Sometimes I forget thag not everyone is as enamoured with long, repetitive, droning songs made out of long, droning, repetitive riffs, which is why whenever I recommend someone an album like Green Druid‘s Ashen Blood, the reply I often recieve is a variation on: „This is so boring!”. And I guess I understand.
Music like Green Druid‘s, by which I mean doom and stoner metal in the vein of Sleep, is not for everyone. It requires a specific mindset and mood to be fully enjoyed. Not to mention the fact that a lot, dare I say the majority, of doom bands have a tendency to sound very samey and are often indistinguishable from one another, which means one must put in extra effort in order to stand out in the seemingly neverending cesspool of doom bands out there.
Green Druid does not try too hard, although I would lie if I aaid I didn’t enjoy their efforts here. Their sound has a bluesy geel to it, courtesy of the excellent bass work, that makes it sound less abrasive. Still, it is definitely heavy. The vocals are subdued, yet effective at setting the mood. The riffs are impressive and catchy and the soloing isn’t half bad either. All in all, from a techincal standpoint, this is a very strong outing.
Unfortunately, Ashen Blood suffers from a lack of originality. There aren’t any musical ideas on display here that I haven’t heard before, even if they are very well executed. What is more, I don’t know if I’ll return to any of the songs in the future. Overall, the album flows very smoothly, but the individual tracks don’t stand out enough.
I hope that Green Druid can try to be a little more creative and experimental in their approach to doom metal. They have the skills, they just need to take a few risks. As it stands, Ashen Blood is a very pleasant listen and I’d recommend it to any foom metal fan.