In 2013, Swedish post-metal band Cult of Luna released Vertikal, a concept album heavily inspired by such asMetropolis to explore themes of industrial cities. That album has remained one of my favorite albums of all time, and I was eager to know what the band was going to do next. So when I heard that their next project was collaboration with American singer Julie Christmas, and would be a concept album about space exploration based on movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, I already knew that it was going to be a contender for album of the year.
Julie Christmas is famous for her work with Made Out of Babies and Battle of Mice, but has not sung on a full album since her solo album The Bad Wife in 2010. Her vocal style is fragile and haunting. It actually reminds me a lot of Adam Fisher (Fear Before the March of Flames/Orbs/All Human) who is one of my all time favorite singers. I knew her voiced matched with Cult of Luna would create a quite a unique experience. Needless to say, this album delivers.
“A Greater Call” starts off with a beautiful almost three-minute intro before a combination of Julie’s cleans and Cult of Luna’s trademark yells come into play, bringing the song into full effect. This is one of my favorite songs released by either project, as it is sludgy and mysterious at the same time. “Chevron” features industrial like fuzzy bass playing while Julie takes full control of the vocals. She shows the diversity of her voice, eventually going from high shrieks to beautiful melodies towards the end. “The Wreck of S.S. Needle” might be the darkest track on the album, reminding me a lot of some of the atmospheric sections of Vertikal.
And while the 8 to 9 minute songs were already epic, the album closes with a 13- minute and a 15-minute track that show the band and Julie’s ability to jam while simultaneously going back and forth from soft to heavy within the context of a song. Overall, it is an incredible album that is not for the faint of heart. When tackled, it is a rewarding experience.
– Jordan Salfity
Anaheim, Blues, Brazil, Brazilian, Cavalera, Concert, Conspiracy, Crossover, Gojira, Hard, Heavy, Hollywood, House, Industrial, Max, Metal, Nu, of, Photos, Pictures, Punk, Review, Rock, Sepultura, Soulfly, Thrash
2011, Aeonic, Album, Alcest, Beach, Black, Blood, Blue, Cafe, Death, Destroy, Doom, Dry, Gemini, Humor, Ides, Impulse, Jordan, Judas, Lake, Long, Metal, Music, of, Post, Review, Rock, Salfity, Sludge, Wake
My first experience with Destroy Judas was seeing them open for Alcest at The Blue Café. The dark underground atmosphere of the venue, where the fog from the machines was thick and still, worked perfectly for the band. They also made two lasting impressions with me that night. First, was the projector and movie screen, which showed images of birds flying, men walking along the beach, and feelings of loneliness that surrealistic movie director David Lynch would be proud of. The second impression the band gave off that lasted could be summarized by one word: Loud. This band was heavy, and gave off such confidence while playing.
I knew I needed to buy their album. 5 years later, that album still sticks with me. Wake is a classic album to me, and one of the best albums to be released by a band in the local Los Angeles/Orange County music scene. The album consists of just 4 songs, but clocks in at 49 minutes! The songs are linked by the sounds of waves and seagulls. These are sounds we are not used to hearing in doom metal albums. We are more used to hearing the sounds of the howling wind in dark and gloomy forests. However, Destroy Judas finds a way to make it work.
The title track is the perfect album opener, with a memorable intro and even more memorable outro. “To the Sea” is a much faster song, and the most punk track of the album. “Seek the End” is in between the speed of the previous two tracks, and is memorable for its tribal beats and repetition of the words “tomorrow never comes”. “Drown”, however, is my favorite song on the album. The band accomplishes so much repeating the same 3-note melody line over the same 3 chords for 14 minutes. I don’t know what other band could have pulled it off, but that’s the charm of Destroy Judas. They let their music go on for exactly how long it needs to, and find new ways to keep it interesting. Definitely check this one out!
– Jordan Salfity