Review of the third album from Finnish drone doom lords Opium Warlords, “Taste My Sword of Understanding”

PromoImageOpium Warlords – “Taste My Sword of Understanding” [Svart Records]

Opium Warlords, the one man project of former Reverend Bizarre member Sami Albert Hynninen has returned with a third album through Svart Records entitled “Taste My Sword of Understanding”. Now I reckon Hynninen doesn’t want the focus to be put onto other projects current or past but when those magical vocal chords chime up and that shiver runs down your spine, its hard not to cast your mind back to such gems as “Crush the Insects” and you ill find something things within the folds and fabric of this album that remind you greatly indeed of the bizarre reverend! Right now that’s out of the way…

“Taste My Sword of Understanding” offers up some of the more original aspects of doom you’ll hear in a while and by fusing doom with avant garde such as has been done here then what you are really saying is, absolutely anything goes…

Boy does it! There are moments of long, drawn out drone doom goodness such as opening track “The Sadness of Vultures”, more traditional doom metal fare with “The Self Made Man” and in various spells some spoken word, acoustic and noise orientated moments designed to keep you guessing and sink its hooks into you.

For me though there is no finer point on the album than track three, “The God in Ruins”. This is original and that is hard to do these days! in the most anguished, black metal like croaks and groans, Hynninen tells the story of a broken God, long after mankind has fallen to its inevitable demise and in this grief stricken narrative, God admits to never being there, never revealing his mysteries and leaving it too long to show his wonder. It’s a remarkable track, devastating, lyrically and conceptually superb and unlike anything you’ll have heard!

“Taste My Sword of Understanding” then is an album well worth experiencing! [9/10 – Luke Hayhurst]