Druglord - Motherfucker Rising (EP) (2012)











The American doom metal scene is evolving and changing, becoming an amalgamation of so many styles. Case in point, Richmond, Virginia's own Druglord. Forming a twisted mix of traditional doom and stoner vibes, this three piece is on the verge of exploding into the sea of distorted riffs and echoing drums. And with music that has all of the subtlety that the title implies, this four song offering, "Motherfucker Rising," may leave you with blunt force trauma. Better bring a helmet.

The opening track, the aptly titled "Motherfucker Rising," is a statement of intent. The sheer weight of the riffs, the bending of strings, and the crawling tempo is pure doom. Don't hold your breath waiting for a sudden burst of speed or precision. What you hear is what you get, right down to the echoing, airy screams. There is a resemblance to the signature Black Sabbath darkness to be had, though faint. An effects laden solo cuts through the murky mess, taking the track to a muddy conclusion. That brutal distortion continues right through into the second track, "Cleansed." It almost feels as though the room has filled with smoke by now, as a dusty melody may become lodged in your head. The riffs are simplistic, minus a bit of impressive solo work later in the track. But the groove of it all, the flow of the bass and drums, it all comes together. A track that stands at five minutes seems to coast by in seconds, a true test of songwriting.

A song that sounds like a doom jam, "Eternal Grave," is a standout. The vocals take a decidedly sludge orientation, with the raspy growls coming through the clouds. Each chord, each strum of the bass seems to reach lower and lower on the scales, until the density of each note begins to hold you down. The eruption of sound to close out the track is sure to be a crowd pleasure, taking downtuned guitars to near breakneck speeds. It's hard to call the lead guitar in this song a "melody," but it serves the purpose. The closer, "Whores Of The Reich," is everything you would want it to be. After three bruising tracks, this one may elicit the cry of "finish him!" The output could be mistaken for an unpolished early Sabbath demo. The tempo is slow, but the mode is dark. This is certainly the most versatile track, with a clear division of verse and chorus, each one having a distinct flow and feel. Don't wait to be amazed with musicianship here, but rather sit back and enjoy the hazy riffs and drum beats that follow.

As we have addressed before, metal doesn't need to be complicated to be good. And when you set foot into the realm of doom, you can leave your "look what I can do" shredding at the door. Druglord have taken traditional doom, added a healthy dose of the classic metal sounds, and made it into something entirely their own. Sure, they aren't going to reinvent the genre as we know it. But they have done enough to earn multiple listens, at the very least. Who knows, maybe they will catch on enough for the cry of "dead man walking," to be followed with "Motherfucker Rising."

8/10

Bandcamp - http://druglord.bandcamp.com/