Demonic Death Judge – ‘Seaweed’.
Cover photo credit – Simo P. J. Ulvi.
Demonic Death Judge. What to say about a band with such a name and such a back catalogue. DDJ have been steadily and in the fashion of Stoner Rock and Metal, slowly but surely and in the most gratuitous way possible plodding along and refining their craft.
The veterans have taken their Doom encrusted and ever so slightly Black Metal vocally inclined Stoner Rock gloom and Stoner Metal riffs forward to culminate at the latest check point in their Seaweed release. At this stage it was realised that their sound certainly wasn’t broken enough for it to change but indeed required the taut strengthening it has now undergone.
The first noticeable trait of this album is the track length. Your first thought upon seeing those numbers and then hearing the slow and ironically satisfying monotony of the thudding riff, is that you are going to be here for a while.
The opening riff on ‘Heavy Chase’ in conjunction with the subdued guitar leads and off balance vocals makes for further thudding rhythms that require both your ears and similarly gratuitous volume. You can call this band Stoner or Sludge, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the band’s applicability across the world groove and distorted Rock and Metal however.
You are not hit with anything ground breaking or new but once again, if it isn’t broke… why fix it?
‘Seaweed’ has the all important job of acting as the title track. The eponymous spearhead of this record unlike its predecessors takes its time before fully giving itself to this Finnish Sludge. Now of course when it does, you begin to feel more at home and have your ears pricked by the contrasting (again) subdued melodic guitar lines.
‘Cavity’ provides a welcome reprieve from the ongoing nature of the release with the band opting for a instrumental number, pushing further the more musically diverse direction they have been slowly but surely heading for. DDJ’s formula isn’t broken and they aren’t trying to fix it but they are still teasing us and ultimately themselves.
There is a looming love of gloom and groove from this point on on Seaweed and I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t take away some of the intensity accumulated thus far, but if you’d rather some of the aforementioned variety, then you will be far more at home.
‘Pure Cold’ is the longest and worth the long wait in it’s heavier and darker sound in comparison to the above before the ominous gloom of ‘Saturnday’. Describing this band as “gloomy” repeatedly may seem lazy but in truth this is the truth. The band embody this haze into their sound and it urges the riffs to hit home harder as a result.
Vocally speaking the more traditional Metal approach taken instead of the half shouted techniques of the likes of Black Tusk or the more melodic drone of the likes of Red Fang, helps to compensate for the more refined sound.
With Seaweed you have exactly what you need in the coarse vocals and guitars that flirt with enough melody that their accompanying rhythms and riffs dominate. The band also carry such a level of convulsion inducing groove that any live show you would be lucky enough to witness would leave your neck aching, ears ringing and facial muscles well and truly stuck in a sheer look of satisfaction.
Find the band below:
- For updates, head to Facebook and Instagram.
- For the bands music head to bandcamp.
- The band are currently signed to Suicide Records who can be found on Facebook, Instagram and their Official Website.