Dopelord are smoking their amps again.
Formed in Poland in 2010 by Piotr Zin (bass/vocals), Grzegorz Pawlowski (guitar), Pawel Mioduchowski (vocals/guitar) and recently joined by Piotr Ochocinski (drums), the band marks 2023 with their fifth album, Songs for Satan.
The album opens with an introduction in which a few nocturnal birds and insects lead us into Night of the Witch, an as heavy and thick as catchy first composition. Slow riffs accompany haunting clean vocals, sometimes joined by unhealthy howling backing vocals on the choruses, while heady, highly saturated patterns suddenly accelerate to create a rawer sound, before the band slows down again, accompanied by an occult atmosphere, before The Chosen One emerges from the darkness. Whether the instrumental sounds more unhealthy, the vocal parts are much softer, even reassuring, before the new acceleration allows the band to place a tortured solo, driving us to One Billion Skulls, a much heavier and oppressive track. The dissonant leads add a mysterious edge to an already eerie Old School sound that also allows the two vocalists to answer each other, leaving room for an intriguing solo before the final chorus. The sound then gradually fades away before Evil Spell pours its darkness out thanks to a marked contrast between heavy rhythm and softer tones. As usual, the band doesn’t hesitate to draw on its Sabbathian heritage for dreamy harmonies, before becoming much more aggressive on Worms, multiplying possessed screams. Beyond the vocal parts, even the solo is much more aggressive, letting the sharp harmonics settle on a thick, morbid basis before ending with Return to the Night of the Witch‘s much gentler final, still keeping the occult tones hovering in the air.
Dopelord‘s riffs are infused with mysterious, mystical energies, effortlessly injecting Songs for Satan its occult ambience. Although some softer and more haunting moments are to be expected, beware of the surrounding darkness.