Lord Dying – Poisoned Altars (Relapse)

Sunday, 25th January 2015
Rating: 8/10

Establishing themselves early on as a touring machine, Lord Dying took a momentary break in the live venue to record their now soon to be released sophomore effort, Poisoned Altars. If the charm of their straight-forward approach to heavy metal debut, Summon the Faithless, tickled your fancy, then Poisoned Altars is most likely going to make you go gaga over it.

Poisoned Altars takes the formula that Lord Dying designed with Summon the Faithless and really ramps things up. As if the cover art wasn’t an indicator, things are a bit darker and heavier with this go-round. Their combination of thick, sludgy riffs (it seems at times as if the band is channeling their inner Crowbar) with some needed upticks in tempo and just the right amount of groove suits the band to a tee. Burly, crawling riffs like those heard on “The Clearing at the End of the Path” are hard not to get wrapped up in. Faster tempos, like those on the title track ensure that things never become too pokey for anyone’s liking. One of the album highlights, “An Open Sore,” features some guest vocals from Red Fang’s Aaron Beam alongside some menacing riffage that the band revels in. Lastly, the groove amplifies the already crunchy/fuzzy guitars and really completes the band’s sound (in addition to the sludgy vocals and ability to come up with a nearly limitless number of hooks). See the super-groovy “(All Hopes of a New Day)…Extinguished” if you need some proof.

Tactfully avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump and adding more potency to their formula is the name of the game with Poisoned Altars. It may not be the most technical stuff you’ve ever heard, but this is a band that is all about the riffs. And with that, Lord Dying absolutely delivers in spades.

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