Monday 29 April 2024

Druidess - Hermits & Mandrakes (EP Review)

Release Date: March 20th 2024. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

Hermits & Mandrakes - Tracklisting

1.Intro 00:40

2.Witches' Sabbath 05:56

3.Mandragora 03:41

4.Knightingales 06:12

5.The Hermit of Druid's Temple 04:14

6.The Forest Witches' Daughter 05:51



Vocals by Shonagh Brown

Guitars Performed by Daniel Downing

Bass Guitar Performed by Daniel Downing

Drum Programming by Daniel Downing

Additional Keyboards by Daniel Downing


Hermits & Mandrakes is the debut release from Heavy Psych/Doom/Stoner Rocker Druidess who hail from my hometown of Newcastle Upon Tyne. I saw the band open recently for Saint Karloff / JOSIAH on their recent UK tour. I was impressed by the band’s subtle style of IOMMI Riff Worship and Sabbath inspired take on the Heavy Psych sound. Their debut EP is quite a bewitching OCCULT affair with a massive sludgy down-tuned sound. If you dig bands such as Green Lung, LOWEN, Alunah and Black Sabbath then Druidess offer a drug induced and Proto-Doom sound within the EP with standout tracks as Witches’ Sabbath, Knightingales and The Forest Witches’ Daughter.

There is a surreal dreamlike Psychedelic energy when matching with the heavier DOOMED OUT aspects of the music which is first heard on Witches’ Sabbath and that is amplified for a more sinister creative style heard within Shonagh’s excellent vocals and intense lyrics that appear on the record. The music is quite FUZZY and SEEDY even when the mood becomes more Blues Rock based. Druidess have a fine ear for conjuring up extended instrumental passages that pays HOMAGE to the classic AMPLIFIER WORSHIP sound that Black Sabbath created back in the day.

Druidess work best when they let their Heavy Psych attitude merge with the Occult Rock overtones which gives way to some of the best grooves on the whole EP. 

Overall, Hermits & Mandrakes is a superbly produced record which allows Druidess to cast a bewitching spell within the Doom/Stoner Rock community and I’m excited to hear what the band can deliver on a full length record. Don’t let this EP pass you by as it’s seriously good with Druidess having the potential to go a long way within the UK Doom/Stoner Metal scene and perhaps perform on some of the biggest stages currently out there.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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