Demon Lung – A Dracula (Candlelight)Thursday, 16th July 2015
An album loosely based on Juan López Moctezuma’s 1977 horror film, Alucarda in which two teenage orphan girls living in a Catholic convent unleash a demonic force and ultimately become possessed by Satan, Las Vegas female-fronted doom troupe Demon Lung appear to be further along than they were on 2013’s The Hundredth Name. Maybe because they have a loose concept in which to work, or, the riffs are more fitting for Shanda Fredrick’s vocals, but regardless, A Dracula is a fuller, and above all else, more succinct album than its predecessor.
Fredrick, as should be the case, is the deciding factor when it comes to Demon Lung. She plays more of a complementary role sometimes, allowing for her mysterious howl to settle in. She proves to have ample cache across a number like “Behold, the Daughter,” where the band’s doom choices crawl along with a natural scale of forbearance. In other spots, like “I Am Haunted” and “Deny the Savior,” she’s a bit more in focus, putting her largely one-dimensional clean spiel to work. There’s not a lot to hum along to when it comes to Fredrick’s vocals, to be frank. She’s basically just dusting over the proto Sabbath/Cathedral riffs, which given the context, is acceptable.
For what it’s worth, Demon Lung have at least placed themselves into the discussion for the sludge/doom bands with a ripe occult bent. Indeed the concept of A Dracula may not be as overt as the dealings of Lucifer and the like, but the point is made via the band’s traditional, yet hardly vintage approach.