Having only been formed in 2019 in the small city of Cerquilho, in the countryside of São Paulo, Presidente Judas has stood out quite a lot in Brazilian underground doom scene. In recent years we have been seeing a surge of female-fronted stoner doom adjacent bands such as Lucifer, Ruby the Hatchet (more psych-rock), Windhand, SubRosa and of course, Acid King. Presidente Judas takes all of this to another level, as they are helmed by Nathalia and Sara, making them a double female fronted stoner doom outfit. Ever since their formation, they have been able to create a unique identity and carve out somewhat of a niche in the Brazilian stoner doom scene.
Released in late September this year, their self-titled debut full-length turns out to be quite a good showing for a first release. Apart from its double female vocal, it is notable for its simple yet effective approach, good balance between tracks in Portuguese and in English and a gnarly and “fried” guitar tone, as any good stoner band should have.
The opening track “Velho Jack” starts off the album with a foot in the door, bringing hypnotic riffs, impactful vocals, a good solo and a hefty dose of groove right from the get go. Even with metal sung in Portuguese not being the norm even in Brazil, Presidente Judas manages to execute that quite well, bringing some flair into the composition. The rest of the album follows in a similar but not completely same-y line, with “Evil Woman” presenting a more prominent baseline and a good dynamic between screamed and sung vocals, “Labirinto da Morte” being a tad more aggressive and “Bruxax” specifically being able to really drive home a sinister atmosphere, complete with a very catchy chorus.
Something that is often found in stoner doom records is that they become just a distorted mess after a while of listening, but surprisingly, this one does not. It happens to be quite short as well, coming in at a bit less than 30 minutes, but this brevity does not really harm the album. In this almost half hour timespan the band is able to demonstrate quite a lot of versatility and variety, really imposing their style but without overstaying their welcome at all. In this streaming lead day and age where most people listen to only a few songs while on the go, this LP’s experience is not harmed by listening to the songs in a spare manner, but its order and sequencing is also quite well thought out, bringing a good balance of Portuguese and English tracks.
All in all, Presidente Judas’ homonymous album definitely deserves a listen, especially from those seeking some variety in the stoner doom sphere. Its small duration does benefit it but also leaves the listener curious for what’s next with the band. It is definitely worth a listen.
Presidente Judas is out now