, the band released a string of splits and a couple of EPs before the most recent full-length, Grotesque Offerings (2018). With a focus on the morbid and horror in general, the themes of the compositions are what you might expect from a doom-laden heavy music band so named. The Metal Archives records the band members as Elden Santos (drums), Pete Slate (guitar), Tony Blakk (vocals and bass), and Chris Wicklein (guitar).
There are six long songs and two transition tracks on the new album. The style is doom and death metal played both in alternating passages and as crossover experiences. “Relics Of The Dead” is a delightfully dreary requiem that drags your spirit through the muck. The following track, “Thirteen Days Of Death,” unsurprisingly, offers no sunshine. The song rolls out in a funeral procession, with heavy, hopeless vocals and slow, churning guitars. The pace becomes spritely after a couple minutes, but that does not elevate the mood. An excellent, depressing song.
I really liked “Festering Tombs,” I must say, with its nice lead flourishes and a driving, dooming intentionality. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention “Mangled As The Hideous Feed” as well – it is a song more well-titled than most. The album wraps up on “Monarch Macabre,” a beautifully rendered cinematic story of unrelenting darkness. The final bow is a short uscita that sounds like a creepy invitation to play the album again. Which I did. This one is a keeper. Recommended.
Relics Of The Dead is out on Friday, January 21st in digital, tape, and CD formats through Hells Headbangers. A vinyl version will follow in the coming months.
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