Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Lord Dying - Poisoned Altars (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 27/1/2015
Label: Relapse Records

‘Poisoned Altars’ CD//LP//DD track listing:

1). "Poisoned Altars"
2). "The Clearing At The End Of The Path"
3). "A Wound Outside Of Time"
4). "An Open Sore"
5). "Offering Pain (And An Open Minded Center)"
6). "Suckling At The Teat Of A Shebeast"
7). "(All Hopes Of A New Day)...Extinguished"
8. "Darkness Remains"

Lord Dying:

Erik Olson | Guitar/Vocals
Don Capuano | Bass
Rob Shaffer | Drums
Chris Evans | Guitar


Let's start with the basics. A band called Lord Dying were always going to be good, right? Of course. 2013's rumbling debut 'Summon the Faithless' quickly launched the Portland quartet to the forefront of the ever growing sludge/doom scene. We come now to the potentially awkward second album phase of the bands career. A time that comes to define most bands, so have they come out the other end stronger? The answer to that is an infallible yes.

The opening title track sets the tone for the entire album. A relentless assault you're quite happy to endure. The message is clear, these guys aren't out of riffs and the next 40 minutes are going to leave you out of breath but desperate for more. "The Clearing at the End of The Path" Hammers along before slipping into a twisting, shifting, progressive sidetrack. This detour is short lived however as the band turn the gravity back on with considerable force. Things move forward in an almost unstoppable fashion with a seemingly endless barrage of riffs, breakdowns and vocals Scott Kelly would be proud of. "Offering Pain (And an Open Minded Crater)" exudes a sense of sinister despair with a guitar solo filled with menace and drums played with a deadly intent. If all this isn't enough, if you're not already on your hands and knees searching for your teeth, the band get serious with the utterly crushing "(All Hopes of a New Day)....Extinguished" the albums heaviest track and one that seals your fate. Album closer "Darkness Remains" marches along before ending in a sea of pure noise. It leaves you feeling dizzy, slightly confused and ready to return to the beginning.

"Poisoned Altars" is everything you want from a bands second album. Heavier, braver, angrier and above all else, a clear evolution without losing what made them great to begin with. I'm reminded of other great bands in this field and it makes me all the more excited for this bands future. However, for now, this album will be absolutely essential listening. Expect to be crushed.

Words by: Rhys Miles

You can pick up a CD/LP copy here.

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