Lords of Eastern European classic doom, Poland’s Dopelord have returned to follow up their classic third record, Children Of The Haze, with their newest offering. Sign Of The Devil is out now through Green Plague Records and it feels ready to fill time until the next Electric Wizard record is conjured from the hazy depths. I must note as well that the album artwork is stunning, encapsulating a lot of classic doom influences; religion, kings, plague, death and magicks.
Electric Wizard is an obvious first comparison point when the rolling, fuzzy riffs of super catchy opener Witching Hour Bell rumbles from your speaker, down to the dense groove and Ozzy-esque wail. In fact, there is more than a little Sabbath lurking within these occult riddled walls, albeit layered below deep layers of distortion.
Hail Satan is a thunderous stomp through satanic rituals, while the anthemic Heathen has riffs strong enough that they’re worth getting high on. The whole record ripples with a tunefulness that this kind of music often lacks, and sacrifices none of the weight to achieve it.
Addictive melodies sweep through massive riffs, skittering through some psychedelic moments but never leaving behind any of the glacial crush that makes this such a great record…
It isn’t merely all bulldozing cliff face riffs though; the dreamy psychedelica of the start of Doom Bastards provides a respite from the heavy but doesn’t lift the gloom as there’s plenty of driving stoner riffs lurking further ahead, as well as an absolutely killer solo too. World Beneath Us is a more traditional slab of lumbering haze while the short rampage of Headless Decapitator has a great burst of punkish attitude injected into it and is like nothing else here.
Sign Of The Devil is already a front runner for my doom album of 2020, and considering how much of this year I’ll probably spend inside listening to music, I doubt I’ll come across many that come close. Addictive melodies sweep through massive riffs, skittering through some psychedelic moments but never leaving behind any of the glacial crush that makes this such a great record. Dopelord are ‘bastards of doom’ indeed.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson