Las Vegas’ Demon Lung released their debut EP “Pareidolia” last year to pretty positive reviews, with the abounding Black Sabbath and Candlemass influences in complete contrast to the glitzy surroundings of their hometown but maybe that’s why they sounded like a band with promise, a band wanting to decry the lights and glamour of the Las Vegas strip and break away into their own chasm of gloom.
“The Hundredth Name” is their debut full-length album and is being released by Candlelight Records, so that goes to show that somebody was noticing. Opening track ‘Binding of the Witch’ spends half of its 9:31 running time building up with an eerie intro before lurching into big riff territory and crushing all in its path with some steadily-paced drums and Zakk Wylde-esque pinched harmonics. It’s nothing original but it is very good and sounds like it could be an effective entrance to a devastating live show.
Never ones to try and be fancy, the key to this album is one of knowing your strengths and sticking to them, and Demon Lung have got a good grasp on what makes doom the powerhouse it can be when done right. ‘Eyes of Zamiel’ rocks along with those pinched notes and almost Gothic atmosphere reminding of prime Danzig, although singer Shanda Fredrick’s haunting vocals take the music somewhere else other than the Evil Elvis’ muscle-headed vision of darkness.
The more accessible songs are earlier on in the album, not that there seems to be a master plan to lull you in but longer, slower tracks like the sublime ‘Hallowed Ground’ and ‘Incantaion (The Hundredth Name)’ are left until the end to wash you over with a tide of classic doom heaviness and leave you feeling somewhat exhausted but also quite serene.
Taking the established sounds and structures of doom and giving it their all, Demon Lung’s debut album is definitely one of the highlights of the year and, given that scene stalwarts like Candlemass and Cathedral are either slowing down or now defunct, it looks like there’s an opening for a new name to break through and pick up the gauntlet. The future of doom seems to be in safe hands.