Usually when a band takes its name from another band’s song, they’re doomed to never be as good as the band they’ve gotten their name from. For all of their accomplishments, Godsmack will never be as good as Alice In Chains. At least not in my opinion. Doom metal band Demon Lung have taken their name from the Electric Wizard track of the same name. Those are certainly some big shoes to fill. And yet Demon Lung’s debut LP is so brilliant that they not only rival Electric Wizard but surpass them. I realize that’s hard to believe, but if you give their album a listen I have a feeling you’ll agree.
It surprised me to learn that Demon Lung hail from Las Vegas, Nevada. Certainly a city of sin, but not a city you’d ever think to associate doom metal with. Not until now anyway. After all, one associates Vegas with bright lights and glamour, not dark shadows and human sacrifice. OK, so I’m pretty sure Demon Lung aren’t sacrifice any humans — or animals, for that matter — but their music would be the perfect soundtrack if you were ever so inclined. (I hope you’re not though!) Just check out their album cover, which would seem to show a demon ready to sacrifice a baby. Likewise, their music is deep, dark stuff. Clearly, they’ve been influenced by Black Sabbath, particularly their first few records, guitarist Phillip Burns creating equally ominous vibes with lots of bleak notes and deadly riffs right out of the Tony Iommi handbook. They also pack a mean and invigorating bottom end. But the most surprising thing about Demon Lung is probably that they have a female singer. It doesn’t surprise me that a woman would front a doom metal band; I was surprised because I didn’t realize I was listening to a woman sing until I saw a photo of the band on Facebook. Now that I know that, I can hear parts where she sounds like a woman, but for the most part her voice sounds so creepy that it sounds neither male or female. It sounds like something downright otherworldly. Like a demon. And, yes, I suppose you could say that she must have a pair of demon lungs to sound as remarkable and soul-crushing as she does. She begins “Binding of the Witch” with a haunting, low tone, but soon does a 360 and hits some soul-piercing, incredible high notes. She pulls off similar feats throughout the album, her vocals rising above the sludgey music like a demon floating above an alter. Her vocals always fit the songs perfectly, lifting them up to a higher level than most of today’s doom metal bands. At times you’ll feel like you’re listening to a satanic witch conducting a black mass. I’d also like to point out that her malevolent singing sounds far more sinister than any death metal grunting or screaming. And I do enjoy death metal, but you can’t deny how emotive and malign her vocals are.
This is highly potent stuff on par with not only Sabbath but other masters of metal like Cathedral, Pentagram and Dopethrone. You can’t call yourself a self-respecting doom metal fan without adding this to your collection.