Released: 2013, Thirty Days Of Night Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Opium Lord was not a name I'd heard before, looking back now, I'm not sure why. Needless to say, I have a feeling it's a name a lot of people will be hearing soon. Though a new band, Opium Lord come together bringing their experience and influences from History of the Hawk, Stinky Wizzleteat and Mothertrucker.
The Calendrical Cycle - Prologue the Healer is a two track release that simultaneously feels like a solid, finished release as well as only a taste of things to come. The first part of a three part series, this 'prologue' has been written, recorded and released all in the space of little over a month. Madness.
It is brutal, it is crushing, and uncompromisingly heavy. This is a band that can take the best parts of their influences and perfect them in these fantastic tunes. Its doom but with the dark feel of black metal and the riffs and aggression of sludge metal, and with the band's background's in Stoner metal, Post-Metal and Hardcore, you were always going to get something pretty unique.
Starting off with Heroin Swirls, the EP opens with a slow droning guitar setting a doom overtone before bringing the band in, adding this layer of filth to it. With everything layered up on top it gets pretty damn heavy, then pulls everything back again to one riff, with guitars restraining feedback, vocals whispering aggressions and drums building slow.
All the movement within these songs makes you forgot you've just got a couple to listen to, and keeps you listening. After all the ups and downs of track 1's doom laden sludge, track 2 shows you a different side to Opium Lord. Street Labs is a more vocal led tune that instantly kicks in full energy, with stoner rock/sludge metal riffs following the drum's pounding rhythm.
We then get to hear Opium Lord deliver some more stop-start heaviness, without it ever feeling fragmented, it plays like a 4 minute slab of violence.
Street Labs is another song full of great riffs, melodies and ideas, and a great song to show off Nathan Coyle's vocal's, a guttural growl delivered with every bit of intensity and violence that this band needs.
What I love about it is, from somewhere, there's just this feeling that this is the real deal, no bullshit, these are five guys that get in a room together to make heavy music, and you can feel the real aggression and energy they've poured into these songs.
This is a band you should be getting excited about, with two more parts to look forward to in this cycle I'm eager to hear what's next, you should be too.
Review by Jonno Lloyd