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Opium Warlords – Taste My Sword Of Understanding Award winner

Opium Warlords
Taste My Sword Of Understanding
by Kostas Kiriakis at 30 July 2014, 7:28 PM

Third full length for OPIUM WARLORDS and enter the misanthropic realms of Sir Sami Hynninen. For the oblivious we are talking about Albert Witchfinder of REVEREND BIZARRE and his one-man project.

Things are moving in a more straightforward way, compared to the previous releases, if one can say “straightforward” when talking about the Lo-fi Drone/Avant-garde/Doom haziness that permeates OPIUM WARLORDS music. Still “Taste My Sword of Understanding” is a lot more accessible than its predecessors.

Avant-garde is a tricky territory to travel, being very easy to get lost in silliness or outright pretence while trying to be original. Well, not here, thankfully. While it might sound at first that there's a lot of filler material here, like the opener “The Sadness of Vultures”, it really grows on you, as each song progressively builds up a sense of dread, paranoia, and helplessness. And then you have the actual songs, or should I say opuses, like “The Self-Made Man” or “Mount Meru”. It almost feels like the mangled cadaver of REVEREND BIZARRE has reared its ugly head in full glory, and then some.

What is really amazing about “Taste My Sword of Understanding” is that while it took Sami 15 years to compose it (from 1996 to 2009), the album has an excellent sense of continuity and cohesiveness. Adding to the equation his singing, chanting, and prose (always loved the man for that), and his excellent sense of riff making, makes the album even more worthwhile.

If you were searching for a REVEREND revival just forget it. There's no point in doing that anyway. What we have here is a great Doom Metal album flirting with Drone and Avant-garde, instead of a fusion of the three genres. It might not be for everyone, but then, I never thought of Doom as bubblegum music made for everyone. Its a hard (as in difficult) album to fully appreciate, but if you give it the required time and space it demands you'll surely be rewarded.


4 Star Rating

1. The Sadness Of Vultures
2. The Self-Made Man
3. The God In Ruins
4. The Solar Burial
5. The Land Beyond The Pole
6. Mount Meru
7. This Place Has Been Passed
8. Manisolas From Misandria
9. In Melancholy Moonless Acheron
Sami Albert Hynninen – All instruments, Vocals
Erkki Virta – Drums (guest in tracks 2, 4, 6, 7, 8)
Laura Länsimäki – Keyboards (guest in track 2)
Record Label: Svart Records


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