The 50-ton four-piece HEAVY LORD are a Dutch group of stoners, and Doom is their weapon of choice. Like you might have come to expect from the Dutch, these guys mainly sing about getting high and worshiping Satan, not exactly reinventing the wheel. "The Holy Grail" was first released as their debut demo in 2004, but this year Solitude Productions decided to reissue it as a full-length, adding the charmingly titled bonus track "Get Down There You Bitch".
If you couldn't tell from the band name or the song-titles, "The Holy Grail" for the most part crawls by at a snail's pace, mixing in a healthy pot of sludge with the hazy dopesmoke. The vocals are hoarse and tortured, varying between gravely bellowing and agonized screams, and are somewhat muffled by the mix. This serves its purpose adequately to create a claustrophobic feeling, and as such the sound is above average for a demo. There are spurs of aggression spread across the chillout riffs, which means that even though there certainly are some psychedelic elements at play, this is not a simple jamming-session. The riffs are, of course, the most important part at play here, and for the most part they hold a high standard of drug-induced groove.
Having listened to "The Holy Grail" more than 15 times at the time of writing, my curiosity is piqued as to how they've evolved with their two subsequent albums. This is a solid addition to the world of Stoner Doom, and even though they bring little new to the table, HEAVY LORD are worth their weight in weed. Perhaps they sum up their trancelike repetitiousness best themselves, as in the anthem "Dope Smoking Daze" they proclaim "Enter the dreamland/Joint in hand and pass it on/And then you’ll roll another one". There's nothing new under the sun, but goddamnit if HEAVY LORD doesn't help us enjoy the repetition.
(Online September 15, 2009)