In today’s European stoner and doom landscape, DOPELORD has become a major force to be reckoned with. Having forged a sound now recognizable from the first riffs, “Songs For Satan” is only their fifth album.
“Come on, another doom album about Satan.” That’s the average reaction I’ve seen lately, with no understanding of either what Dopelord is about or what their “satanic” tag even means. Since intellectual laziness has become a modern plague, and reading more than three lines of the liner notes seems too complicated, let’s skip pointless troll debates and dive deep into this superb album.
What better way to protest against the state of your country (apart from burning it down) than to make an album about it? At least, that’s the approach the Polish have chosen on their new album. Poland’s political context is gangrened by the secular sect of Catholicism, allowing far-right parties to take power and undermine freedom of life. This should lead us to reflect on what is happening in our own country, given the worrying and unabashed rise of fascists and xenophobes all over the world.
Dopelord chose to deal with this topic in the musical form that suits them best: heavy-only and in a doom fashion they are very few to carry on. So, what about this Satanism thing? Contrary to the first degree that leads hundreds of millions of lobotomized people to believe in Satan like you believe in an imaginary friend, Dopelord’s Satanism is Lavey’s: encouraging and enhancing individual preferences, celebrating individuality without hypocrisy, and solidarity without pity. In short, the cult of the self, not of a fable.
This way, the band can mine the evils of the church and its retrograde positions against a society that is trying to throw off the religious yoke and live the “Western way”. But mass manipulation won’t cease until a collective awakening takes place…
Musically, the Polish foursome pushes their formula further than on their previous album “Sign Of The Devil”, on which the evolution was already noticeable, particularly in the vocal work. Piotrek Zin no longer hides behind effects, and the result is all the more masterful as he establishes himself as a first-rate singer. The rhythm section shines through with massive riffs and drum pummeling that will never leave you breathing, while your neck will never be able to survive what the band throws at you.
Fortunately, more ethereal parts bring us back to our senses before setting off again with a vengeance and dragging us along in its wake, until we realize just how necessary the struggle is. The build-up and tension over the tracks reveal a determination to fight back, and a wind of revolt that must not fade with the end of the album, which is why “Songs For Satan” ends with the return of “Night Of The Witch”, coming full circle.
More than just a doom album, Dopelord sends a powerful message with “Songs For Satan”, that everyone out there should grasp: WAKE UP AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
Last modified: 10 November 2023