JUDECCA - Awakened by an Eternal Death and Beyond (Dan's Crypt Records - CD 2013)
Many times I have said that I like the idea of re-releasing some old, long time unavailable albums or even better - compilations of old demos, EPs and whatever else you can find from the old days… Great thing is that the labels started to exhume many less known or sometimes even totally unknown bands, so this way these re-issues give them kind of a second life. Hmm, maybe not always everything from the past is utterly excellent and perfect, not everything can be called cult and classic, some bands were more mediocre, but you know… we don’t have to buy everything. And if we do, then such compilations quickly become a fine lesson in the history of death metal. I say death metal, because this genre gets more attention and travels into the past more than any other around these days. Here is another such piece of ancient death metal, a compilation, which will introduce you to American band called Judecca. You must admit that this Florida based band, active between 1991-96 has never been as known as some other famous Floridian acts… “Awakened by an Eternal Death and Beyond” compiles almost all – if not all? – their recordings, which were "Scenes of an Obscure Death" demo (1993), "Awakened by the Stench of the Dead" EP (1993), "Beyond, What the Eyes Can't See..." album (1996) and finally "Eternal Rest" demo (1992). I must admit that I only briefly knew the full length album of Judecca before, I think I have listened to it several times in the past, but I remembered completely nothing from it, so definitely “Awakened by an Eternal Death and Beyond” seemed to be a lesson I needed to get to know Judecca. Am I now happy with the music of this old band? Well, as I mentioned there were some killer and more mediocre bands back in the past and for me Judecca was the latter, really. I am not saying that they were bad, oh no… they were OK, but when I listen to this compilation I truly have a feeling that their death metal was nothing exceptional, but just typical and average… Or let’s just say that they had better and worse recordings in their short discography.
Definitely the best thing, which Judecca has recorded was their full length album "Beyond, What the Eyes Can't See...". One of the main reasons for that is the fact that it has the best production from all their recordings. Really, most of Judecca stuff did not sound the best and that was taking away a lot of goodness from them. The album also has pretty rough and truly underground production, it is nothing even close to the clear and powerful Floridian productions, which you can find in other, more popular, bands… It is nothing similar to Morrisound for example… So, in that case it may lack that powerful, massive sound, which would nail you to the ground, but as it is, it sounds fine for me anyway. I am not gonna complain much about it here. The album is pretty short, with barely 25 minutes on the clock and nine songs in total, so each is like a quick punch in the face. There are some very good tracks here, and definitely Judecca was getting better and better, when comparing material from the album to their demos. Better arrangements, more brutal and aggressive stuff, often faster and more technical… take such “The Undead” for example, what a fine opener! But the whole album is very solid and I definitely like it. And if you like some sick stuff, then surely such lyrics as “The Stench of an Undouched Cunt” will be perfect for all you anal sex lovers hehe!
Sadly, not all stuff, which Judecca recorded was so good… Take such "Scenes of an Obscure Death" demo for example. Not only it is a bad sounding stuff, but it is so deprived of the powerful energy… damn! Death metal riffs should crush you, be damn heavy and brutal, while in case of this demo it is just completely flat. The drums are like a rehearsal, guitars have no power and brutality… The material on this demo is just mediocre, to be honest, it is very simple, not to say it is just primitive, archaic, basic death metal… Sure, some such old demos grew old really well, but this is not something what I can say about "Scenes of an Obscure Death". Not a bad demo, but not one, which I would really love. Probably the song called “Evil Born” is the best one here, also “Necrosis”, with some nice “Leprosy” era Death like riffs, but quality wise far away from the legends. Listen to such songs like “Left to Die” (oh, these Neanderthal riffs, simple drums and truly awful guitar solo!!!! Primitive to the bone!) and tell me if they really can blow you away. I doubt that. Mediocre, nothing more than that.
Luckily “Awakened by the Stench of the Dead” EP is much better, it is really cool single, with not bad sounding three songs. I like “The Black Blood of Christ” probably the most, as it is so different to the other songs, with kind of sorrowful touch in it and lots of acoustic guitar parts thrown within the whole song structure. On this EP you’ll find also a new version of “Evil Born”, which obviously sounds even better than on the demo. And finally there’s also “Eternal Rest” demo, which was Judecca debut recording... Again, very raw and harsh sound, very archaic death metal, but I think I like this demo more than "Scenes of an Obscure Death", because it is faster and more intense, more relentless and the production is also more what I like... There are some fine songs here, for example listen to the title track – what a killer tune it is! And these keyboards… damn, that was something unusual for a Floridian death metal band!
So, this is everything what Judecca has recorded. As I mentioned already several times before, for me it was rather average death metal band, not one, which you could put in your top 50, but on the other hand they were good enough to be listened to and have such a tribute, which this compilation CD is. All in all, we love such lessons in death metal history, don’t we? I do, so I had a lot of joy, when listening to “Awakened by an Eternal Death and Beyond”. And even if it is rather mediocre band, then this compilation is still worthy to get, for example for the “Beyond, What the Eyes Can't See...”, which is really cool. The whole CD comes with 12 page booklet, sadly what I miss here is the band’s detailed history, maybe some words from the band members or an interview… maybe also some more old photos… you know, all the archive, which is essential on such compilation. But you will find here all the lyrics, which is also OK, I guess.
Final rate: 70/100