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Opium Warlords - Nembutal review

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Band: Opium Warlords
Album: Nembutal
Release date: December 2020

01. A Heavy Heart
02. Threshold Of Your Womb
03. Destroyer Of Filth
04. Sarah Was Nineteen Years Old
05. Solar Anus
06. Early In The Morning The Body Of The Girl Was Found
07. Perspiring Princess
08. Xanadu

Remember Albert Witchfinder from Reverend Bizarre? Now he is in Opium Warlords to put the doom back in drone doom.

Despite what the name might suggest, there aren't multiple warlords, as Opium Warlords is the one man band of Sami Albert Hynninen, who you might remember as the vocalist/bassist of Reverend Bizarre, and even though he's since been part of other projects like Spiritus Mortis or Armanenschaft, they either disbanded or didn't really take off. So now it seems like Opium Warlords is the man metal endeavor of Sami, otherwise we would also have to talk about Tähtiportti. And here, things are taken slowly. Really slowly.

I'll have to preface this by saying that this album is really long and it feels like it. Hell, most of Opium Warlords's releases are, so if you lose your patience halfway through, I don't blame you. It's a gripe I have with Opium Warlords myself, the album as a whole doesn't do as much to justify its length as it could, and maybe that's kinda the point as well. Opium Warlords is avant-garde is ways that aren't as obvious. At least when you listen to this you are greeted by the behemoth that is the 19 minute opener "A Heavy Heart", which sounds very much like a Reverend Bizarre song, with lumbering doom, slow thick riffs and Sami's trademark vocals. A gigantic but nonetheless straight-forward affair aside from the length. You might even tell yourself that it's slow but not doom slow. Oh well.

"Threshold Of Your Womb" is where the album considers that you eased in already with the opener. Drums are completely dropped, though some percussion might still make its way into this. Vocals are now only a few spoken word parts or samples. The rest is all brooding strums and droning feedback of what sometimes turns into what you could call riffs. Disquieting to say the least, especially when coming off the high that was "A Heavy Heart". If the album lost you at this point, skip to "Xanadu". If it didn't, you may sink further into filth and death. You may be welcomed by hulking soars and paralyzing lows, patient sonic experimentation and some completely bonkers as well, but for the most part, Nembutal will slowly and quietly fill you with something that isn't quite "fear", nor "angst", but something of a gloomy and disheartening realization that things cannot be undone. Death being a fan favorite subject of metal is nothing new, but nothing else really hits its dreary nature quite like the "Sarah Was Nineteen Years Old" or "Early In The Morning The Body Of The Girl Was Found".

I don't think every part of this works, the highs are high, but the lows take a long time to slog through. I can see the opener and the closer, and maybe even some tracks in the middle appealing to most people, however I don't think Nembutal will get that many full replays.

Written on 15.12.2020 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 2   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 31 users
16.12.2020 - 01:38

I was intrigued when it was labeled as avant-garde. I was a little letdown on that but there were some other positives. The vocals are really good. The music itself reminds me a lot of Boris. I unfortunately had to drop listening to this during the second track. It's not bad but certainly not my thing.
16.12.2020 - 14:31
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Spinned this one, not bad a bit slower RB something.
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