You would think with a name like Elder Druid this band had been sacrificing goats to some other worldly God these past few years. Not so, once you find out that it is a group of former school friends and sometime students from Ballymena in Northern Ireland who have embraced the whole stoner/sludge/doom metal genre to the full.
Line Up: Greg McDowell – Vocals, Jake Wallace – Lead Guitar, Mikey Scott – Rhythm Guitar, Dale Hughes – Bass Guitar, Brien Gillen – Drums.
Having formed officially in early in 2015 the members of Elder Druid all come from differing metal backgrounds but through the focus of Jake Wallace have moved onto that well-worn path of self-financing their own music and contacting anyone and everyone that is willing to listen to their own special style of Black Sabbath inspired doom. And just hoping for that breakthrough opportunity.
With the release of the Magicka EP on Bandcamp this could well be that opportunity for them. Within the EP there are three previously released live tracks along with two new tracks which have all been given the studio treatment by Andy Shields of Belfast based band Hornets.
The first track on the EP is Rogue Mystic and this sets the scene nicely for what is to come. This gives Black Sabbath a run for their money in the doom stakes with Elder Druid arguably winning by a hairs breadth. As we move through the remainder of the tracks it is clear Elder Druid have “got” what this doom genre is all about and exploit it to the full.
The Ides of March, The Warlock and Scarab all have a number of fantastic guitar hooks throughout and had me humming along. Is it OK to hum along to doom? You better believe it. Scarab continues the fuzzy guitars onslaught and Reigning Hell then brings the heaviness down another notch, if that was even possible, to finish you off.
Elder Druid have been gigging locally around Ireland taking in Ballymena, Belfast and Dublin. The next gig is lined up for Belfast in December and more opportunities for regular slots in Dublin are on the horizon. And an official release of the Magicka EP through a record company may not be that far way.
Longer term Elder Druid have ambitions for taking in more of the UK and potentially on to Europe. But one step at a time and with the Magicka EP you couldn’t hope for a more sure footed first step. Suggest you turn it up to 11.
- Rogue Mystic 5:54
- The Ides Of March 6:57
- The Warlock 7:46
- Scarab 5:07
- Reigning Hell 7:21
Released: September 2016