Every band needs to start somewhere. Have a venue where music lovers can lend an ear to the newest offering, especially in a city sputtering with talented hopefuls. Las Vegas, USA is not always the first city you think of when it comes to great doom bands however. The environment would not appear to spawn the sort of sentiments associated with the doom metal sound. As with any city where you may feel like the black sheep however, there’s bound to be a group of musicians out there expressing those emotions through their instruments and pumping them unfazed through their amplifiers. Las Vegas’ Demon Lung is one of those black sheep. Playing the local clubs, gathering comparisons to old school doom such as Cathedral and Candlemass, they’ve recently put forth their first EP “Pareidoliain” in early 2012.
Starting off the EP with Shanda Frederick’s seeping whispers, like steam from a sewer grate, “Lament Code”, the strongest track of the entire EP in my opinion, took its hooks and dug them straight into my skull, keeping the track pierced into my subcortical region for weeks. It’s 70’s style, deep and penetrating riffs have a down tuned Sabbath-esque vibe to them. Bass is kept fairly simple and the vocals scatter the streamline doomy instrumentals spaciously with sureness.
The second track, “Sour Ground” takes way too long to get creative. The first 2:40 of the song drag with repetitive instrumentals and vocals tones that don’t compliment the trailing journey of the lyrics. It’s unfortunately almost monotone. After the 2:40 point however, I felt a drastic transformation in the impact in the songs structure. If only the entire track had carved such a mark. The vibe drops to a new hopeless low, grabbing hold of you, dangling your helplessly body over the soiled ground you’ve created. I’ve never felt so at fault. Shanda’s powerful vocals have the ability to rock you with soul the same way The Gits, Mia Zapata could with every note. This might be reason enough to at least give Demon Lung a shot.
With the obvious inspiration of Electric Wizard, considering their band name, you can hear darker, more tuned down hints of this connection in their final two tracks, “Death Mask” and the title track “Pareidolia”. Similar to other underground acts such as Pallbearer, The Grand Black and Rituals of the Oak, the vibe is kept very bare bones, allowing the vocals to dominate; lingering notes to sink beneath your skin.
Considering this is just an EP, not to mention self-financed which may have affected the quality, I have a feeling that with better production and a few years, Demon Lung is bound to find a better balance to complement their sound and create a far greater impact; even find a label. Some boldness to those guitar riffs and mundane drum beats or a little something to hit you out of left field every now and again would be a welcome addition. For now though, chugging back a back a beer in a crowded Las Vegas club to “Lament Code” doesn’t sound half bad; especially if I’m choosing between that and Céline Dion.