Released: 2013, HGPD Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Every now and again, you some magic hiding in your back yard. Enter Orlando’s own minstrels of deathly doom, Druid Lord. Formed from the ashes of local death metal titans Equinox, Druid Lord sheds the manic speed for a sound that has more in common with bands like Hooded Menace, Encoffination, Acid Witch, Morgion, and Funerus, and blends that sonic heaving mass with imagery soaked in the Hammer Horror films of the 60s. In 2010 the band self-released their full length debut HYMNS FOR THE WICKED, which through consistently solid live shows and positive word of mouth quickly found its way out of print. Enter the good folks at HPGD Productions, who’ve not only resurrected and reissued the album, but have repackaged it with Druid Lord’s most recent 7”, DRUID DEATH CULT. Chances are that you missed HYMNS FOR THE WICKED the first time around, but there’s no reason to make the same mistake twice.
Most of the tracks across HYMNS FOR THE WICKED are murky and mid-tempo, like a zombie slowly making his way out of the grave, shaking the soil from its haggard carcass as he trudges towards the cemetery gates. Countering the trudging pace, Druid Lord weaves layers of dark melodies and memorable dueling riffs alongside echoes of old school death metal sensibilities for a sound that will appeal to both doom and death traditionalists. Each track is a monolith of Carpathian proportions, but cuts like “Chamber of Ghastly Horror”, “Baron Blood”, “Castle of Count Sadist”, and “Gorgon Witch” have grown to be particular fan favorites over the years. But as good as the original material is it’s the addition of the two tracks from last year’s DRUID DEATH CULT 7” that really help seal the deal. Stylistically, “Curse of the Skull” and the title track are in the same vein of HYMNS FOR THE WICKED, but the production is cleaner and the tunes are stronger.
The CD comes in a sweet looking digipack with full liner notes and a miniposter, so all in all it’s a pretty sexy package and worth the price of admission. HYMNS FOR THE WICKED has been given a second chance at glory, and its an opportunity that shouldn't be missed. Druid Lord summons the gods of the old school from their final resting place and unleashes them upon the unsuspecting masses, and it’s gloriously heavy. The HYMNS FOR THE WICKED reissue is available now through Horror Gore Pain Death Productions.