Desert Psychlist has to admit that we approached Croatian trio Lord Drunkalot's debut "Heads & Spirits" with a certain amount of trepidation, expecting something that might be a little tongue in cheek and maybe a little generic. Given the bands name and the fact that the members go by names like Party Barbarian (Brotha Alkobuddha) on drums Ratimir Nebozemlja (Stipe) on bass and Ganjalf The Green (Leo Narkobuddha) on guitars/vocals, you couldn't really blame us for having a few doubts but as it turns out, and although there are elements of Lord Drunkalot's sound that do wander into those areas, this is an album of well played doom tinted metallic grooves that if not exactly album of the year material will undoubtedly put a smile on your face and lift your spirits, and we all need that right now!
Lord Drunkalot employ all the usual doomic clichés in their music, they unashamedly fill their songs with references to witches, warlocks, devils and dragons, as well as many of the other usual suspects, but they do so in the full knowledge that these are clichés, it is almost as if they are playing with the doom genre, seeing how far they can go with it all before it all just becomes pastiche. This is where Lord Drunkalot are clever though, they know when to pull back from that edge, these guys can play and they can write a good tune and despite their cliched lyrical content the songs on "Heads & Spirits" work because they ROCK! Songs like "2+2=3", title track "Heads & Spirits", the truly excellent "Blåkulla", with its bluesy outro and the superbly atmospheric "Witchfucker" are crammed full of everything you could possibly want from a doom album but are presented to the listener with knowing wink and a glint in the eye.
Old school metal played with new school attitude and vigour Lord Drunkalot's "Heads & Spirits" might not be an album pushing its way to the top of anyone's end of year lists but it is an album that more than deserves its place in everyone's music collection.© 2020 Frazer Jones