Saturday 18 January 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Elder Druid, "Golgotha"

By: Brandon Noga

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 17/01/2020
Label: Independent

“Golgotha” CD//DD track listing:

1. Sleeping Giant
2. Golgotha
3. Sentinel 
4. Vincere Vel Mori
5. Dreadnought 
6. Paegan Dawn of Anubis
7. The Archmage

The Review:

Elder Druid are self described “Occult-laced riff dealers" from Belfast; an accurate description indeed. Anyone that plays with Slomatics for an album release is sure to have their own gargantuan heft, and I cannot argue that one bit. “Golgotha” is their second release, and it’s a mature effort. The production is top notch (thanks to the year long journey of going over and over the tracks until the band was satisfied), due to being recorded, produced and mixed by bassist Dale Hughes; and the hard work clearly paid off. All the tones are what a band of this caliber and genre should shoot for, to magnify every riff and beat. Laney, Orange, and Ashdown amps bring the heat and thunder, and the riffs pummel you into ancient soil and monuments contained underneath. The drums are mixed well, while complimenting and pushing the riffs to the forefront similar to Black Sabbath and Zeppelin.

“Sleeping Giant” kicks off the album with a fuzzy stoner riff with slight wah added, and comes crashing down with a titanic weight when the rest of the band kicks in. This giant definitely has a mangy coat covered in moss and has no regard for any insignificant beings when it starts lumbering for the first time in eons. The song rides the line between Stoner and Doom and grabs you by the neck to force your head to bang. The lead section is ethereal and layered in a mature way; very tasty. “Golgotha is a diminished venture, with a monstrous bellow echoing over riffs that leave a footprint in the earth as wide as the eye can see. The breakdown reveals the entity to which these marks belong to, but it’s too late when it blocks out the sun shortly before your life comes to a confusing end.

“Sentinel” is the first single released, and I can see why. A harmonic minor odyssey that’s equally captivating as it is revealing of one’s self; a great example of what this band is capable of. Jake Wallace informed me that a Fender Rhoades and Theremin were employed for increased depth; Its slathered in reverb and ends up in the outer realms of space and time. “Vincere Vel Mori” (to conquer or die) is a more doom-pure track, with prickly fuzz tones bordering on static electricity and riffs that slow and come to a gradual heave.

“Dreadnought” consists of clever riffs as thick as the night is long, and flat-fifth single note lines harkening to the obvious Sabbath influence. The gradual decline is punctuated with bends to further throw your skull around. “Paegan Dawn of Anubis” contains a bass intro located in depths of the ocean not yet explored by man; that warns you of impending Lovecraftian beings, that your kind hasn’t been aware of in its minuscule existence. “The rivers run red” with the blood of ancestors succumbing to Anubis, and his gate to the underworld. 

The album closes with “Archmage”, another fuzz laden track with vocals expelled from a tar filled diaphragm. Its fades out with stops and bends, and one final reverb drenched echo to drown out the senses. Elder Druid has a bright future; they should proud of this album, and I wish them good luck on their upcoming tour and release show!

“Golgotha” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook