Denver based extreme-stoner metal band Green Druid just released their first full-length under Earache records, titled ‘Ashen Blood’. It is a seven-track journey through the realms of stoner metal traveled by bands such as Bongripper and Stoned Jesus. Green Druid is the next band to join that particular fray, and with their mastery of the atmospheric doom and decay they’ve realized themselves as one of Denver’s premier stoner metal.
‘Ashen Blood’, to put it plainly, is a dark and disturbing album. The sonic dissonance laden within oozes a sickening, stomach-churning vibration which disturbs one’s very being. The mood set within is very palpable, it oozes with a power that can only be defined as “infinite decay”. That’s the general mood you get from this slow beating, grinding atmospheric present in ‘Ashen Blood’, a cycle of rot which reviles upon itself and festers continuously under its own power.
Not even joking, this album gives me anxiety; the extreme stoner metal values held dear by Green Druid express themselves within craft a musical quality that vibrates in a tune that reigns with such strength it seemingly disturbs the natural peace around yourself. You can actually feel disturbed vibrations oozing off the musical atmosphere and settling within your soul, replacing all that was temporarily peaceful with a barrage of rot.
‘Ashen Blood’ is one hell of a trippy album. Green Druid self-describes the music as “taking influence from dark fantasy landscapes of games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne”, and this sentiment instantly brings sense to the unusual power of the record. One of my favorite past-times is playing Bloodborne, and the Dark Souls games before that, to Bongripper’s record ‘Miserable’ spinning on my record player.
‘Ashen Blood’ is practically a 1:1 representation of that dark, decaying fantasy world of hopelessness and slaughter, rot in both the external body and internal soul, decay in the very vibrancy and soul of nature residing in the physical world around us.
They say music is supposed to inspire emotions, yet ‘Ashen Blood’ straight up manipulates your emotional state into a dark perversion of its natural state. Maybe it’s as simple as the low, thick vibrations oozing off the constantly churning, distorted bass and guitar which put their low-tone vibrations into the pit of your stomach. Maybe it’s the lyrical content imparting a dark sense of wonder in your mind.
Green Druid practically manipulates the very fabric of nature to channel a very disturbing and frighteningly palpable sense of vile presence. You can feel the air thickening around yourself as the music drones forward, you can taste the bitterness formed in the air.
If I led a demon-summoning cult, ‘Ashen Blood’ would be the music I would use to set the mood and stage for ritual. Just letting the record play in the background as I type out this review puts me in a state of heightened discomfort, the qualities of this record being so powerful, it’s near disturbing.
Listen to ‘Ashen Blood’, but be warned; this record is not for the faint of heart.
– Ryan Falla
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Record Label: Earache
Release Date: March 16 2018
1. Pale Blood Sky (9:25)
2. Agoraphobia (13:55)
3. Dead Tree (10:37)
4. Cursed Blood (18:34)
5. Rebirth (8:37)
6. Ritual Sacrifice (9:42)
7. Nightfall (3:29)
Total Duration: 1:14:19