16 Jun 2022 - Thorsten
Psychedelic Metal | Pelagic Records | Release date: 03 Jun 2022
Druids is not your average Pelagic Records band – by the way is there something like an average Pelagic band as nearly everything that label has put out over the last couple of years was mighty interesting? But Druids is like a mix of two poles under the Pelagic roster sun – psychedelic a la Oslo Tapes and Sludge as in Pelagic. The band from the middle of nowhere is really great at being heavy and being moody.
While sludge and post-metal are rather like the angry John Deere‘s plowing through the endless corn and wheat fields of Iowa during harvest times when everything is ripe for being cut down, psychedelic music is not necessarily the most delicate one, but it surely demands more attention to the “little“ things like repetitiveness, vocal chants and some delicate means thrown in for a more requisite listening experience. Shadow Work has enough of both and thus works like a brilliant bridge between the realms of the Berlin-based label‘s roster.
On their fourth full-length the band from the Slipknot-state are able to weave a thick carpet of sound via their tremendously tight tribal rhythm section which sets the bar high for any band trying to follow their example. The best example for this tightness might be the mid-section of “Othenian Blood“. On this carpet Druids then place a lot of singular items for our taste-buds to dig into. We have the very variable vocals which switch from post-metal growls and shrieks to near-Gregorian chants that quickly take the position of a mantra that, as we suddenly realize, is not leaving our heads. The best example for that is probably the opener “Aether“ where some really deep clean vocal melody seems to be emotionless but is repeated frequently – and then all of a sudden closer to the end a second harmony is introduced which sounds a bit like Tool on Aenima. Without noticing it, the next song, “Path Of R“ is playing and the band proofs to be yet another amazing band on Robin‘s label as this mix of a bit prog-twang, stoner and classic rock is fueled to the brim with excitement about their own stuff. Is this a revolution in sound? Surely not. Is this well-done metal? Surely. And the little tidbits that incorporate that psychedelic character sound not be overlooked. However, don‘t expect psychedelica like Spiritualized or 13th Floor Elevators – this is psychedelic in the Kyuss and My Sleeping Karma-sense with repetition reigning supreme.
We are driving along one hellish long road in Iowa in the middle of the night after one of those hot summer days when no barn is able to keep the heat outside and the streets are blurry. That night we meet some of the acid demons that have motivated some of those icons from the early 90s heavy rock/stoner rock scene to develop their own idea that now has followers all around the world. Maybe some of these followers will now also give a piece of their heart to a band from a little place in Iowa. From the middle of nowhere. Where they could grow autarky and harvest Shadow Work!