February 28, 2014

Lord Dying - Summon the Faithless

Written by Matt Hinch.

Artwork by Orion Landau

It took far too long for Lord Dying's Summon the Faithless to make its way across my ears. There's no excuse other than time. But better late than never and playing catchup is a way of life. It just sucks that I could have been rockin' something this rad months ago.

The Portland group's debut full-length may not win any awards for innovation but it's one helluva fun record. Sludge is one of those genres where following convention with competency will usually do the trick for fans of the style. Summon the Faithless is a sludge record plain and simple but it's a really good one.

Photo by Pedro Roque.

Riffs, riffs and more riffs bowl their way through the album's 40 minutes, but not at the expense of dynamics and flow. Lord Dying lay on the speed when they want but can also slow to a crawl. The easiest comparisons (and obvious ones) would be to High on Fire and Kylesa. Power and grace. Savagery and melody. Just blending those two heavyweights would be good enough. But I for one can sense a little more darkness. Think of bands like Birds of Prey and -(16)- and you get the idea.

Photo by Pedro Roque.

Summon the Faithless is catchy as all get out and is loaded with the kind of energy that boils the blood and leads to destruction of property. Or bodily harm. When Lord Dying bring the hammer down it hits with all the force of Bigfoot clubbing you over the head then dragging your limp body through the woods for a while at full sprint.

So basically, if you're a sludge fan who likes huge riffs, ripping solos, straight shooting, raw, whiskey-soaked vocals and physically intense albums with songwriting that holds on and never lets go, then bow to Lord Dying and Summon the Faithless. But not really. No one is expecting you to bow. Just chug a few beers and bang your head!

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