As a statement of doom intent, Binding Of The Witch’s pitiless five-minute intro takes some beating. Monumentally powerful and infused with an irresistible sense of mystical portent, this is as heavy as heavy gets and yet, when Shanda Fredrick’s voice finally emerges from the claustrophobic fog, Demon Lung reveal themselves to be much more than slaves to the slow-motion grind.
A confident debut by anyone’s standards, The Hundredth Name feels like a deft weaving together of doom metal’s most epic and emotionally devastating moments, with everything from the stately clangour of early Candlemass through to the droning grooves of Cathedral’s Endtyme reimagined and given fresh impetus.
Shanda is the band’s secret weapon – her haunting proclamations weigh heavy on her comrades’ steamroller delivery and enshrouds every despondent melody with a haze of hidden meanings. Demon Lung exhibit no enthusiasm for courting the hipster contingent: deep within the sledgehammer Sabbath-isms of Eyes Of Zamiel, heavy metal is alive and well and deliciously doomed.