Article By: Taylor Waring ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
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 progressive 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 the 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’ were 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 have their two most recent CD releases available on their Bandcamp page in a combo buy for $8.
Spirit Compass Tracklist:
02. Spirit Compass
03. Dark Columns
04. Acid Realm
05. Desert Rites
Luke Rauch – Guitar, Vocals
Drew Rauch – Bass, Vocals
Keith Rich – Drums
Website | Bandcamp | Facebook | Spotify | iTunes
Druids Tour Dates 2018:
Feb. 14 Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews w/ Radio Moscow
Feb. 15 Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room w/ Radio Moscow
Mar. 24 Des Moines, IA – 10 Year Anniversary Show
Mar. 30 Lincoln, NE @ Duffy’s Tavern
Mar. 31 Raytown, MO @ Crane Brewing
Apr. 10 Chicago, IL @ LiveWire Lounge
Apr. 11 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
Apr. 12 Louisville, KY @ Highlands Taproom
Apr. 13 St. Louis, MO @ The Sinkhole