Now that Mastodon have well and truly left their Relapse days behind them in pursuit of more melodic and progressive tunes, Portland pounders Lord Dying are here to take up the mantle. Scoring their debut release on the renowned Relapse label should get the volume heads’ ears a-swivelling.
Fundamentally this is a lead-boned groover. Imagine if Red Fang were covering Down and you’d still need to mash in some of Matt Pike’s heavier riffs to get the full effect. But to get the full effect you’ll be needed to whack ‘Summon The Faithless’ on to the loudest stereo system you can muster, and let it flatten you like a train at full pelt. Compromise here is known, if only so the concept can be avoided like the plague. What you’re getting is eight tracks of some of the densest riffing you’re likely to hear. It’s stifling and suffocating and relentless as Neurosis’ heaviest moments all crammed into one.
But this isn’t merely a bunch of meandering Neanderthals dragging their knuckles across their slackly tuned strings – these musicians have enough nous to throw in little twists and turns that really show off their prowess in the thinking man’s sludge stakes. And while Mastodon, Baroness and Kylesa have dialled down the nihilism and sludge for softer tones, much to some people’s disgust, you won’t have any such complaints to make about Lord Dying.
The title track that opens up proceedings will get you riled up in all the right ways. The emphasis here is on big ugly noises with a heavy metal tinge. You could swear the ghostly hand of Matt Pike is guiding those riffs, but Lord Dying have enough of their own special ingredient to stand tall on their own. ‘In A Frightful State Of Gnawed Dismemberment’ is up next, with some cool call and respond guitar work and always excellent rhythm work propelling it like a runaway demon locomotive. And they never forget to turn on the style – check out ‘Greed Is Your Horse’ or the closing ‘What Is Not…Is’ for prime lessons to show how fluid they can be with a low tone and some imaginative guitar interplay. Then there’s ‘Dreams Of Mercy’ which is like Kylesa on steroids and a desire to get acquainted with tinnitus.
If you ever wanted to find a more complete manifesto for a personal style, you’ll find it on ‘Summon The Faithless’. Armed with a desire to break out of the instinctively slow sludge tempo imposes on itself and invade different sonic territories, it’s no wonder Lord Dying have found themselves slap bang on Relapse.
‘Summon The Faithless’ slams down an earth shaking monolithic marker for the foursome and as such you should snap it up immediately.
Scribed by: Steve Jones