The most surprising thing about Cill Dara, the debut album from black metal band Druid, is that it’s not some lost treasure from the late-90’s. Instead, this album of raw, atmospheric inspired metal was released last year, but such is its sound and feel, it captures that particular magic that early atmospheric black metal tapped in to. This is an album that feels bigger, in every sense, than its actual run-time, and will transport you away from the modern world, to the depths of isolated autumnal woods.
Comprised of three lengthy tracks (the shortest, ‘Bones to Ash’, is eight minutes long; the others all last for over twelve minutes), Cill Dara has plenty of time to weave its magic, building the desired atmosphere and hypnotizing the listener with it. Comparisons to the likes of Drudkh and Agalloch are natural and warranted, though Druid aren’t lacking in ideas of their own – just see the closing minutes of opener ‘Fair Shining One’ for proof that they’re not afraid to do something slightly unusual with their chosen genre. Cill Dara is an exciting debut, and I look forward to seeing what wonders Druid summon in the future.
Cill Dara can be streamed and downloaded via Bandcamp.