Thursday, 26 April 2018

Druid Lord - Grotesque Offerings


Tracklist:

1. House Of Dripping Gore
2. Night Gallery
3. Spells Of The Necromancer
4. Evil That Haunts The Ground
5. Black Candle Seance
6. Creature Feature
7. Into The Crypts
8. Murderous Mr. Hyde
9. Last Drop Of Blood
10. Final Resting Place

I sat down to write this review and got writer's block. I don't now why I use that term though as I'm not really a writer in the traditional sense. I'm also sluggish as hell this week but that's probably because I know that next week I'm not going to be working! I can't wait for a break in all honesty. Before that comes round though I've got a couple more reviews that I want to get out there before I start planning some new ideas for this blog. 

Tonight's subject is Floridian doom/death quartet Druid Lord and their latest LP "Grotesque Offerings". Druid Lord started out in 2010, releaseing their first full-length "Hymns For The Wicked" via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions that same year. They later released a number of splits and EPs, before unleashing this new ten song beast in January 2018 via Hells Headbangers.

“Grotesque Offerings” begins with an organ during the intro to House Of Dripping Gore, which reminds me of The Adams Family, but that image is quickly banished by Druid Lord’s hellish doom/death. It’s the lead guitar work early on that really catches the ear. It creates an atmosphere that’s bolder and more real than anything I’ve heard from this particular sub-genre for a while. The rest of Druid Lord isn’t bad either, with both the percussion and bass providing the death metal edge, while the vocals bellow and roar like they’re coming out of the mouth of a demon. In fact, Druid Lord pulls off this lurid and slow form of extreme metal better than their genre defining (and mostly Scandinavian) counterparts. It’s not often you hear that said but if you listen to Night Gallery, you might understand where I'm coming from. It’s the gloomy simplicity of their doom that’s the key here. The riffs at the six-minute mark are so heavy as well. 

They elect to break up the heaviness with some short interludes, where in the case of Spells Of The Necromancer, they mix spoken-word samples with old-school twin guitar melodies. It leads straight into Evil That Haunts This Ground, with it’s faint thrash and low-end heft. It takes their music in  a slower direction and the addition of more organ/keys adds occult imagery. “Grotesque Offerings’ is an utterly listenable record, which gets better the deeper you get into it. Black Candle Seance mixes the traditional elements of their sound and throws in some modern song-writing touches to keep things interesting. They certainly work! The sample at the start of Creature Feature is one of the scariest samples I think I’ve ever heard. It’s right at home on the album though. The rest of the song isn’t quite as disturbing thankfully. It is a lurching slab of brilliantly played doom/death though! To be honest I’ll take this over some brutally fast death metal any day.

Into The Crypts is a brooding but short instrumental piece, which quenches the thirst for more. Murderous Mr. Hyde takes the well-known story/horror and makes it even scarier through the band’s imagination. It’s perfect for this record. The music contained here is as inspired by death as it is by darkness and you really feel that on penultimate song Last Drop Of Blood. It goes beyond just a musical medium to something that is more thought provoking and frightening. Final Resting Place is the most apt title for this album’s closing song and it’s eerie organ/keyboard tones take centre stage again. “Grotesque Offerings” is great album. It’s recording/production/mastering helps it sound impressive while even with a slowish tempo, it’s filled with real momentum. More please!

You can stream "Grotesque Offerings" below:-




It is available from Hells Headbangers via their bandcamp page above and via their webstore on all format, including tape, cd and vinyl - https://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/releases-records.asp.

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