29 Nov 2021 - Simon
Thrash/Metal/Hardcore | Release date: 05 Nov 2021
A unique blend of chaotic styles of metal music fused with the stylings and themes of old school westerns and horror fiction presented by Las Vegas-outfit SpiritWorld
Imagine if you will, a horse drawn wagon, making its way across the great plains of the Mid-West of America. Now, imagine that same wagon being driven by a demonic gunslinger approaching a town at the outskirts of civilisation, its citizens are outlaws and purveyors of depravity, the gunslinger is on his way to cause havoc and mayhem in this town of Hades. If you can imagine all of that, then the soundtrack to this apocalyptical mayhem would be supplied by Las Vegas natives SpiritWorld and their debut album Pagan Rhythms.
The brainchild of Stu Folsom who came up with the grand idea of combining his love of thrash, old school death metal and hardcore with western imagery and horror fiction, Death-Western if you will. The album starts as it means to go on with the title track “Pagan Rhythms” with its quite lengthy sampled gospel passage before exploding into a surprisingly groovy smash up of thrashy metal riffing doing the worlds most unhinged line dance on top of a solid base of hardcore stylings. Think of Volbeat style rock and roll heard through the lens of Slayer and you won’t be far off.
The album never deviates very far from this early template although there are quite a few additional flourishes dusted throughout it’s run time. The end section of “The Demons Storm” with a demonic sounding country guitar twang and the brutal uncompromising intro to “Unholy Passages” spring to mind.
The whole album is a fleet 31 minutes in length and so does not outstay its welcome, it turns up, spits in the spittoon, cheats at cards, and lays waste to the entire damned town. Not a moment is spent on sounds which do not contribute to the overall feel of the album, the production is suitably rough and ready which works in its favour as it only adds to the atmosphere.
This is a brilliant album which wears its dark and bloody heart on its sleeve. Its condensed run time focuses the mind on the maelstrom of music unfolding in your ears. The whole thing is far bouncier and groovier than I was expecting which helps further its crossover appeal. I can see this album gaining a lot of fans, heck, it has made one out of me, it’s really rather splendid.