Following on from 2018’s Grotesque Offerings, Relics of the Dead contains 41 minutes of new material. These new songs pick up where Grotesque Offerings left off. They’re heavy slabs of death/doom, dripping with macabre atmosphere and slow terror.
My previous comparison of a mix of old and new – Paradise Lost and Temple of Void, for example – remains a decent starting point for the Druid Lord sound, although it should be made clear that Druid Lord definitely have their own character within this.
Druid Lord have a strong array of riffs from which to draw from. They’re also particularly talented at writing music that sounds creepy and sinister. Their use of atmosphere across the album is very good, and it makes for a satisfying listening experience overall. Many of the band’s spectral leads are especially attention-grabbing, although the entire musical package that Druid Lord have is an enviable one.
The songs are well-written and have many memorable moments that pull you back to the album. The paces and moods explored are well-constructed enough so that they all fit within the music’s gloomy theme, while also helping hold the listener’s attention through appropriate variations of these. Blast beats appear, for example, and differences between the grim atmospheres built and developed allow for an enjoyable listening experience.
Relics of the Dead is a strong release from Druid Lord. The band have built upon the best parts of Grotesque Offerings and refined their songwriting into a new album that delivers the goods in very pleasing ways.
Very highly recommended.