Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It would be presumptuous and awfully unfair to suppose that Bay Area band Judgement Day will never get the chance to play at Carnegie or Royal Albert Hall. It doesn't mean that they shouldn't or couldn't play at either of these storied, orchestral music houses though. The ways in which homes of philharmonic orchestras are built take the utmost care in making sure that all of the surfaces and contours of the constructions are suited to space and having sounds bounce off of them in a friendly manner. They're planned to take in the serene and often explosive arrangements of composers and present them to fancy patrons who spent a lot of money to be there to hear the works of men who have been dead forever. Judgement Day would get those fine-dining, expensive wine-drinking crowds all riled up. Most would head home to soak their dress shirts and ties to try and remove all of the vino spit out in surprise once the music started playing. It seems as if it would be the band's favorite reaction - disbelief that gives way to entrancement. They would bounce their music off those walls hard enough to crack the marble and to shake the foundation. They would bring sounds heard more often at a Slayer concert at the Warfield than from sonata penned by Beethoven. You can feel Judgement Day songs striking you in the gut, rattling your cage with double kick drum assaults and panicked rhythms make you feel as if you're this close to reaking out into a hives-induced crescendo. Listening to "Peacocks/Pink Monsters" is one of the only times I can remember ever feeling as that it was tragic that those behind the "Dancing With Wolves" and "The Last of the Mohicans" scores left so much potential head-banging out of the arrangements. Judgement Day make it seem criminal that we've only been given a certain number of layers to most songs when they're able to stir in additional dimensions to their music, with their rousing apocalyptic string metal, making it feel as if we're getting our feet dipped into the boiling waters of hell while the other 99-percent of us is being treated to some higher order culture, cast in glorious white light. It's one beautiful thrash.