Friday, January 27, 2012

Destroy Judas: Wake (2011)


I may as well talk about another post-doom album today. I first learned of Destroy Judas when they appeared on a list by MaxR. Their album Wake is currently available for a pay-what-you-want download on their Bandcamp.

The Isis influence on this band is immense. In various places, they incorporate seagull and ocean sounds. Three out of the four songs start out with an Isis-esque clean guitar melody, which is later worked into the rest of the song. There's also a lot of the tempo and volume dynamic worked into the music. But even given all those similarities, to call them merely an Isis ripoff would be a mistake.

Firstly, they're just plain doomier than Isis. Secondly, they draw from many more influences. There's a strong death metal bent in the vocal style. Post-black shows itself in "To the Sea". The last part of the title track bears more resemblance to A Storm of Light. Moreover, they're not afraid to write parts of their songs that are simply catchy, some accessible points to latch onto the music. Chief among those is the repeated mantra "Tomorrow never comes" on "Seek the End". But even with those catchy parts, they don't lose sight of the point of post-metal, which is to make a complete album experience that takes you on a journey. Closer "Drown" satisfyingly caps a cohesive whole.

It's an excellent release, except for one thing. It seems to have been mastered by someone with serious hearing damage. It's generally not over-loud, although it does break up at some points. The big problem is that the sound is biased to the right, which is incredibly annoying if you're listening on headphones. In particular, the heavier parts are shifted toward the right, while some of the higher ranges may be more to the left or equally balanced, I'm not sure which (the heavier parts in one ear made that hard to judge). At first, I thought it was me, but after turning my headphones around, and listening to other recordings, I confirmed it.

The Verdict: Destroy Judas is one band to watch out for, as their talent on Wake is undeniable. But they need a new sound guy. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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