The bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada have spawned a dark debut in The Hundredth Name by doom quartet Demon Lung. (And I just have to say, if Demon Lung isn’t the coolest fucking band name you’ve heard in a coon’s age, I don’t know what is.) The Hundredth Name is a concept album based on the film Warlock. Specifically the story follows the Son of Satan reassembling the Devil’s Bible, thus allowing the name of God to be spoken in reverse, undoing creation. Heavy stuff.
Following traditional doom stylings, Demon Lung lays it on thick with monstrous tone and mighty riffs. Guitarist Phil Burns and bassist Patrick Warren play with such force you’d think they’d break the strings with every note. Drummer Jeremy Brenton is no less committed, keeping (slow) time and shaking foundations with a thunderous kick drum. Narrating the 53 magnificent minutes is Shanda Fredrick. Remember that name. Mixing Royal Thunder’s Mlny Parsonz and Kittie’s Morgan Lander (singing not screaming), Fredrick’s voice has depth and control that grabs the listener by the soul, locking your attention to her words.
Single ‘Eyes of Zamiel’ while not the lead track, explains the plot as well as giving the listener a feel for Demon Lung. One can hear and feel the doom in the slow, pounding riffs as well as the galloping ones. Producer Billy Anderson did an excellent job of ensuring the songs sound absolutely huge without resorting to pure volume. The results are songs that are ungodly heavy while exuding the warmth of the band’s desert locale.
‘Decade Twice Over a Day’ is a dynamic tune with bonecrushing weight, quieter moments and eerie Hammond organs. The half-whispered incantation on ‘Heathen Child’ is so convincing you’ll get shivers. It’s also one track in which the listener can hear the influence (intended or not) of Electric Wizard and sludge forefathers Crowbar in huge tone and riffs punctuated by guitar squeals.
Bookended by the longest and most epic tracks ‘Binding of the Witch’ and ‘Incantation (The Hundredth Name)’ this album is nothing short of devastating. The riffs have enough gravity to alter planetary orbits. Notes hang on the strings like so much congealed blood only to be thrown off when the band kicks into high(er) gear. Demon Lung wrap the listener in thick atmosphere like swirling smoke, transporting the experience beyond the superficial. For a band that’s only been around since 2011, Demon Lung have already mastered the arts of doom and gloom providing the listener with an escape from the ordinary.
Incredible tone, monster riffs, superb song writing and magnificent vocals should have Demon Lung and The Hundredth Name on the lips of doom fans and metal fans in general for a long time to come. To say The Hundredth Name is a modern doom masterpiece is nothing short of the truth.