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Pretty Damn Good - 85%

reverendshred, February 8th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

I don't remember how I first stumbled across Elder Druid, but the first thing I heard from them was their Magicka EP. I wasn't a fan of Gregg's vocals off the bat but there was something that really drew me in and made me a fan.

When I saw they released Carmina Satanae I immediately took the time to give it a listen. Blue Dream Black Death is a great song to open this album with purely because of the bridge. It's a recurring theme I've heard and loved with most songs from Elder Druid, which is the song starts off as pure heaviness but at a certain point through the guitars start separating from one another into incredibly well written harmonies. There's an element of melody that starts creeping its way in and the bridge when everything comes crashing in just has you saying "Oh fuck yeah" and banging your head in traffic like an idiot.

There isn't a ton of variety on this album and I found myself getting a few songs mixed up by name. That's not a huge negative though, they're the kind of band where if you like their style, you want to hear more of it. It's a style that is both heavy as shit but reminds you very well that this is doom - doom does best when there is a noticeable element of emotion in the music.

Towards the end of the album there are a couple songs from the Magicka EP re recorded. They sound fantastic and caught me smiling as soon as I recognized the riffs of Rogue Mystic.

Overall, It's pretty damn good. Carmina Satanae is an impressive album even if it's a little limited to the style of the band. One personal thing I was a little bummed to hear was better production of the guitars stepping up from the aforementioned EP, (I'm a huge sucker for big low end, badly recorded guitar). If you have heard anything from Elder Druid and are considering giving this thing a full listen, by all means do it. It's crisp and listens pretty well in my opinion. Still not 100% sold on Gregg's vocals but in a weird way it fits this band and this band alone.