You are standing under a moonless sky with all the hordes of hell descending on your singular patch of light. You need back-up to fend off the insidiousness eager to devour every atom, who would you want by your side? If we were you we would choose heavy metallers Lord Dying because if their gladiatorial prowess and consuming might is as immense and irresistible as that of their debut album Summon the Faithless, everything will fall before their mountainous strength. The eight track tsunami of rapacious riffing, deliberately antagonistic rhythms, and sonic ferocity wrapped in melodic fire, is a sensational introduction to the Portland, Oregon quartet. It is unbridled high intensity unfussy heavy metal of the highest quality and animosity which instantly and firmly slams the band down at the same level as the likes of Black Tusk, Svolk, Red Fang, and maybe even Mastodon.
Within a year of forming, Lord Dying was sharing stages with the likes of Unsane, Red Fang, Yob, Valient Thorr locally as their sound and live presence ignited a rapidly increasing following. This start just grew as the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Eric Olson, bassist Don Capuano, guitarist Chris Evans, and drummer/vocalist Jonathan Reid ventured along the west coast with Danava and Lecherous Gaze as well as co-headlining a tour with Nether Regions around their home state. A self-titled 7” released came next via Powerblaster Records label and again drew strong attention towards them whilst shows supporting for Black Cobra and Gaza and a tour with Witch Mountain at the heart of 2012 thrust them up more rungs of recognition, accelerated again by a US tour in that October with Red Fang and Black Tusk. Summon the Faithless is the key to a worldwide recognition, a muscular unlocking of that awareness which will not take no for an answer.
As soon as the Relapse Records released sinew strapped tempest lets opener In a Frightful State of Gnawed Dismemberment off of its leash you know what you are in for, an onslaught of adrenaline fuelled predacious metal as infectious as carnal relations and just as sweaty and dirty. The opening sonically sizzling start of the song is a climatic build offering a sense of impending danger wrapped in an intensive coaxing, riffs and drums heightening the energy and tension. The leap from its precipice is a fall into further inviting riffs and tumultuous rhythmic beckoning veined with carnivorous sonic sculpting of the senses. Into its full stride with the growling bear like vocals of Olson wonderfully intimidating, the song merges a sludge thick breath to white hot sonic provocation, the union speared with flesh scorching guitar invention and melodic toxins. It is an insatiable confrontation feeding the equally fevered appetite rampant in its recipient, and a breath-taking start to the onslaught.
Despite its immense stature and sound the starter is a mere appetiser to greater things as the title track soon shows. Immediately provoking the ear through a crescendo of riffs and drums the song evens out its pace into a lumbering prowl, the guitars and bass stalking the listener as the vocals graze with its narrative all within a cage of already impressive drum work on the album from Reid. With sonic scythes flaring up throughout there is a build into another commanding and dramatic focus of demanding intensity. Grooves, as throughout the album, bring another contagious lure to succumb to whilst the superbly shaped and honed guitar blazes whether as a solo or melodic seduction seal the deal for the passions in a fiery storm of superbly developed yet uncomplicated aggressive metal.
The following Greed Is Your Horse and Descend Into External continue the rise in power and quality of the album, the first a ravishing mix of Bloodsimple and Mastodon which insistently and relentlessly gnaws and pressures the senses whilst offering wantonly winning melodic mercury and sonic acidity as potent reward. Its successor stands face to face with the listener, riffs crawling over the skin like a swarm of locust whilst the drums give rhythmic acupuncture to the delicious itch driven deeper by the ever appealing vocals. Both songs leave hunger rife and lips licked voraciously for whatever is to come, in this case the best song on the album, Dreams of Mercy. With a Kyuss call to the sonic spires shooting from the base of the song and a rabidity to the squalling riffs, the track takes a mere breath to command the passions, the punk lilt to the vocal delivery adding further rich bait. It is a scintillating ferocious fire of melodic and sonic temptation taken to another pinnacle with the brilliant enslaving rhythmic enticement of Reid which has its own singular moment of seduction midway in. Accompanied by the bestial snarl of the bass it is dramatically persuasive, especially as shards of guitar flames lay their hot enticement into the coals and leads one eagerly into a closing dirt clad passion fuelled storm of metallic voracity.
Perverse Osmosis and Water Under A Burning Bridge stand tall in their mission to match their companion in the album’s furious creative assault, the first unleashing a new nastiness to its rapacious savagery whilst the second is a doom breathing oppressive smog of intensity and hunger driven riffing placed on reins of sonic contemplation. Exploring its every corner and depth, the song is arguably the most inventive track on the album and certainly alongside the others in inspiration.
The closing esurient What Is Not…Is, where riffs, rhythms, and vocals fuel a ravenous thrash bred canvas clad in sonic waspishness and melodic toxicity, sums up band and release in one incendiary swoop, its creative poison pure sirenesque aural manna. Summon the Faithless is easily one of the best albums this year so far and the best debut anywhere. Lord Dying will be chewing our senses and souls for years to come, this only the exceptional beginning and that is truly exciting.
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