Saturday 6 June 2015

Demon Lung - 'A Dracula' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 16/6/2015
Label: Candlelight

“A Dracula” CD//DD track listing:

1. Rursumque Alucarda
2. Behold, The Daughter
3. I Am Haunted
4. Gypsy Cursem
5. Deny The Savior
6. Mark Of Jubilee
7. Rursumque Adracula
8. Raped By The SerpenT

Demon Lung is:

Shanda Fredrick | Vocals
Jeremy Brenton | Drums
Phil Burns | Guitar
Brent Lynch | Guitar
Jason Lamb | Bass


The great Seattle guru, Jack Endino, once stated that heavy music can occasionally be both intense and relaxing. Those may seem like completely diametric elements when it comes to the metal end of the spectrum, but it is actually a very apt observation, one that can describe many heavy bands of the here and now. Sometimes this phenomenon is achieved through slow pacing and high volume riffing. Other times it occurs through clever usage of effects and a studio engineer who really knows what they’re doing, (the recent spike in “atmospheric black metal” is a result of the latter.) In the case of Demon Lung’s latest release for Candlelight Records, which was produced by the highly reputable Billy Anderson, we are indeed receiving an offering that is heavy and massive, but is also dark and hollow, (hollow in the sense that you can almost “feel” the space around the instrumentation.) In short, “A Dracula” is a record that screams of heaviness, but it also provides a sonic abyss that allows listeners to get lost in its depth and undercurrent.

After a dark folk-ish intro, the record immediately segues into the pummelling, detuned, double bass madness of “Behold the Daughter.” Shanda’s vocals soar like an evil ghost, which is sure to strike a chord with the occult lovers who dig this eerie effect. As the album moves forth with songs like “I am Haunted” and “Gypsy Curse,” it’s evident the band knows a thing or two about mixing the High on Fire “pillars falling” sound with a sort of horror rock vibe. That said, it should also be mentioned that this record is a thematic one. The band previously stated that the album is about “the daughter of Satan, who happens to fall in love with the purest of souls in the convent she resides. She coaxes this soul over to the dark, with only intentions of love but in doing so she dooms her to death by the hands of the nuns. The anger consumes her and she uses her dark powers to resurrect her love and together they kill the convent and then the world.” Everyone is down with a little nun-slaughter, right? The whole albums-with-stories thing may work more for some listeners than others, but in the case of “A Dracula” the music is strong enough to win over the folks who may not be down with some storyboard guidance. The tunes are good, well played, and there’s a great mix of new school doom and traditional doom elements to entice fans from all across the board. My personal favorite? The record’s midpoint, “Deny the Savior.” It’s reminiscent of the strongest Candlemass offerings, and Shanda’s breathy vocal delivery really brings forth the darkness and despair.

The only potential snag I may see for Demon Lung is that the sludge lovers may find themselves wishing for a more in-your-face production style. However, it’s doubtful that’d end up being too much of an issue. Today’s lovers of heavy seem to enjoy a kaleidoscopic array of sound. If you dig your music loud with a fine balance of sludgy and airy, “A Dracula” is an album that should certainly strike your dark fancy.

Words by: Erik Sugg

‘A Dracula’is available here

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