Excerpts From A Dread Liturgy
Translation Loss Records
July 31, 2020
Portland black metal collective, DROUTH began with founding member Matt Stikker (vocals/guitar/artwork) and three friends in 2012, when the band’s first incarnation began performing in Portland and around the Pacific Northwest under the name Contempt. This venomous creation straddled the frontiers of black metal, doom and crust with the release of an EP entitled “Skinwalker” and a subsequent West Coast tour in 2014.
That same year brought an infusion of new blood into the lineup, as current drummer Patrick Fiorentino (ex-Vermin Womb) relocated to Portland and joined its unholy ranks. With new members and renewed momentum, the band was renamed DROUTH and channeled its energies into tracking its inaugural EP “Vast, Loathsome.” The recording was released in the spring of 2015 and supported by a successful US tour which took the band throughout the southwest, midwest and east coast.
Like a rogue wave breaking on an unsuspecting shore, this first EP appealed to black metal and death metal listeners alike. DROUTH’s reinvigorated sound lurched around subgenre labels with ever-shifting song structures and a hammering but queasily melodic assault. Though carving their own path, the band paid respect to old-school influences in an interview with Lords of the Night Realm zine, stating “We pull bits of influences from a large variety of heavy places (black metal, doom, crust/grind, old-school metal of all kinds) and try to incorporate them organically.” With regard to lyrical inspiration, Stikker acknowledged the influence of authors such as Borges, Cortazar, Camus, and Ellison, noting, “Most of those [authors] don’t deal in a total hopelessness, but have a particular ability to capture and examine a moment of darkness.”
After two more years of songwriting and touring up and down the west coast, the band reentered the studio in 2017 to record their ominous and uptempo full-length, “Knives, Labyrinths, Mirrors.” Standout tracks like “Horse Crippler” and “The Disquieting Muses” transport listeners to a contorted plane of horror and dread. Hymns of thrashing grind riffs meet warhammering melodies which pay homage to extreme metal forebears while staking out new territory, drawing comparisons to such disparate entities as Deathspell Omega, Ulcerate and Pale Chalice.
Following the album release and supporting Southwest tour, DROUTH was joined in 2018 by Texan transplants John Edwards (Satanarchist) on guitar/vocals and Tyler Wolfe on bass and continued writing new material. In the summer of 2019 the band embarked on another Western US outing which included headlining spots at the Mid-State Metal Fest in San Luis Obispo, CA and Anti-Life Fest in Seattle, before heading into the studio again that fall to capture the tracks that would become “Excerpts from a Dread Liturgy”. Recorded and mixed in Portland by Fester, mastered by Ryan Foster, and with cover art by frontman and visual artist Matt Stikker, this album is the most compelling representation of DROUTH’s artistic ambitions yet.
- A Drowning In Sunlight
- 2. An Apiarist
- O Time Thy Pyramids/As Unfinished Nightmare
- A Repulsive Act Shrouded In Flesh
- A Crown Of Asphodels
Recorded and mixed in August & September of 2019 in Portland, OR at Stop/Start and Haywire Recording Studios by Fester.
Mastered at Foster Mastering by Ryan Foster.
Album artwork by Matt Stikker
Photos by Raya Jade Photography
Matt Stikker – Guitar, vocals
John Edwards – Guitar, vocals
Patrick Fiorentino – Drums
Tyler Wolfe – Bass