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Druid Lord – Relics Of The Dead Award winner

Druid Lord
Relics Of The Dead
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 10 January 2022, 6:18 AM

DRUID LORD is a death/doom band from Florida who formed in 2010. "Relics Of The Dead," is their third full length album; they also have three splits and two EPs under their rotting belts. Much like fellow Floridian's WORM, DRUID LORD have a dirty, fetid, swampy that covers the band's atmosphere.  What I really enjoy about “Relics Of The Dead,” is just how abrasive it is.  Unlike a lot of doom, this album isn’t necessarily depressing or melancholic.  Instead, it is filthy like death metal, which is an aspect they really embrace with their sound.  As much as this is doom, it is also death metal and to hear how well this album understands that is something else.

"Relics Of The Dead," is based on thick, muggy riffs but much of the band's sound is from the bassist/vocalist Tony Blakk. His bass is a black hole from which their is no escape and his vocals are as sick as they are twisted.  A lot of vocalists who play the bass sort of just use the bass to, well, be there.  But Tony’s playing is just as important as the other members, if not more important because a band like this really needs that low end.

But that's okay because this is rotten death/doom that might work as the soundtrack to the end of days or perhaps the zombification of someone recently bit. The title tracks begins first with an immediate creepy vibe, that wouldn't sound out of place in a horror movie.  The horror theme vibe is another element that sets this apart from a lot of the death metal I’ve reviewed.  Considering the very nature of the genre, I’m surprised more bands don’t dive further into it. The guitar solo has an uneasy feeling about it but the riffs are just as unsettling: massive, unrelenting and unstoppable.  The gurgling vocals and clean tones work together much to the same effect.  Doom is supposed to make you feel down and out?   How about doom making you feel nervous with hints of trepidation?  That’s DRUID LORD.  Things get a little faster around the halfway point before sliding into one of these grooves that had me imagining being buried alive or trapped underground.

"Thirteen Days Of Death," is divided up into a few parts but each one is a fit for the entire beast. The first half is slow and brutal. The bass rings put hard, ripping holes into the atmosphere.  “Relics Of The Dead,” at this point, has made it known the music within will stay with you long after it is over, leaving you think about what you have heard, while fearing for what is to come. After that, a guitar solo kicks off a faster section feeling like that if the opening was a wounded person and this part is the creature going for the kill. The final part is clean notes among the distortion and is cold as the grave.

"Festuring Tombs," begins slow, hard, and deep the way any good doom should. But its the melodic section after the halfway mark that catches my ears. It is still cold but in an odd sort of way—well, not so odd…this is the cold touch of death. The dual melodies wouldn't sound out of place at a funeral and this song will make you feel like you are in one. "Monarch Macabre," has a lot of dismal melodies that keep the band's sound firmly in tact but also give a sad and Gothic element to it. Macabre indeed. Funeral aspects return near the song's end and carry it to fade out. All in all, DRUID LORD'S "Relics Of The Dead" is a haunting trip through the grade yard and a strong start to doom for 2022.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Relics of the Dead
2. Thirteen Days of Death
3. Mangled as the Hideous Feed
4. Nightside Conjuring
5. Immolated Into Ashes
6. Festering Tombs
7. Monarch Macabre
8. Ethereal Decay
Elden Santos - Drums
Pete Slate - Guitars, Mellotron pedal
Tony Blakk - Vocals, Bass
Chris Wicklein - Guitars
Record Label: Hells Headbangers


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