I was lucky enough to be given this demo by Bobby- drummer of Druglord and Ex-Ugly Law. The cover has a giant needle and holy children, the inside with all info in caps, and the disc reading simply ‘TOKE’.
Druglord is a newly formed Richmond, VA 3 piece offering fried as all hell, buzzing, sludgy slabs of doom, and aren't afraid to show their Southern Pride.
The opener ‘Smell Your Disease’ immediately begins with sluggish-fuzzed out discordance and moves into the slower than molasses riff. Pounding drums, driving heavy bass that blends seamlessly in with the guitar to create a tar pit of swampy heaviness. The vocals begin- a half moan-half chatter- somewhere between Burning Witch and YOB. The riff crawls deeper, embedding itself deep inside your blown out mind. It evolves into a sultry southern octave-fueled solo, with bass lurking behind- anchoring the aching, burning, seared solo before returning to the downtrodden hell of the main riff. Another solo felt from the cavern between the guitarist’s chest reminds us that it is humans- not demons creating this monstrous track. The solo fades, the distortion cuts, the bass brings us back over tube-saturated bluesy guitar and the track fades. ‘Misery Feeder’ begins with a faster pace, an again fuzzed out, near black metal dissonance- before moving into a faster paced near hardcore chug. The vocals haunt in stereo- a real biker anthem. The track moves into a Black Cobra-like guitar-noodling- intense, rotten, filthy all at the same time, before returning to the main hardcore chug. Again the faster paced fuzzed out doom riffage- climbing- grasping, wondering before abruptly cutting off.
‘Lick The Wound’ returns to the limbless crawl of the first track. Huge, heavy, blistering- yet so painful at the same time. The vocals add another level to the already hard-felt doom trudge- a sense of struggle, of agonizing, strung out pain. There is heavy doom, and then there is powerful doom. This is the latter. The return to reality after the buzz- the realization of the eternal struggle. The emotion can be really felt in this track.
Truly felt doom- not just in volume and musical intensity, but also in creating something that actually conveys pain. For fans of heavy shit like Burning Witch, with the southern fried grit of Goatsnake and the The Hidden Hand.