Mehrunes Dagon, Dread Father (self-released/bandcamp, 2013)
Dread Father can be had for free at bandcamp; it’s a name-your-price download. But you know what? I paid for it anyway, though I paid a pittance (and I feel bad about how little I gave ’em, to be honest). Why? Because they deserve more for this incredible little five-song EP.
The easy way out would be to tag Mehrunes Dagon (for those not up on your role-playing geekery, Mehrunes Dagon is the name of one of the daedra (demonic) princes in the Elder Scrolls series of CRPGs) as stoner metal; they definitely wear their Clutch- and Kyuss-loving hearts on their sleeves throughout most of this demo. But “Mysterium Xarxes,” the initial track, reminds me a lot of Maurce de Jong’s various projects (especially Aderlating); it’s much more keyboardy and dark-ambient, with a long sample from Anton LaVey’s infamous 1968 album The Satanic Mass running through it (a fun little twist, as Mysterium Xarxes is the name of Mehrunes Dagon’s holy book in the Elder Scrolls games, while LaVey, in the sample, is reading from The Satanic Bible). Meanwhile, the center track, “Deadlands”, has the kind of psychedelic hard-rock/throwback bent that puts me in mind of Ghost (now Ghost B.C.)’s Opus Eponymous album from a couple of years ago. This is not a one-dimensional piece of work at all, and that is much to its creators’ credit.
If you’re a fan of stoner metal, this is a no-brainer, but others would not be doing themselves a disservice checking this out, either; you can stream the entire thing free while deciding whether or not you want to download. (Note for the easily-offended: as should be obvious from the above, this is overtly and unapologetically Satanic, so if you have a problem with that, pass it by.)
Because I couldn’t resist: a let’s-play video from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that shows how to get to the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon (which is almost bloody impossible in Skyrim unless you know exactly where you’re going, and that damn Clairvoyance spell doesn’t help one bit) and what you have to do to score Mehrune’s Razor, which despite being kinda nerfed in the last two games is still one of the most powerful artifact daggers you can wield. ([font=”cranky old man”]But in my day, sonny, back in Morrowind… now THAT was a dagger…[/font])