Gothic Americana Music

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“Death Bell Blues” Dark Blues Music Video

dark blues musicThe Heathen Apostles have released a lyric video for Death Bell Blues, the first song on their new dark blues Born By Lightning EP, available now on Ratchet Blade Records. The band went in a dark blues direction for this release, casting the same dark spells they use on bluegrass and country onto the blues.

Heathen Apostles - Dark BluesThe video features footage shot long time collaborator Jorge Jaramillo, who in the past has worked with the Heathen Apostles by directing their Paint The Stars and Deadly Nightshade music videos. You can preview the Born By Lightning EP HERE.

“Whereas DUST TO DUST put the bluegrass of Bill Monroe into the woodshed with the gothic tendencies of Siouxsie & the Banshees, BORN BY LIGHTNING slinks and slithers to the beat of the blues, with plenty of shouts, hollers, and heavy slide guitar.”

“Born By Lightning” Gothic Blues Music Review

Gothic Blues musicWith the new Heathen Apostles EP Born By Lightning the gothic americana pendulum has swung towards the blues. The new release is inspired with melancholy and macabra – two foundational themes for the authentic form of gothic blues music. That echoes the style of the Heathen Apostles themselves.

The track list begins with the moderate tempoed blues track Death Bell Blues, which still focuses on dark country and southern gothic. Chosen One is much darker and scarier, it’s more to a post punk legacy that resonates well with blues themes. Born By Lightning has a thick, dense sound, interesting solutions in terms of the vocal line, and in general terms, this track is closer to the earlier tracks of the band. Devil Comes For All Of Us with the Heathen Apostles’  otherworldly conjuring and spells increase the horror in this story. Born By Lightning ends in a good way, with the driving and wild Scarecrow Blues.

The release turned out to be unified, integral in mood and sound at the same time. It is also impressive that Heathen Apostles undertook to investigate and dissect the gothic americana in each of its subgenre branches. Review by Viola Noir  for violanoir.com 8/10

“Born By Lightning” Gothic Blues EP Out Today

Born By Lightning - Gothic Blues

Born By Lightning, the follow-up to the fifth Heathen Apostles album Dust to Dust, contains 5 new songs that explore yet another facet of Gothic Americana: gothic blues. Available digitally everywhere today on Ratchet Blade Records, the EP presents tried-and-true musical territory with the title track and the jangly “Devil Comes For All Of Us”, while expanding on the Heathen sound with a trio of hard-hitting sonic lightning bolts: “Death Bell Blues”, “Chosen One”, and “Scarecrow Blues”.

Heathen Apostles gothic bluesWhereas Dust to Dust put the bluegrass of Bill Monroe into the woodshed with the gothic tendencies of Siouxsie & the Banshees, Born By Lightning slinks and slithers to the beat of the blues, with plenty of shouts, hollers, and heavy slide guitar. Singer Mather Louth explains: “My identity as a singer has always been deeply rooted in the blues, and Chopper and I knew for some time that we wanted to delve into the genre (since it is very much a part of American roots music and thus under the collective roof of Americana.) But being the Heathen Apostles, we had to bring things to the dark side, and I feel that Born By Lightning manages to marry our signature Gothic Americana sound with the blues in a way that feels natural.”

Guitarist/Producer Chopper Franklin adds: “We’ve been waiting to do a blues-based record for a while, and we’re very proud of Born By Lightning. I remember seeing The Gun Club back when they were playing small clubs in Los Angeles and that dark, haunting sound was what we were going for with Born By Lightning.”

Heathen Apostles - gothic bluesThe first single, “Death Bell Blues” (a tribute to band favorite, the legendary Howlin’ Wolf) opens the EP, inviting the listener to toe the murky waters of the Heathens’ blues as a narrative of the impending Apocalypse unfolds. “Chosen One” serves up a more demented and modern interpretation of the genre, pushing boundaries as it forewarns the folly of religious zealotry. The brooding “Born By Lightning” marks the halfway point, churning with the discomforts of facing one’s own shadow, as the subsequent “Devil Comes For All Of Us” brings the tempo back up to a gallop with the Devil blazing a path of indiscriminate death and destruction. The EP closes with the scorching murder ballad “Scarecrow Blues”, a tale of vindictive townsfolk taking fire to the home of a social misfit, only to burn the entire town to the ground.

The Heathen Apostles have always been defined by a balance between experimentation and reverence, and with Born By Lightning (their third release this year alone), the band offers up a powerful and focused new collection of songs to their already impressive hymnal.

You can preview and purchase Born by Lightning HERE.

Heathen Apostles and Wovenhand Photos & Review

Heathen Apostles & Wovenhand Photos Heathen Apostles and Wovenhand photos, along with a nice review, have posted online. They are from the two bands’ show at The Echo in Los Angeles, Ca. on November 3rd, and were taken by photographers Dillon Vaughn and Karin Lindberg Freda. You can read the review by Janky Smooth HERE.

Wovenhand, Heathen Apostles Show at The Echo

The Heathen Apostles have been added as main support to the Wovenhand show at the Echo in Los Angeles, Ca. on Sunday November 3rd. Doors are at 7pm, Heathen Apostles are on at 8, Wovenhand at 9. You can purchase tickets HERE. Here is a short Wovenhand bio:

The music of Wovenhand and songwriter/multi-instrumentalist David Eugene Edwards has always had an unparalleled intensity. Edwards’ rich, billowing and emotive voice is always the driving force of his ethereal music, but it’s catapulted by his spellbinding ability to transform instruments that many people might consider mundane relics — be it banjo, accordion, lesser-known folk instruments from around the world, or even an electric guitar — into devices of dark fury and poignant beauty. 

From the apocalyptic revivification of antique Americana of Sixteen Horsepower in the 90s to the threadbare balladry of Wovenhand’s early releases, Edwards’ music has maintained its celestial heaviness as it evolved. But now in its current incarnation, Wovenhand is a band that fully expands that power with exacting and inventive skill. It’s a sound so distinctive and compellingly crushing that even the heaviest of metal bands can’t match. 

Wovenhand’s current lineup includes guitarist Chuck French, bassist Neil Keener (both of Planes Mistaken For Stars) and drummer Ordy Garrison, now joined by piano/synth player Matthew Smith (Crime & The City Solution). Star Treatment was recorded at Steve Albini’s legendary Electrical Audio in Chicago with engineer Sanford Parker, who also helmed Wovenhand’s 2014 album Refractory Obdurate. 

Wovenhand Heathen Apostles

Wovenhand