Shadow Work, the upcoming fourth album from Iowa’s own Druids, is big grooves entangled with a pointed heaviness entwined with a mystic kind of primal tribalism to make this one of the most unique records to drop in quite some time. Got all that? No? Well, you better put your helmet on, buckle up, and wrap your head around it soon because you’re about to take one helluva ride!
“Aether” is ominous and otherworldly, warning of what’s to come with low tones all around accented by a tribal thumping from both Keith Rich’s drumming and Drew Rauch’s bass to lay a formidable foundation that continues into “Path To R” which is like that Howling Giant kinda modern Prog colliding headfirst into early Masto or Baroness’ unique brand of esoteric Metal.
“Ide’s Koan” is transcendent, growing from this super slowed sown groove akin to “You Can’t Quit Me Baby” off QOTSA’s legendary debut with Luke Rauch delivering some inspired riffin’ that’s like a world unto itself within the world of “Ide’s Koan” as the track picks up the pace for a crushing finale. Next up, “Hide” comes at you and has got to be the ultimate all-encapsulating Druids track as it combines all that aforementioned mysticism and magic with some heady heaviness and a particularly heavenly heft in the vocal department to make a memorable anthem in this here realm of music.
“Dance of Skulls” gets points alone for such a rad name and then quadruple those points for being an even radder song built from a burgeoning rumble that’s like storm clouds rolling in on the horizon with moments of peace within the verses before the maelstrom hits in the form of a gnarly chorus which culminates in a trippy titanic Doom Rawk excursion. “Othenian Blood” forges ahead on that Doom-y path and radiantly rattles on for a solid eight minutes and change while also exploring the darker side of Grunge (Think the murky waters of Alice In Chain and Toadies more moody works) with Drew Rauch’s bass emanating a supernatural hum that expands into this unrelenting rumble from Rich that becomes unstoppable when partnered with this unearthly growl at its’ core.
“Traveller”, on the other end of the sonic spectrum, just comes out swingin’ with Rich’s drumming practically galloping as a barrage of the Rauch Bros’ stringed instruments entrance listeners alongside an equally enticing vocal melody before the grand gargantuan that is “Cloak-Nior Bloom” gives listeners the ultimate exit interview with a closing track that takes a little bit of that Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Metal of the ’80’s, transports it to the present, puts a modern spin on it by adding some Desert Rawk flourishes then closes out Shadow Work in the most kickass way possible.
Shadow Work descends on June 3rd through Pelagic Records. Pre-orders are available now for perusin’ and purchasin’ when you head here. And for the latest from Druids, be sure to keep up on all the socials by clicking here, here, or here.