Lord of the Lost are no strangers to creating epic conceptual albums and with Judas, their 7th album, stretching to an epic 104 minutes – this is a serious slab of choral filled magnificence. And make no mistake, the enormity of Judas is of biblical proportions (excuse the pun). With its massive sweeping waves of gothic darkness dancing freely throughout the storytelling of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus, the album creates a visual presence in ones mind’s eye of epic cinematic proportions. Judas benefits greatly when you switch off all outside distractions and allow yourself to become completely absorbed by its genius storytelling. The album is incredibly well crafted with some outstanding artistry right from the start with the haunting eastern vocal leading into Chris Harms commanding voice. Priest sets the scene perfectly as it lures you innocently into the Du Hast-like chant, Priest! Priest! The song continues to build like a wave in the distance but as it surges towards you, you have no idea what is about to wash over. The titanic chorus will have you raising your hands to the heavens as Lord of the Lost flood into your very soul.
For They Know Not What They Do will happily satisfy any fan of Ghost. Father forgive them echoes throughout as the machine gun rhythmic drums raise the intensity. Your Star Has Led You Astray opens with a much stronger industrial vibe, and by this point, you will gladly see Judas through to the very end. All 104 minutes successfully combine the essence of bands such as Deathstars, Rammstein & The Mission. Equally though I feel that In The Field of Blood would sit comfortably on any Creeper album, such is the diversity here within Judas.
Death is just a kiss away is exemplary gothic romanticism, with Chris Harms hypnotic deep silky voice caressing and enticing the listener all the way through to the organ-filled choral ending. Things quickly snap back into action with the powerful The Heart is a Traitor, while The Death of All Colours leads perfectly into the second half of Judas.
The multi-layered production of Judas is breathtaking and is one of those albums that with each fresh listen you hear something different buried in the mix. It never puts a note out of place and the cohesion is immaculate.
Lord of the Lost fans will gladly bury themselves deep into the sheer grandeur of this work. Its theatrical contrast from Damnation to Salvation is an incredibly powerful composition that begins with the villainy of a traitor. Those new to the band may struggle with the depth of content, but if you stick with it and allow Judas to consume you in ways that only it can, the repayment is being entranced in a gothic masterpiece.
Words by Raz White