DRUID LORD "Relics of the Dead"

By Dr. Abner Mality

"The way is shut. It was made by those who are dead and they do not suffer the living to pass. The way is shut."

If there was ever a band fit to tell the story of Tolkien's cursed dead warriors, it would be DRUID LORD. Their mixture of macabre death metal and solemn doom is perfect to tell the tales of the restless dead. With "Relics of the Dead", they continue their funereal career.

While DRUID LORD aren't a speedy band by any stretch of the imagination, they wisely don't go overboard with 15 minute dragging dirges that either beat a riff into submission or add too much piano and violin to the music. There is a forward progress to their morbid, steadily advancing songs, none of which exceed the 8 minute mark. Occasionally the pace picks up a bit, but doom is their bread and butter.

Although the turgid tracks here are enjoyable, especially if you like death metal in the classic tradition, I still have the feeling DRUID LORD could reach a more transcendent level. There's another level of sorrow and heaviness they have yet to reach. So while I can give "Relics of the Dead" a bony thumbs up, they have yet to reach their peak.