The prequel to I, Frankenstein and Eee, Wolfman!
dB Rating: 8/10
Release Date: June 16th, 2015
Despite the title, Juan López Moctezuma’s 1977 film Alucarda (which is “A Dracula” backward get it?) doesn’t actually have anything to do with vampires—it’s a surrealist flick about the orphaned lesbian daughter of Satan falling in love, losing her love, resurrecting her love and burning down a convent. Because why not?
On stage, Demon Lung singer Shanda Fredrick projects a haunting presence, so it tracks that she’d be the right person to voice the story of A Dracula, their conceptual piece about said film. Doom metal provides the perfect medium for psychologically-based horror stories like this one—it helps when you can understand the lyrics. Demon Lung handle it with surprising nuance, especially considering they hail from Las Vegas, a locale not known for its subtlety. They don’t go for any of the easy, cheesy spook show scare organ or other occult rock tricks. Instead, these songs build atmosphere the old-fashioned way—through Black Sabbath worship. Even though they lean towards the traditional side of the doom spectrum, though, they borrow some more complex rhythmic approaches from bands like High on Fire and Kylesa, giving tunes like “I Am Haunted” and “Raped by the Serpent” an exotic feel.
It’s the creepy, insistent vibe that makes the whole thing work. Like a lot of doom tracts, it’s not an immediate album; it takes a few listens to really possess you. Once it does, however, you’ll want to return to Alucarda’s embrace often.
— Jeff Treppel
Review originally printed in the August 2015 issue (#130).