2017 : Urban Yeti
Format : Digital
There’s a thread that runs through the latest from the Pennsylvania-based Dreadlords, and if you tug hard enough for the stitches to unravel it will lead you straight to Samhain. Not the Gaelic high holiday that became the toned-down version that we now call Halloween, but the Gothic Blues band lead by post-Misfits/pre-Danzig Glenn Danzig. Not that the Dreadlords are some watered-down tribute band, but singer Jack Gannon could sure as hell be his bastard son.
As you, dear reader, may or may not be aware, Dreadlords consists of the core members of TOMB. “Reapers” is the digital follow-up to 2014’s “Death Angel” LP on TG Cowgill’s Not Just Religious Music. The Path that leads Left is treacherous and filled with things that feast on fear, but the rewards are many and our heroes stray not. We’ll find them at the crossroads, preaching the Blues as our forefather Robert Johnson once did before.
The album kicks is filled with the backwoods incantations I’ve come to know and love about the trio: the above mentioned Gannon’s Bluesy harmonies, the slightly off-kilter strings of B. Zimimay and the VooDoo percussion of Samantha Viola. The arcane and lusty hymne à l’amour “Daughter of the Night”, or the ripper “Black As Hell”, which for the life of me sounds like a sharpening of a scythe in the background. Not that the band is any stranger to using implements of the occult to conjure sound and mood. Listening to anything these three are involved in is more ritual than relaxation.
Just a read through the track titles gives you an idea of the kind of ride you’re in for: the massive creep-out of “Blessed”, or one of my personal favorites “White Sabbath”, which documents a backwoods love affair with a witch from first kiss to burial. Then there’s uber-Danzig wail of “Across the River”, the inverted Bible school blasphemy sing-a-long of “A Sea Won’t Hold Me Back” or the down and dirty Blues of “War”.
The album closes with the ripper “Heavens Afire”, the macabre shovel-in-the-ground field recordings of “Up From the Grave”, which sounds like some bizarre, Appalachian porch jam. And finally closing with the stomper of a title track “Reapers”.
It bears repeating, but at it’s blackened heart this is a Blues album…. but, like everything these folks lay hands on, things are a bit askew. And for me, fair children, that’s the attraction. It’s a unseen bonfire scent through a cloak of trees, a wrong turn up a bad road on a stormy night, a scream that cuts the dark, it’s hillbilly dread.
The album officially drops on April 28th. Get into it.