Dopelord – Sign of the Devil
Reviewed: April 2020
Released: 2020, Green Plague Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
There’s something about the manic depressive nature of SIGN OF THE DEVIL that manages to compliment my own wild mood swings during these times of RONAMADNESS. As I’m walking my dog and enjoying the sounds of Dopelord’s latest full length, what would normally be a bustling Sunday afternoon in a suburban Florida neighborhood has been replaced with something closer to what you’d see in an episode of The Walking Dead. The streets are empty, no kids playing outside…shit, even the birds have left town, all while the droning emptiness of “The Witching Hour Bell” commands to “open the gates of hell.” I think we’re there dudes…
The album eventually pivots from the opening track’s slow burning buildup to the crushingly obtuse anger of “Hail Satan.” With its death growls and general pissedofffness, I start to get angry myself. Or maybe I was already angry with the world and this is just a happy accident that fits the moment. Does it matter? No, it’s a ripper of a tune however you choose to dissect it.
SIGN OF THE DEVIL eventually veers into more ethereal, spacy jams that shake off the anger and trades it for something more Zen like. The vocal harmonies on “Doom Bastards” sounds downright hopeful in comparison to the journey that’s preceded it. What the hell is going on here? Is this the same album? Is it still safe to be walking my dog?
“World Beneath Us” wraps up things nicely in a similar fashion, but Dopelord manages to throw us one more left turn before officially closing the album with a D-beat punk tune, “Headless Decapitator.” Say huh? It’s a fun 90-second skank that provides some much needed levity, but also reinforces the idea of “never fool yourself into thinking you’ve got it all figured out.” Truth.
At its most base level, Dopelord continue to serve up quality doom metal that’s equally familiar and entertaining. But given the times we’re currently living in, SIGN OF THE DEVIL could equally serve as the soundtrack to our apocalypse and/or our redemption. Doom on, brothers.