Remember about 10 years back, when all those 70’s worshipping fuzz rock outfits were all the rage? Well, since then trends have shifted (to Dungeons & Dragons doom in pawn-shop hippie clothing), and most of those bands that still sound straight outta the 70’s seem to be really into the stuff that they play. Now, judging—pun not intended!—by their band photo, I’m not sure sure any of these kids were even born in the 80’s, much less the 70’s… but their hearts are definitely in the right place.
Can I just say this album title is all kinds of awesome? The Judge rips through nine tracks in just under 45 minutes on their second Ripple Music release. “Empty Halls” kicks things off with some vintage Pentagram worship, with perhaps a bit of Mothership thrown in for good measure. The tones sound straight outta the 70’s, though! The bluesy doom stomp of “From the Mountain” sounds a bit like Witchcraft, albeit with better vocals, while “Strange Ways” is a pretty decent slice of Led Zep worship.
“Islands” throws a wrench into the proceedings, a seven-minute power ballad with a meandering verse that turns into a bluesy, riff-driven chorus. It’s not bad, but it runs on a little too long—this ain’t no “Stairway to Heaven.” “High Flyin’” also exceeds the seven-minute mark, although this one is more of a bluesier doomster, with a faint hint of harmonica in the background. The riff is as doomy as it gets, with a soaring, soulful vocals adding a little punch to the proceedings. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, at all!