With my hangover mostly napped and eaten away I guess it’s time for me to drag my ass out of bed and bring you a steaming mug of sludgy goodness.
There has to be something in the water (or weed) over in Europe. I really don’t know how else to explain the absolutely staggering amount of excellent sludge and stoner bands that come from across the ocean. Demonic Death Judge are no exception to this rule. Calling Finland home, a fact that gets them bonus points right from the start, Demonic Death Judge bring an excellent flavor of sludge, stoner and hints of doom.
What highlights Demonic Death Judge for me is the excellent songwriting in combination with some more grandeur overtones. On the sludge-scale-of-heavy they don’t rank all that high, opting for an emphasis on the songs, rather than using sound to apply a blunt force trauma to your head. Basically a poster child for what well done sludge should be, Demonic Death Judge’s second full length, “The Descent”, is a solid 8 track trek into oblivion.
The pace crawls like liquified bong resin dripping down the bowl, while the guitars have hit the excellent middle ground combination of crunch and distortion. The solo’s are actually much cleaner than the songs themselves, the bluesy flavour cutting a swathe through the otherwise impermeable blanket of fuzz. At points the tone changes to an almost traditional stoner vibe, the haze being lifted long enough to allow a little ambiance in. But only to drop the fuzz hammer once again and get your head back in the constant state of bang.
All of these elements are shown at their best on the albums 14 minute epic, “The Descent”. The crushing waves of heaviness collide with smoother blues and stoner vibes, the end result being some deep and damn tasty grooves. Add in the suitable evil sounding vocals to the already potent mix and you’ve got the recipe for a sludge classic. With the entire album clocking in at just around an hour, it’s a substantial journey, but that’s the way sludge should be. Deep, dark, drawn out and chock full of groove.
All three of Demonic Death Judge’s albums are up on Bandcamp, with “The Descent” available for 8 Euro’s (Read: $10), a bit on the high side compared to what is usually featured, but more than worth it for sludge this classic.