Friends, readers, and colleagues: I come to you today to make a gigantic mea culpa. As you all probably know, it’s tough writing about music these days. Tough only in that there is SO MUCH MUSIC coming out ALL THE TIME that things simply fall through the cracks. Everybody on the blog does it. All music nerds do it. It’s a good problem to have.
However, all that being said, I’ve got a real healthy dose of egg on my face. I missed the memo about a new Dopelord record. The Polish stoner doom quartet is currently pushing out some of my absolute favorite doom riffs of the decade, and I miss their latest release. Forgive me!
But let’s get back on task. This year, Dopelord graciously released Sign of the Devil, yet another of their tight-knit dark stoner metal albums. These dudes certainly know how to cultivate an image, and I personally appreciate it. Their image feeds into all of the psychedelic elements you would associate with stoner metal, but it’s also very dark and bleak sometimes that it becomes wholly original in the context of their peers. I just love how they stand out from the rest of the group in a very genuine way.
Image is one thing, of course. They need to bring the sonic thunder, too. Anybody reading this review already knows they are more than capable of that. Not only are they capable of it, but they throw all of their weight into it. For a band with the label “stoner,” these guys sure are meticulous about their song creations. Sign of the Devil is no different. Every part of each song is designed with the purest intent to sound dope as hell. Big bass and fuzzy riffs combine with powerful vocals and accented drums to make everything just as huge as you love it. In that way, Dopelord is the nice thing that stays the same while everything around us shifts.
I suppose that’s my only real complaint about Sign of the Devil. Dopelord is a band that has been very consistent in their style since the beginning. They do big bassy riffs covered in fuzz and reverb and sing songs about marijuana and the occult. It’s a damn fine niche to be in, and there wouldn’t be as many bands playing with this kind of sound if there wasn’t still some territory to explore. Out of all of those bands, Dopelord has just the right blend of genre tropes to help them lead the pack. Sign of the Devil is a fantastic album for the band and helps further establish them in this position of leadership.
I’ve said it dozens of times on the blog and will continue to stand on this soapbox: not all music has to be a mind-blowing trip through the meaning of the human condition. Some music can be a fun expression of the artist and serves the purpose of creating music for the sake of creating music. That’s what Dopelord is, in my opinion. They’re a band having fun doing what they’re doing, knowing how much joy it brings to other people. I couldn’t ask for much more in 2020, and I bet a lot of you agree with me. Show your support by busting out your nicest bong and blast Sign of the Devil through your headphones.
Sign of the Devil is available now via Bandcamp.