Wednesday 2 December 2020

Green Druid - At The Maw Of Ruin (Album Review)

Release Date: 4th December 2020. Label: Earache Music. Format. CD/DD

At The Maw Of Ruin - Tracklisting

The Forest Dark

End Of Men

Haunted Memories

A Throne Abandoned

Desert Of Fury/Ocean Of Despair



Chris Mclaughlin: Guitar/Vocals
Graham Zander: Guitar
Ryan Skates: Bass
Mikey Honiotes: Drums


At The Maw Of Ruin is the new album from Green Druid and it sees the band move further away from the Doom/Stoner Metal sound that appeared on their acclaimed debut EP and full length album. With the band adapting a more “Extreme Outlook” on life. This time Green Druid blends elements of Blackened Doom, Thrash Metal and Sludge Metal. Ashen Blood Part 2 this ain’t. This is a band exploring new creative and heavier opportunities for themselves and succeeding at every turn.

The album still has its fair share of Doom/Stoner Metal moments but it’s merged with a Pitch Black mentality that runs throughout everything on the album. Riffs, Vocals and Lyrics all have a harder edge to them compared to their debut album. This album encompasses the same musical world from bands such as YOB, Sleep, NEUROSIS and Pallbearer whilst allowing Green Druid to create a highly exciting new sound of their own.

The record contains six songs with most of them running between 8 to 13 minutes in length. You’re treated to 66 minutes of the most groundbreaking original Doom/Stoner Metal sounds and ideas I’ve heard this year.

The opening song - The Forest Dark - offers the perfect balance of LIGHT and DARK Doom/Stoner Metal with an ice-cold Blackened Metal backdrop holding everything together. The Psychedelic environment does allow Green Druid the opportunity to play some epic guitar solos with a pounding menace. The vocals are a mixture of Clean Vocals and Harsh Growls. At least you can understand what is being said with the Harsh Growls.

Even though the band has written 6 songs for this album. This record feels like one song broken down into separate chapters and reminds me of SLEEP’s legendary album Dopesmoker. Mainly in just the way how the album takes you on a spiritual journey of sorts but told through the power of music whilst offering different styles of Doom/Stoner Metal.

Second song - End Of Men - sees Green Druid up the ante with a bleaker style of music making itself the most dominant feature of the album. You can feel an intense Post-Metal sensibility ready to burst through with quality sounding vocals and production helping to bring that sound to the masses. This song could have easily failed with the many different sounds the band used for this song but you can’t deny how good everything sounds from start to finish. The clean and harsh vocals are wonderfully diverse and different to each other. 

Third song - Haunted Memories - is one of the standout songs with the band offering an almost 14 minute blast of intense Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal grooves that soon moves into Progressive Metal territory. The clean vocals from Chris offer a more emotional depth to this song and I’m reminded of Pallbearer and YOB in many ways. The song starts very slowly before Green Druid opts for an emotional delivery with superbly played music moving into the more “Extreme” side of Metal Music.

The remaining 3 songs on the album - A Throne Abandoned, Desert Of Fury/Ocean Of Despair and Threads - allows the band to move deeper into the harsher environments of the Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal world that ultimately brings the Thrash, Sludge and Post-Metal parts of their music to fully take over. Desert Of Fury/Ocean Of Despair is perhaps the best song on the album for myself. As I felt more emotionally connected to this song and the instrumental work left me wanting more.

At The Maw Of Ruin is a complex and unforgiving album that offers one of the most unique sounding experiences you’re likely to hear in 2020 and has the potential to be considered a modern classic of the Doom/Stoner Metal genre in the years to come. The album is seriously that good and I’m hoping it launches Green Druid onto bigger and better things,

This review is my own evidence for why I’m calling At The Maw Of Ruin as my favourite album of the year.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Incendia Music PR and Green Druid for the promo. At The Maw Of Ruin is available to buy on CD/DD via Earache Records from December 4th 2020.


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