Wednesday 3 June 2015

Introducing Druid....Proto-metal for the 00's

One of the reasons  why I joined Bandcamp and why also I started this blog was to find and write about bands like Druid and to let others know about them because music this good should not be allowed to fade away into obscurity.

Druid are from Athens .Ohio and got together in 2014 and for a band who have only been together for roughly a year they should not be this good….but they are. Consisting of Kaleb Shaffner: Guitar, Vocals, Max Schmitz: Bass, Vocals and recent addition Adam Mayhall on  Drums ( original drummer Lous Eyerman plays on both "Druid"  and "Paper Squares") Druid take elements of 70’s proto –metal and blend it with 00’s stoner and doom and throwing a little blues and psych in. just to make things interesting.

In March this year (2015) they released their self- titled debut album, an absolutely stunning set of tunes that I called “a fantastic album” in my review on Bandcamp. Full to the brim with great tunes and great playing Druid also paid tribute to their influences by tagging the “Luke’s Wall” riff from Sabbath’s War Pigs” on to their song “Mushroom Fields”. A bold move but it worked a treat. The biggest nod to their heroes though is on the opening track “Roots and Beings” whose intro welds Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile” to Status Quo’sPictures of Matchstick Men” Having said all that do not be fooled into thinking these guys are just a bunch of plagiarists and pirates, when it comes to writing good tunes these guys are very good. Take for instance “Rid This From My Eyes” a stunning song that starts off with a filthy bass intro before blowing the roof off when it goes into the oh so proto riff. They can even lay it out as on “No Good Man” with its Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Grand Funk vibe. Vocals are shared between Kaleb and Max and both are fine singers and both bring something good to the table individually but when they harmonise it sends shivers down the spine. Special mention has to go to the sterling production work of Greg Omella who manages to capture that organic 70's sound that prevails throughout the album, he also plays rhythm guitar on the album and sings lead on both " No Good Man" and "Roots and Beings".

Today (03 June 2015) saw the band release a three song EP “Paper Squares” which highlights the heavier side to their sound with two original tunes and a cover of Sleep’s Sonic Titan”. The two self- penned songs “Altarsong” and “Paper Squares” are powerhouse displays of proto-metal/acid rock madness that evoke memories of Blue Cheer and The JPT Scare Band, full of scorching guitar solo’s and heavy bluesy riffs. The cover of “Sonic Titan” shows these guys can do stoner doom and do it well.

I really hope this band manage to climb the hurdles that road weariness, ego’s, music business politics etc. will inevitably throw in front of them, and stick together as I would love to see how this band progress.

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