Thursday 9 August 2012

Dopelord - Magick Rites (Album Review)

When a band cites their main inspiration as ‘old movies, 70’s music and magical herbs’, you know you’re in for a treat. And Dopelord, a Stoner/Doom band from eastern Poland definitely don’t disappoint.

Their latest effort, ‘Magick Rites’, takes those influences, mixes it with a bit of Sleep and Sabbath and spits out a monstrous blues-tinged stoner doom beast of a record.

The vocals on this album are fairly sparse, but this is only to make way for the huge unstoppable riffing in every song, and that’s never a bad thing. If you listen to this record and don’t find yourself banging your head like a doom sloth then there is something wrong with you.

The guys have obviously been studying at the school of Sabbath, and it shows. Alongside the ambling sludge riffs, we’re treated to the odd bluesy solo, effects-laden bass and even a few Fu-Manchu style stoner rock sections.

Drums here aren’t anything crazy and that’s perfect for this kind of music. They complement the riffs brilliantly and they aren’t so complex that they take over the songs. It’s the drumming here that arguably makes the whole record such a success and the reason why you can’t just help but bang your head.

This whole album is an absolute gem, but there are some absolutely standout tracks here.

‘Lucifer’s Son’ is one of those tracks. The song opens with some awesomely slow riffing accompanied by distant, psychedelic vocals. The riffs here sound like they could have been written by Tony Iommi himself. Although I’ve already said it, there’s a definite Sabbath vibe going on here and ‘Lucifer’s Son’ really shows this off.

Another great track on this album is ‘Possessed’. To start with, we’re treated to some big rock riffing and a perfectly constructed wah solo like something you’d hear from bands like Black Spiders and Orange Goblin. The song soon falls back into Dopelord’s signature slow groove though but that’s no bad thing.

The last track on the album really speaks for the whole record. ‘Rise! Undying!’ is a culmination of all the great aspects that this band have shown off throughout this album. This song should be on any stoner doom enthusiast’s playlist. It’s got pretty much everything you’d want from a tune like this: a great riff that carries the song, with traditional stoner style vocals whilst the lead guitar weaves its way in and out like a trail of smoke.

All in all, ‘Magick Rites’ is a solid album and one well worth purchasing if you’re a fan of anything slow and heavy. While the band’s influences are obvious, they create their own unique sound which means this album never gets old. If this record is anything to go by, Dopelord are going to be big in the realm of the heavy for quite some time (Let’s not forget that the band have only been around since 2010!).

You can buy this stellar album from Dopelord’s bandcamp: