Hymns For The Wicked
Made up of ex-members of Acheron/Equinox, the musical pedigree and underground soul of Druid Lord is on full display on their debut album. True, no frills death metal with a morbid doom edge and a penchant for horror theatrics is what you'll get from these Floridians. Chamber of Ghastly Horror's methodical, lumbering approach is akin to a zombie's determined shuffle towards its prey. The track is possessed of thick, ropey riffs and vocals are rotten as a catacomb. Mournful crushing riffs, not unlike early Paradise Lost, deliver a doom-laden bludgeoning to your fleshy skull on Witchfinder. A rotten, plodding main riff on Castle of Count Sadist reminds of Autopsy at their doomiest. The pace quickens like the pulse of a tortured victim as crunchy guitars hack away in unison with the bone-snapping snare strikes. Awaken By the Dead is a zombie inspired ode to straight-ahead death metal. At times it reminds me of a stripped down, traditionalist take on what Denial Fiend normally do. Though Awaken By The Dead is less tongue-in-cheek in execution and attitude. Traditional doom riffing permeates the unholy core of Baron Blood. A soulful guitar solo dances above this morose tune. Eerie Ways is exactly what its name implies, a chilling instrumental of clean guitar and sobering fretwork. A clenched-fist stoicism defines the early stages of Circling of Vultures, that is until atmospheric clean guitar and putrid riffs mark this song with their haunting decay. Druid Lord have taken a similar approach as Hooded Menace but have given Hymns For The Wicked a distinctly Floridian feel to their music. This is an album of somber putrfaction and morbid brutalism, tainted with an aesthetic of cult underground horror.