Review by Paul Brown
In the tranquil confines of Cerquilho, nestled within São Paulo’s countryside, emerged the distinct resonance of Presidente Judas, a band etching its mark within Brazil’s underground doom scene. Formed in 2019, this ensemble swiftly captured attention amidst the burgeoning wave of female-fronted stoner doom adjacent acts like Lucifer, Windhand, and Acid King. What sets Presidente Judas apart lies in their dual female vocalists, Nathalia and Sara, a captivating force steering this stoner doom outfit toward a unique musical niche.
Their self-titled debut, unleashed late in September, serves as a commendable inaugural offering. Beyond its dual female vocal prowess, the album boasts a simplicity that wields a potent impact. It strikes a delicate equilibrium between tracks delivered in Portuguese and English, accompanied by a raw and intoxicating guitar tone – a hallmark of any formidable stoner band.
“Velho Jack,” the album’s opening salvo, thrusts listeners into a hypnotic realm with captivating riffs, commanding vocals, a searing solo, and an abundance of grooves. Despite the unconventional terrain of metal sung in Portuguese, Presidente Judas navigates this landscape adeptly, infusing their compositions with a distinct flair. The album unfurls in a cohesive yet diverse manner, with tracks like “Evil Woman,” showcasing a robust bassline and a compelling interplay between screamed and sung vocals. “Labirinto da Morte” exudes heightened aggression, while “Bruxax” masterfully cultivates a sinister ambience, underscored by an irresistibly catchy chorus.
A common pitfall in stoner doom records often lies in devolving into a cacophony of indistinguishable distortion. Yet, Presidente Judas defies this trope. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, brevity becomes their ally without compromising substance. Within this concise timeframe, the band flexes their versatility and artistry, asserting their signature style without overstaying their welcome. In an era dominated by fleeting streaming listens, the album’s coherence remains intact, whether savoured as individual tracks or experienced in its meticulously curated sequence, seamlessly interweaving Portuguese and English compositions.
Presidente Judas’ eponymous opus warrants attention, particularly from aficionados seeking a divergent soundscape within stoner doom’s domain. While its concise nature favours its impact, it tantalizingly leaves listeners yearning for more, eager to unravel the band’s forthcoming musical odyssey. Undoubtedly, it’s an experience that demands exploration.