We can only guess at why Druid Lord and their label chose the last day of 2021 to reveal the title track from their new album, Relics of the Dead. But contemplating that title and marinating in the horrors of the music (which are both crushing and spellbinding, both chillingly ghastly and brazenly exhilarating) confirms the wisdom of the decision. This rotten year must be buried, though something equally ghoulish may rise from its grave, still plagued by the terrible relics of what is now nearly dead.
Through two previous albums and a sequence of intervening short releases these Floridians have proven their mastery of a particularly supernatural and titanically heavy variant of death-doom. The new album confirms their diabolical talents, but if anything delves even more deeply into the contrasting sensations of their music, harnessing sounds and moods that are unearthly and uncanny with the kind of earth-shaking force that threatens a listener’s skeletal integrity. Witness the song we’re presenting today.
Druid Lord provide a two-part introduction to this title track, which opens the album in transfixing fashion. It begins with a haunted-house keyboard overture and continues with a grisly, skull-smashing stomp melded with turbulent double-kicks and an eerily wailing guitar solo. Together, these introductory episodes immediately create an atmosphere of supernatural horror, a prelude to a sequence of lurching and jittering riffs, hideous growls, noxious retching expulsions, and dissonant chords.
Those eerily wailing and quivering guitar emanations surface again as the surrounding music staggers, hammers, and convulses, deepening the feeling of nightmare — of ghastly corpses crawling from their graves. The music crawls too, dragging distorted chords across your mind and moaning in agony as the drums chop your spine and those macabre vocals continue to gnash, gnaw, and scream.
There’s a final surge of musical mania, a discharge of clobbering percussion, slashing chords, and flickering leads. You can feel it — those corpses are coming back to renewed life in terrifying fashion.
Relics of the Dead will first be released by Hells Headbangers in CD and tape editions on January 21st, but there will also be a vinyl edition at some later point in 2022 (we all know that delays in vinyl production make the timing unpredictable). Pre-orders are open now, via the link below. We also encourage you to check out the stream of the previously released song “Festering Tombs“.