With their eighth full-length album, nomadic sludge death-drone duo Jucifer channels the soul/soil of a place called Volgograd into an hour and seventeen minutes of music as storied and powerful as the land and people to which they have dedicated this latest offering. Entitled за волгой для нас земли нет ("There Is No Land Beyond the Volga," a quote from a Russian soldier in the battle of Stalingrad), Jucifer's 2013 concept album tells the history of Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) from the perspective of its people, its soldiers, its children and the very land itself.
And the music? Sonic S&M for the modern, corroded soul; untouchable epithets of beauty; grim odes to all that's heavy – some of the best songwriting to emerge in modern extreme/heavy music today. There's Sleep, there's the Melvins, and there's Jucifer. It's that simple and strong. A hot oil bath of riff after vicious riff. Massive, distortion-soaked stoner sludge Sabbath worship – down-tuned, skin-curdling, infectious, headbanging riffs beaten into submission by the unmistakable, power-hungry rhythm of Lucifer's custom hard-hitting kit.
A sludge-rock landscape imbued with the scars this history left on the band's psyche, crusted with the yellow dust stirred by their feet as they walked Volgograd's hallowed ground on a hot hungover post-show afternoon; a sonic land populated by harmonies of the damned; fuzzed-out blacktop solos and a turning of the screw as slow and painful as the Russian winters these arcane volume addicts are singing about.