Thursday, 14 February 2013

Druid Lord - "Hymns for the Wicked" (Album Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 30/1/2013
Label: Doomentia Records
 

“Baron Blood” gives the listener a sampled intro and three minutes of doom.  Eerie Ways features a nice clean and distorted guitar instrumental juxtaposition before “Gorgon Witch” trudges out of the speakers with a riff that would not be out of place on a Crowbar album before the decidedly un-Crowbar fantasy/horror lyrics come in. “Circling of Vultures” features riffs as ominous as you might expect from a title like that. The middle of the track runs through some effective changes; a swinging time signature here and a clean guitar passage there give way to another excellent solo.


“Hymns for the Wicked” CD//DD track listing

1) Chamber Of Ghastly Horror (4:31)
2) Witchfinder (5:15)
3) Castle of Count Sadist (5:30)
4) Awaken by the Dead (5:53)
5) Baron Blood (3:15)
6) Eerie Ways (0:59)
7) Gorgon Witch (4:49)
8) Circling of Vultures (5:19)
9) Druid Death Cult (5:57)
10) Curse of the Skull (5:59)


The Review

Doom/Death; think Hooded Menace rather than Asphyx for this one. Great song titles such as “Chamber Of Ghastly Horror are not let down by the gargantuan riffs and guttural vocals. Good use of twin guitar work is also a vital ingredient. The album has a very 90's vibe to it (remember when you first heard Pestilence on tape? If so, then this will mean something to you) and this is no bad thing.

The production is warm and thick and the songs relatively concise. Witchfinderis slow and crushing with the gloom and sense of dread that the title suggests. Castle Of Count Sadist is also low and slow with a nice change just before the two minute mark that again makes the most of the guitar line-up, note the solos and Morbid Angel type progressions- very cool.

“Awaken By The Dead” continues the record in a similar vein with the dense sound working to create the right kind of claustrophobia that you look for in this kind of music. Straight forward horror story telling features here and, indeed, on the rest of the album- it compliments the drama of the music well. “Baron Blood” gives the listener a sampled intro and three minutes of doom.  Eerie Ways features a nice clean and distorted guitar instrumental juxtaposition before “Gorgon Witch” trudges out of the speakers with a riff that would not be out of place on a Crowbar album before the decidedly un-Crowbar fantasy/horror lyrics come in. Circling of Vultures features riffs as ominous as you might expect from a title like that. The middle of the track runs through some effective changes; a swinging time signature here and a clean guitar passage there give way to another excellent solo.

“Druid Death Cult” even features a tolling bell to start and a ritual like feel to the music (the tension ratchets up...). “Curse Of The Skull” finishes things with all the seventies horror vibe that preceded it. Good riff passages again through the centre of the track and even a pick up of pace is to be heard; not once, but twice! Of course, the final minute is given over to funereal tempos once again.

Overall, if you like your doom with some death and any of the facets of this release discussed above, you will find much to enjoy on this well rounded release.

“Hymns for the Wicked” is available here.


 



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