(By Taylor Waring, Staff Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
Des Moines, Iowa’s trio Druids self-released their Spirit Compass album this past December and it is a potent follow-up to their 2016 banger, Cycles of Mobeum.
Like my love life, the Spirit Compass EP is a less than 25 minute nonstop doom train, and you’ll be a bit bummed when the ride’s over a little too soon.
Druids is Luke Rauch (Guitar / Vocals), Drew Rauch (Bass / Vocals), and Keith Rich (Drums), and they have brewed up a batch of powerful, finely produced sludge-rock tunes, which you’ll totally dig if you’re into Mastodon, Baroness, and The Sword (and let’s be real: you are).
Spirit Compass is an onslaught of pummeling riffs which burst into moments of psychedelia, made especially resonant by Luke’s solos and layering. The vocals and rhythm section are primal, but not simple, like an Australopithecus that’s really quite good at music.
My favorite track is “Acid Realm”. It begins with a phased-out wah merging into a sludgy riff, which marches us through first segment of the song. Then we’re confronted with an abrupt tempo change, which, in an almost mystical way, morphs and transcends the primal chug that had dominated the song before it. Chaos ensues. I haven’t been able to pick out all the lyrics yet, but I’m definitely getting the vibe of needing to wrestle a psychedelic tiger.
All music and lyrics on Spirit Compass was written by Druids. The release was produced by Brandon Darner, engineered and mixed by Micah Natera, and mastered by Doug Van Sloan. With artwork created by Mark Facey and the Druids logo by Sean Arsenian, it makes up a nice EP package.
These dudes love to tour and we have their current dates listed below, so make sure you check ‘em out when they come near your town. In the meantime, treat yourself to a copy of Spirit Compass, or at least stream it on Bandcamp or Spotify (below).
The EP is only a few bucks, though, so you can probably swing it and give these guys some support. In fact, Druids has their two most recent CD releases available on their Bandcamp page in a combo buy for $8.
Spirit Compass – Track List
2. Spirit Compass
3. Dark Columns
4. Acid Realm
5. Desert Rites
Druids – Tour Dates:
2/14 Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews w/ Radio Moscow
2/15 Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room w/ Radio Moscow
3/24 Des Moines, IA – 10 Year Anniversary Show
3/30 Lincoln, NE @ Duffy’s Tavern
3/31 Raytown, MO @ Crane Brewing
4/10 Chicago, IL @ LiveWire Lounge
4/11 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
4/12 Louisville, KY @ Highlands Taproom
4/13 St. Louis, MO @ The Sinkhole