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Demonic Death Judge - Skygods - 90%

Witchfvcker, April 24th, 2014

Demonic Death Judge are a sludge metal band from Finland. They play very heavy music with a touch of melody and a whole lot of groove. They are here to kick your ass. Let us see if they succeed.

Skygods kicks straight into business, with a pulsating bassline complemented by some downright vicious snarls and raspy wails, standard sludgy fare. Then the guitars kick in, carving through like a psychedelic razorblade. Instead of the dirty and raw constraints that could be considered genre-trappings, Demonic Death Judge swear to catchy hooks and a lot of groovy riffs, like a somewhat slower Church Of Misery. Hailing from a black metal background, they also carry a certain cold atmosphere throughout, and in between the occasional jammy freakout.

As far as sludge goes, this might be the most accessible album I've ever encountered. Don't let that scare you away, the dynamic of gargantuan walls of sound interspersed with trippy solos and mellow bridges are a brilliant combination. Skygods is only melodic in the sense that it sees a band flawlessly branching out of their comfort zone, and quite possibly smoking vast amounts of dope on their way. It’s a varied and focused effort that brings you to your knees while lulling you into false comfort, only to cave your skull in over and over again.

The scope of Skygods is, bluntly said, enormous, with bone-smashing bass-lines, mellow acoustics, spaced out drones, epic crescendos, and flat out angry Sludge. Combining the best of bands like Ufomammut, Weedeater, and Yob, Demonic Death Judge are growing out of the grimy boots they started in. Skygods is, without doubt, one of the finest doom albums of 2012, and you should make haste to hear it.


Written for The Metal Observer