Lord Doom leads the SGV trio Doom Squad who put on shows and support the growth of their local scene. Starting his own label and building a home studio, Lord Doom began working on a follow up to last year’s self-titled EP. Self-produced and written, the 25 y/o rapper aims to strike emotion rather than a turn up. The new album entitled simply “II” features beats that aren’t just made, but composed very well, and never monotonous. It fuses genres and sounds in a great blend that fits perfectly. The most immediately arresting feature of this album, is the production; the creator has dug deep and come up with a mind-boggling array of sounds that gives this record a character unlike many other hip-hop releases in recent memory.
The album is permeated with a gritty, old-school flavored beats and futuristic experimental interludes. There are fantastically intricate layers of sound at work here, but never so much do the beats detract from the rhymes. On the contrary, the choice of beats and sounds seems more directly related to the rhymes, giving this record a rare degree of integrity. The one notable exception is “Opus” (Bonus Track/Instrumental) which purposefully stands apart from all the other songs on the album and thus has a sound all its own.
The complex and edgy production seems spur Lord Doom on; his delivery is sure, his rhymes always intelligent, and there’s a confident flow at work here, with a characterful voice backing it up. Like all great music, this album succeeds on several levels. It has a consistency of character, but enough variety from track to track to keep the listener from getting bored.
On some of the songs, effects are applied to the voices adding an extra dimension to the already original sounding tunes. Lord Doom delivers his lyrics in a powerful – sometimes booming, sometimes hushed, but always intimate tone. As background music, most of the songs on the album provide plenty of bass driven bump; standouts that immediately come to mind here are, “Stumped (I’d Rather Be By Myself)” and “Day Ones”.
On the other hand, for discerning listeners who love dark and edgy slow-burners, “Lost Never Found” and “Cold Hands” are absolutely not to be missed. For those with a taste for the mysteriously sublime, “Lullabye” is manna from alternative heaven. It’s also the track where Lord Doom gets to flaunt his flow and offset rhyme scheme.
Motivated to make the album a musically unique experience, Lord Doom continues to make magic by combining a healthy mix of eclectic and moody beats hanging side by side. This is not like all the commercial hip hop. Rap is supposed to have something to say, to break the quintessential mold, but today’s rap is just like all the crap that plagued rock n’ roll before its death rattle.
“II” provides an excellent array of songs to get a feel of what Lord Doom is about, and what creative underground rap can really be like. Most will find that the lyrics never disappoint, and there’s always plenty to come back for musically.