Sunday, May 19, 2013

... DEMON LUNG "The Hundredth Name" (Album Review)

Demon Lung hails from the modern day Sodom, that brackish oasis in the desert, Las Vegas, Nevada.  What better place for a band to coagulate their musical efforts into the choking mists of doom and strangulate the population with their thick, dark cloud of heavy sounds.  Last year they made their first appearance with the ‘Pareidolia’ EP, which featured some solid songs and an identity built around wailing Zakk Wylde / Dimebagian squeals atop a solid doom groove with arresting female vocals.  On June 3 the band will unleash their full-length debut on Candlelight Records of all new material, a concept album, no less.
The concept reads as follows (from the label’s promo): “The long-begotten son of Satan, who’s been sent to earth to assemble the three parts of the devil’s bible so that we can speak the name of God in reverse and undo creation [sic].” 
The album starts off slow enough with a nearly six minute intro drowning listeners in wave after wave of pummeling drone guitar strikes to create a torturously ominous build-up on “Binding of the Witch”.  The riffs creep up slowly, stalking the witch by excruciating stealth only to pounce when the time is right with one of the mightiest grooves one is likely to hear.  From that point forward all hell breaks loose and the floodtide of riffs and groove washes over the listener.  It’s not long before the knees start to buckle under the sheer weight of it.  One after another Demon Lung chops away riffs with the simplest of tools to create a monumental and momentous album.
When it comes to heavy music, and the abrasive moments, neck injury time from headbanging moments, simplicity is best.  5 grit sandpaper tones, open chords, head down, slice away riffs.  Those are the best.  Simplicity has sparked revolutions in music and technology.  And the clinic that Demon Lung puts on for their full-length debut absolutely vaporizes most of the competition, including their own debut four song EP.  Apparently never ones to second guess themselves, Demon Lung just appears to play what sounds good without getting too self-conscious about it.  This is what makes ‘The Hundredth Name’ a terrific record.  Where do you go when everything has been done a million times and it takes a rocket surgeon to innovate a new sound?  Easy, you just keep playing whatever sounds good and heavy.
That’s not to say the band doesn’t have chops, it’s just that groove is emphasized over ‘technical excellence’.  Each of the first three of the album’s eight tracks hammers listeners into the ground with heavy groove.  There are times when the band sounds like Pantera on downers.  But remember, there is a storyline here and the band plays according to mood, the foundation of the album is that long introduction.  Sludgified Doom permeates every moment and heavy groove rises out of the sonic landscape like R’lyeh from a poisoned ocean, especially on the organ-augmented and atmospheric centerpiece “A Decade Twice over a Day”.  As the album progresses, so does the doom, while the heavy groove is slowly choked off, a scheme that plays out like a cosmological battle which veers leftward.
For those who sampled Demon Lung’s EP, let it be known that this is a far more accomplished effort, featuring a streamlined sound, the band having delivered on their early potential.  The vocals are powerful but understated, double kick is used sparingly and is never overdone.  The double kick and the guitar squeals give Demon Lung a more heavy metal sound than most doom outfits, ‘The Hundredth Name’ is heavy, nearly to a fault but should provide a long-lasting fix for doom addicts.  Recommended.

words by Lucas Klaukien


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