Originally this week I was set to review the new Five Finger Death Punch album. In my own stupidness I failed to notice the album was in fact out next week and so this led me to trawl the net searching for new releases that were worth checking out. My search led to me to a gem in the form of "Summon The Faithless", the debut album from Sludgy, Doomy Metal crew, Lord Dying. I can almost guarantee you have never heard of the band before but take my advice and listen to this album.
Before I get into the main body of this review I wanted to make a quick point: this particular area of Metal is by no means an something in which I have a huge depth of knowledge. I'm going to refer to Lord Dying a Doom Metal band (or Sludge, take your pick) and do my best to describe what they sound like but if you feel the need to tell me that they are in fact a "Post Progessive Doomcore" band then by all means get off my blog and die in a fire. The genre is not important, what matters is that you need to hear this album.
That being said, let's get to it.
What I really like about Lord Dying is that they are not afraid to spend a minute or two riffing away, throwing out and developing loads of cool ideas, before ploughing head first into some crushing verses and in many ways this reminds me of the debut Mastodon album "Remission". The other band that I was immediately reminded of with this record was Orange Goblin as I think their approach to song writing is very similar. Basically, if I'm directly comparing a band to Orange Goblin and Mastodon then in Metal terms it means I sure as hell like them.
One of the things that struck me early on about "Summon The Faithless" was the abundance of cracking riffs that run through the entire album. It is not only that these riffs are well-written and heavy as sin but they are also very well developed. Tracks like (my personal favourite) "Greed Is Your Horse" feature long instrumental sections and this allows each song to really take on its own identity, making the album much more listenable as a whole. It becomes almost surprising how short the songs actually are, most of the tracks on "Summon..." are under 5 minutes long and yet there is so much going on in each one that they feel so much longer.
In terms of the production on the album I think that it is done to a very high standard. Unfortunately I was unable to find out exactly who the Producer was but what I can say is that the tone of the album has been captured really well. Although I am not a massive fan of the term I would say the album has a very "raw" sound and this certainly suits Lord Dying. To be a little pedantic I maybe would have liked the drums a little more prominent, particularly because the drumming on this record is so damn good, but this is a minor gripe. The album sounds dirty, sweaty and a little claustrophobic but this does in fact work.
Naturally I'm not going to focus purely on the positives of this album (as good as it is). I personally think that, although each song is really given a chance to develop, the album would benefit from a couple of slightly longer songs with extended instrumental sections. It is a little frustrating because Lord Dying keep hinting at what they are capable of and yet, to a degree, it feels like the album never quite hits its full potential. Case in point for this is the closing track "What Is Not...Is", which is a couple of minutes longer than the rest of the tracks on the album and yet the extra time is taken up with a lot of static and feedback, which slowly fizzles out. I was expecting something a little more "musical", which could have ended the album on a real high note but what I got was a little on the disappointing side and this slightly took the edge off the album.
Overall, I would say that "Summon The Faithless" is well worth checking out. It is crushingly heavy, features some immense riffs and solos and is one of the better efforts I have heard this year. It is always refreshing when I come across a new band that excites me so much and I urge anyone reading this to give Lord Dying the time of day, I will certainly be watching their progression very closely.