Opium Warlords – ‘Droner’ (Svart Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by DJ Astrocreep   
Monday, 20 November 2017 04:00

svart129 opiumwarlords droner 3000pxAn EP that lasts longer than a lot of full-length albums? That's ‘Droner’ for you!


A peek into the lyrics reveals that each song has taken its content from elsewhere. The opening track uses the words of Juoko Turkka, a Finnish director and counter-culturist in a discussion about the horrors of war, the second a letter by American Marjorie Cameron about the continuity of life, and the last being a ritual used by an indigenous tribe in Cameroon - though the first and third use the English translations of the works, rather than the original words.


Despite being only three tracks, this is a full-length album, along the same kind of lines as Sleep's ‘Jerusalem’ or ‘Dopesmoker’. You get precisely what you would expect from a Doom or Drone album - lots of ear-splitting bass, which rumbles through your body, giving a different meaning to the Beach Boys song, 'Good Vibrations'. It is recorded in a fairly low-fi manner, which aids the nod towards the Sleep albums mentioned above.


There seems to be a split in some of the songs, especially so in the second and third tracks. The second, ‘Samael Lilith’, starts as an almost Shamanistic sound, in a manner akin to a tribe in some forgotten or undiscovered village in the middle of a rainforest, before finishing on what is a medieval style of play, which leads succinctly into the third track. ‘Closure’, the third track, makes repeated use of a backwards loop for the main riff through a lot of the second half of the song, which adds another element into the equation that seems a touch disconcerting at first, adding to that sense of weirdness that Albert Witchfinder, of Reverend Bizarre fame, amongst others, seems to want to instil into the listener. There are brief, almost industrial, samples used a few times in both the second and third tracks that don't seem to add too much to it, which is also off putting.



The vocals seem to be almost Shakespearian in their delivery, in a clean, almost crisp sense. My guess is that they are being used to add to a sense of foreboding that the bass-heavy monolithic riffs deliver a lot, which works to an extent, but seems to have a certain level of inaccessibility at the same time. It is difficult at times to quite get where it is going, especially so when songs change their sound for an interlude, or when the guitars seem almost detuned at times during songs, before going back to tuned but low end. However, with this said, there is still enjoyment to be garnered from this, and it's certainly worth the couple of spins you may need to properly appreciate it.


Overall, it is not a bad piece. It can be a touch off at times, almost as if keeping the listener at arm's length, rather than constantly trying to drag them into it, something I find a bit different compared to other drone I listen to. It is not overly accessible if you are not into drone, but it is certainly not something to avoid if you are. If low-fi, almost avant-garde drone is your thing, you will probably enjoy this.


Definitely for fans of Sleep, Sunn O))), Earth and Pallbearer.


‘Droner’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.




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