demon-lung-the-hundredth-name-coverDemon Lung

The Hundredth Name

01. Binding Of The Witch
02. Devil’s Wind
03. Eyes Of Zamiel
04. A Decade Twice Over A Day
05. Heathen Child
06. Hex Mark
07. Hallowed Ground
08. Incantation (The Hundredth Name)

[06/04/13]
[Candlelight Records]

It’s near impossible to be a metalhead and not have at least some sort of appreciation for doom metal. After all, the very birth of this grandiose music we’ve all come to know and love can be traced back to February of 1970, when Black Sabbath released their self-titled debut and completely changed the game forever. It’s been argued that every riff written since then was copied from Black Sabbath mastermind Tony Iommi, and while this is probably not true, Black Sabbath’s influence on heavy metal cannot be overstated. Now, doom metal seems to be in a revival state of sorts, and included in this revival is the sudden population of the genre with female fronted bands. Witch MountainChristian Mistress, and Castle have all released impressive albums within the past couple of years, and it’s safe to add yet another band to this ever-growing list of female-fronted doom bands: Las Vegas, Nevada’s own Demon Lung.

Taking their namesake from an Electric Wizard track, Demon Lung’s brand of bleakness has less in common with their aforementioned contemporaries and is delivered through more of a traditional stoner doom haze a la CathedralSaint Vitus, and of course, Electric Wizard. Demon Lung have clearly studied the ancient book written by these three legends, and with The Hundredth Name, Demon Lung have a debut that amply pays tribute to their idols while displaying a signature brand of doom all their own. Demon Lung have seemingly already mastered all of the elements that make for a classic doom record:  deep grooves, eerie songwriting sensibilities, and a healthy reliance on the “devil’s note”.

Of course, these three elements alone don’t alone make for a good doom album, and this is precisely where Demon Lung are ahead of the curve. Stylistically, the band picks up where their acclaimed EP Pareidolia left off, but the material presented is far more developed. Each chord, each chant, each drum hit has its place on The Hundredth Name, and the songwriting is so well executed that some of these tunes will seem eerily familiar upon first listen. Guitarist Phillip Burns has a knack for setting the mood in each song before breaking into a head bobbing groove, such as in ‘Eyes of Zamiel’, and his guitar work is often very Iommi-esque. Furthermore, moments such as the canyon-wide crawl towards the end of ‘Heathen Child’ are very reminiscent of the great Gaz Jennings, further proving that the man has done his fair share of studying the proper tomes of doom metal.

Also worth noting is, of course, vocalist Shanda Fredrick, whose haunting incantations float, nay, soar above the music and soak deep into the souls of those who dare listen. The album closes with the fittingly titled ‘Incantation (The Hundredth Name)‘, an 8-minute epic that truly is testament to how great Demon Lung already is, as it might be one of the most powerful doom songs written in recent years. With the legendary Cathedral now gone, it’s comforting knowing there’s a band like Demon Lung around to fill the gap and carry the torch into the next generation of doom metal. With such a strong debut, only time will tell whether or not The Hundredth Name is bound to become a classic doom record worthy of sharing a shelf with Master of RealityForest of Equilibrium, and Dopethrone, or if Demon Lung’s “classic” record is yet to come. Either way, keep an ear on Demon Lung.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87l042y1xs4&w=560]

Demon Lung – The Hundredth Name gets…

4.5/5

– AL

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