Demonic Death Judge: Skygods

Sludge grooves direct from the steamy Finnish swamplands

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Demonic Death Judge are from Finland, but sound like they should be playing in a battered old shed next to a swamp in New Orleans. This is pretty straight- down-the-middle sludge metal with screeching vocals, and the odd mellower Acid Bath-esque moment creeping in for some much-needed diversity.

It’s pretty good. They’re not going to be troubling the likes of Rwake or Electric Wizard any time soon, but they’re steadily making their way, riff after riff. The album loses momentum, and they don’t have the songwriting nous yet to make repetition hypnotic like the best sludge bands do, but when they get it right, it’s good.

They probably make more sense live, but Demonic Death Judge are on the right path. They’re not breaking the mould, but Skygods offers plenty of promise to come.