Released: 2015, Candlelight Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Today’s crop of occult rock bands mainly consists of hipster friendly, Satanic pastiches of a potentially excellent genre. Debut album, The Hundreth Name, proved to many that Demon Lung could well be Nevada’s representatives of this excellence, but some doom-skeptics weren’t so sure. Two years later Demon Lung have surely grown, and for their new album they have a new muse; A Dracula draws its conceptual story from 1977 Mexican horror flick Alucarda, an anguished and amourous tale of a nun coaxed over to the dark side by Satan’s daughter, a fiend whom she is smitten with.
To go along with such a ambition, Demon Lung draw this concept out with cinematic arrangements and instrumentation, sharing this tale through the emotions of dissonant riffs and foreboding melodies in an attempt to capture the characters of the film with notes and bars. This is mostly a success thanks to vocalist Shanda Frederick whose voices leer over the band like a conductor, pulling and weaving the riffs through different ambient planes. Her voice is husky, mysterious and androgynous, channelling her lyrics in a way which hypnotises, enthrals, and to me, is this album’s best feature.
For an album with such good bone structure, it’s a disappointment that there is a distinct lack of highlight moments or tracks which are likely to draw anyone back. It’s a journey for sure, but once it is over it feels very much over. It isn’t a slow burner, for the tracks come fast and on point, yet it will never be a case of love-at-first-listen here either. This LP very much has its place as a record that once enjoyed, is forgotten about and seldom remembered.
I won’t say this record outshines the dated, lesbian vampire movie it is based around, but it makes a modern accompaniment sure to fulfill many metal/horror geek’s fantasies with its satanic references and six string Sabbath-isms. It is rich and delicate, crushing and then ethereal on levels which the film fell short on, yet most certainly lacks the magic that some occult rock gems such as Ghost’s debut, or the two full-lengths from sorely missed Dutch group The Devil’s Blood.
By Jarod Lawley