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Opium Lord - Eye Of Earth

Opium Lord
Eye Of Earth
by Andrew Sifari at 06 March 2015, 11:36 PM

After showing promise on their 2013 debut EP, “Prologue: The Healer”, Birmingham Doom merchants OPIUM LORD return with their first full-length album for Candlelight Records, the colossal “Eye Of Earth”.

Eye Of Earth” immediately establishes intrigue with its unearthly sound on “Challenger”. Thick, muddy riffs are as integral to OPIUM LORD’s sound as any Sludge/Doom band, but rather than overwhelming the listener with the usual opaque, wall-of-sound approach, the band opt for something more striking with a sound that is as dissonant and callous at times, as it is focused and direct. The effect is music more likely to be associated with feelings of desperation, strangeness, and confusion than a dreamy, pot-fueled haze, as on the caustic and forlorn-sounding “Pink Mass”. The bleak chords and disturbing atmosphere give the music a hypnotic, yet unsettling quality.

This is a theme that runs throughout the album, as the band use a colorful blend of musical flavors to create a vivid sonic landscape, albeit one that comes off aesthetically as barren and harsh. “Crystals” remembers its roots with its heavy grooves, but also adds a touch of Black Metal-like nihility, while “Black Libraries” is eerily threatening and departs without reaching a true resolution. While “Azazel” owes more to straight-Doom, “Ghost Singer” adds a touch of blues with elements of the primal and the unnatural. The strange, ominous melodies that lay beneath the turbulent waves of the song invoke ideas of some kind of strange creature or animal calling into the night. Interestingly, it’s an idea that seems to be revisited on closer “Krocodil”, where the accompanying ambient sounds sound eerily like far-away screams of torment. This idea fits the feel of the album very well; where a Death Metal band might try to scare the listener with the direct image of impending destruction, the mere suggesting of it, as it is done here musically, is equally effective in achieving the desired effect.

Without speaking to the hard-to-decipher lyrical content, it’s safe to say that OPIUM LORD has crafted a fine album in “Eye Of Earth”. From vocalist Nathan’s pained howls, to the dense, corrosive guitar styling of Adam and Luke, “Eye Of Earth” brings the heaviness in a way that all fans of Doom can appreciate.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Challenger
2. Pink Mass
3. Crystals
4. Black Libraries
5. Azazel
6. Ghost SInger
7. Krocodil
Lineup:
Neil - Bass
Bruce - Drums
Adam - Guitar
Luke - Guitar
Nathan - Vocals
Record Label: Candlelight Records
     


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