A few years ago I was fortunate to experience the solid slab of metal which is Beastwars in concert, and one of the support acts that night was Demons of Noon, who have now released their debut album. Given I had already seen them in concert and had enjoyed the first single from the album (“Sphere of Peace”), I was looking forward to the album, but now having listened to it I can quite safely say I am not going to be playing it again. The bottom end of bassist Jonathan Burgess and drummer, Joseph McElhinney lay down the foundation, and they are soon joined by guitarists Abraham Kunin and Scott Satherley with singers Aria Jones and Tamsyn Matchett adding a more ethereal and much higher tone over the top.

They say they are for fans of Blood Ceremony, Jex Thoth, Beastwars and also namedrop the likes of Shihad, Black Sabbath and Black Widow, but for me they are moving away from doom and much more solidly into sludge, a genre I have never really understood. Very heavy, and ponderously slow at times, I can get through that but the vocals in particular feel quite unrelated to what is happening underneath and there are too many times when one gets the impression the reason they are continually playing the same riff is because they are not sure where to go with it. One thing I did notice though, is often when I make comments such as the above, the album grates on me the more I listen to it, and this time around I discovered the more I listened to it the more I got out of it, so perhaps this is more to my liking of a particular genre than anything connected with the album itself. When they shift the tempo up, such as on “Coward”, then it definitely has more impact, but the vocals still do not work for me. Not for everyone, and certainly not for me, I will leave it to sludge and doom aficionados to make their own minds up on this one.

Rating: 6/10