SKULL380

JUDECCA, Eternal Rest  (1992, demo)

The skull:
I don’t see a bell, but they got the book and candle part down. This demo cover is something we’re starting to notice as a fairly frequent occurrence here at BDS, taking some old master’s painting, or a detail of it, and slapping it onto your tape or album, hoping nobody notices. It’s a common Big Dumb Skull cover motif subset; welcome to the club, Judecca! (Other examples: Skull327, Skull265, Skull241) I dig how Judecca’s logo manages to be fat, blocky AND drippy. You don’t see the fat/blocky/drippy combo much.

The music:
Back in the day you couldn’t open your mail without a Judecca flyer falling out. That was mostly in the period when the band was being distributed and released by Wild Rags Records, whose mail flyering was second-to-none. I well remember Judecca’s name from those days, but apparently aggressive flyering doesn’t always work, because I still hadn’t heard them until today. Surprisingly, I wasn’t able to find their Eternal Rest demo anywhere, but maybe I didn’t scour the Internet quite hard enough. Really, though, the next year’s demo, 1993’s Scenes of an Obscure Death, can’t be THAT different from Eternal Rest, can it? Listening to Scenes…, and given its affiliation with Wild Rags, I’m not surprised this sounds like it was recorded in a damp basement with cheap knock-off equipment on a boombox. Stylistically it’s somewhere in the area of long-forgotten NYC band Sorrow, has a Six Feet Under sort of simplicity, and a whiff of early Death/Mantas too. It’s marginally interesting in spots, like the charmingly clunky break in “Unspeakable Acts,” its wailing sustained guitar note providing water in an oasis of dull riffs, dull rhythms and standard-issue death vox that are very much the epitome of second rate death metal demo vocals circa 1993. But those little moments are just the reactions of ears desperate for something along the lines of early Asphyx and not getting it (by that I mean Judecca’s component parts seem to promise that sort of sound, yet they never deliver it). The fan in me that loves Nuclear Death, Blasphemy and Hellwitch keeps hoping to uncover some obscure Wild Rags release that I can sit alongside those gems, but it isn’t gonna be Judecca.
— Friar Wagner

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