Saturday 11 February 2017

Dopelord - Children Of The Haze (Album Review)

Release date: January 16th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Children Of The Haze – Tracklisting

1.Navigator 08:06
2.Scum Priest 06:11
3.Children of the Haze 07:27
4.Skulls and Candles 03:50
5.Dead Inside (I&II) 09:19
6.Reptile Sun 05:58

Band Members

Grzegorz Pawłowski - guitar
Piotr Zin - bass & vocals
Paweł Mioduchowski - guitar & vocals
Tomasz Walczak - drums


Slow, heavy, perfectly drawn out and most importantly, completely massive riffs dominate Children Of The Haze, the new album from Warsaw's Dopelord and they go far into defining the band in the best way possible but aside from the riffs, they seem to have stepped up their knack for crafting great songs and this album is a step up from their last album Black Arts, Riff Worship & Weed Cult (and this album is again inspired by that particular holy trinity) and shows exactly why this new album is their best yet.

As soon as the first big riff rings out on the albums opening track Navigator its a heady barge of monstrous riffs (Navigator alone has many) throughout the album and that combined with a punishing groove, some precise solos and commanding vocals makes for a head altering mixture.
The band obviously worship Sabbath as all the best bands do but there are also elements of legends like Sleep, The Obsessed, Cathedral and Kyuss in there too.

The vibe varies throughout the album too from soaringly powerful doom which is best demonstrated on songs like Skulls And Candles which sounds like the bastard son of vintage Pentagram while tracks like Scum Priest and the albums title track verge on the obscenely heavy side ala Eyehategod and sound all the better for it, all attitude that bursts out the speakers.

While the vocals and the rhythm section on the album are all pretty much faultless, ultimately it is the power of the riff that is running the show here and the riffs are plentiful on Children Of The Haze.

The crushing Dead Inside (I&II) exemplifies this more than anything else on the album (and that is saying something!) and is a definite highlight here, the power oozing from the speakers as it plays and encompasses your ears and as well as the beautiful heaviness, it has an air of melody that complements the song extremely well and when the conclusion of the track emits an extra special 70s-esque vibe (the emphatic nature of hard rock from that decade is directly in the DNA of Dopelord) with a brilliant high octane solo where the energy just explodes and ends the song on an energetic high.

As the album draws its final breath as the notes of last track Reptile Sun ring out (itself a fuzz laden and grooving beast of a track), you are struck by the power of of this album.

Black Sabbath may have recently called it quits once and for all (probably?!) but their spirit for the riff lives on in Dopelord and if you love the spirit of the riff then you'll love Dopelord and this album.

Words by Gavin Brown