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Demon Lung : A Dracula

Demon Lung's sophomore delivers a surprisingly substantial slab of Epic Occult Doom.

Demon Lung's sophomore effort 'A Dracula' is a surprisingly substantial affirmation of their naturally rising profile within the American Doom scene. Coming on the heels of 2013's turgid debut 'The Hundredth Name', Demon Lung has issued a vital and compelling tome of Epic Doom.

Blasting their way out of beautiful and sunny Las Vegas (well maybe not beautiful, so much as bleak and tenebrific to the soul) Demon Lung have found their niche in a Trad/Epic Doom style reminiscent of Candlemass, complete with the theatricality of that band and their acolytes, as well as a more than passing nod to Occult-Rock pioneers Coven.

'A Dracula' is proximately based upon the late '70s Mexican cult horror film 'Alucarda'. 'Alucarda' is the tale of two orphaned teen aged girls living in a convent. Cursed by Gypsies, they become possessed by the Devil... Bloody havoc and mild lesbianism ensue! It's a B-movie classic that, if you enjoy such fare, you should seek out. Demon Lung singer Shanda Fredrick is such a fan, as she has crafted a capable lyrical narrative out of the love/obsession story between the girls: Alucarda, Justine, and the third leg on this stool of evil: Satan.

Being that there are no vampires in either the movie or the inspired record, I don't get the title 'A Dracula'. Yes I can see that with a little rearranging of the letters in 'Alucarda' one can easily come up with 'A Dracula', but Dracula implies a specific idea that this grim apologue doesn't touch upon. It might be that Demon Lung didn't want their record to be confused with the band Alucarda, and that perhaps they should have used the American released version of the film title 'Sisters of Satan': although that's a bit hokey, it's a little more fitting to the subject than Bram Stoker's iconic anti-hero. (Shanda Fredrick if you are reading this please feel free to contact me with a clarification).

The album opens with a dark acoustic instrumental that segues into the raging, double-kick driven 'Behold, the Daughter' with its potent riffs and ethereal vocals, it sets the tone for the savagery that follows. Being a life-long Black Sabbath fan I found much to delight in with the track 'Gypsy Curse' and its 'Dehumanizer'-era rhythm guitar work, and quick tempo change in the vein of the first great Heavy Metal song: 'Black Sabbath'.

The peak of the fictive is 'Mark of the Jubilee' which sets up the violent climax of the album: 'Raped by the Serpent'. The two songs are separated by a gloomy instrumental featuring a David Gilmour-style slide guitar line that highlights the drama of the finale. Slide guitar is practically unheard of within the realm of Doom, but it sits nicely among the down-tuned riffs, occasional Hammond organ, and ominous vocals awash with reverb, that Demon Lung employ in the dark service of their nefarious master: Doom!

I very much enjoy 'A Dracula' and am anticipating future greatness for Demon Lung. This is a CD that should proudly be ensconced within the collection of any self-respecting Doom fanatic, I know it will live in the belly of my beast for many moons to come.

Editor's note: In response, we received the following clarification, with thanks to Shanda for replying in detail:

"Now, on to the title… I think there are a lot of similarities between the story of Alucarda and Dracula. They are both demonic characters, who lust for blood, death and destruction. Also, they are both dealing with the conflict of being in love, as well as needing to be loved and accepted as they are. I know the name Dracula has become synonymous with vampire, but Dracula is so much more than just a vampire and I think that’s what we wanted to touch on. A Dracula is a person who embraces all aspects of their personality, light and dark.

Also, Alucarda is based on one of the first vampire stories ever written, Carmilla".

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Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Rursumque Alucarda
2. Behold, The Daughter
3. I Am Haunted
4. Gypsy Curse
5. Deny The Savior
6. Mark Of The Jubilee
7. Rursumque Alucarda
8. Raped By The Serpent

Duration : Approx. 45 minutes

Visit the Demon Lung bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-08-23 by Kevin Baird
Aesthetic Death
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