Gothic Americana Music

Reviews

“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


Dark Entries Magazine – Dark Roots Music Review of “Dust To Dust”

dark roots musicGothic Americana , gothic country , Southern Gothic or dark roots music are terms used to describe the music of Heathen Apostles. The band operates from Los Angeles, California and their first album dates from 2013. So basically it is traditional American country and folk, bluegrass or ‘hillbilly’ music with a black edge and akin to genres such as cowpunk, gothabilly or hellbilly (think of Ghoultown , Gravetown or DAD ) but also alt-country (bands like Whiskeytown , 16 Horsepower or Woven Hand ) or the murder ballads of Nick Cave for example .

Several musicians from Heathen Apostles also have a past in similar bands. One musician is punk rock veteran Chopper Franklin (guitar, banjo, mandolin, keyboards, drums and also responsible for the production) and he has a history in The Cramps , Nick Curran & The Lowlifes and Mau Maus . Singer Mather Louth previously sang with Radio NoirThomas Lorioux (standing bass) was in The Kings Of Nuthin’ and former drummer Stevyn Grey had a history with Christian Death and 45 Grave. The current line-up also includes  violinist Luis Mascaro .

“Dust To Dust” (13 tracks, 53 minutes playing time), the fifth album from Heathen Apostles, appearing again on Ratchet Blade Records , a label specialized in such bands. The three men in the band look like black suited cowboys in nineteenth-century outfits and the singer from the company like a Victorian lady from the same period and also with a black hat just like her male colleagues.

My criticism of the previous release, “Bloodgrass Vol. 1 “ EP, was that it was very good, but that it could be a bit darker and musically more gothic or punk, because it was more pure Americana than a real crossover into the black genre. It seems whether this criticism was completely taken to heart because this is fully true on “Dust To Dust”. Just listen to the magnificent opening song “Burn It To The Ground” with cello, rocking electric guitar and some sort of panting whisper, followed by the uplifting up-tempo folky (sounding like a horse hopping over the prairie) song  “Rise”. “The Bride”, with whisper singing in the stanzas and catchy melancholic wailing violin playing, is also one of the toppers. We are also served dark murder ballads such as “Home Sweet Holmes”, drinking songs such as “Two For The Road” in addition to quite a few more compelling songs.

dark roots musicI can imagine most songs in an interpretation of Inkubus Sukkubus . Inkubus Sukkubus fans who like a more ‘country’ or ‘bluegrass’ version of their beloved goth rock / folk band should definitely check out these Heathen Apostles. The same goes for goths who like Johnny Cash , by the way!

All songs on this album were written by the Louth / Franklin duo with one exception: the traditional “In The Pines”. “In The Pines” is a powerful song that I already knew in a different version and about which I hurt my brain for days, from where I knew this song. The song was often attributed to Leadbelly but is actually older and not composed by Leadbelly himself. The composer disappeared in the darkness of time – as is usually the case with traditionals and that is what traditionals are for. So the song is often attributed to the legendary folk and blues singer Leadbelly (Huddie William Ledbetter , 1880-1949) because he recorded one of the first versions under the name “Black Girl”and I also have this on CD but it was not this version that haunted me. No, that turned out to be Nirvana ‘s. They release this song on the album “MTV Unplugged In New York” (1994) under the title “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” . The song is also attributed to Leadbelly on the Nirvana album, which is in fact incorrect. In any case, the version that Heathen Apostles brings here is enchantingly beautiful, dramatic and sensitive sung and accompanied by banjo and violin with the sound of the wind at the end and certainly not inferior to that of Leadbelly nor that of Kurt Cobain and co. Top album! Rating: 9 of 10 stars


Goth Western Album Review of Dust to Dust By Indy Metal Review

goth westernChris Latta of Indy Metal Review had a great take (and an ‘A’ rating!) on the goth western flavor of the new Heathen Apostles album Dust To Dust (which is actually the band’s fifth album)…

While Heathen Apostles’ third album is their first proper full-length since 2015’s Fire to the Fuse, it fits right in with the EPs that were released in between. The two Bloodgrass volumes set up a foreboding direction for the gothic country group’s already dark sound that Dust to Dust is happy to develop even further. There’s a sense of buildup as tempos are decidedly slower and one can detect tension in the air throughout.

This tension is especially potent during the album’s first half. “Burn it to the Ground” makes for a scorching call to arms right off the bat, riding an ominous verse complete with a chorus whose vocals manage to alternate between whispers and Disturbed-esque pants without sounding too silly. “One True Belief” and “The Bride” make for additional highlights thanks to their exotic yet sinister rhythms. “Home Sweet Holmes” is easily the most stirring of the lot, an inevitability when you pair up an electrifying twang with a narrative about The Devil in the White City…

Of course, there are plenty of lower key moments to be found as well. “Paradise Lost” features a subtler structure compared to the album’s more in your face moments, but its slow burn is tastefully executed. “Where the Waters Meet” follows it up with more abstract rhythms and “In the Pines” is a gorgeous update of a folk ballad classic. There’s also something to be said for the upbeat simplicity on “Two for the Road” and “The Fall.”

Through it all, the musicianship is exceptional. The alto vocals exhibit a variety of husky croons, esoteric whispers, and sneered spoken word that work to see through the stories they tell. The foundations are carried by a sturdy of guitar, banjo, and mandolin that avoid getting too cluttered and the occasional violin makes for gorgeous texturing. The drums also deserve props for playing the right amount, providing energy during the most intense sequences without getting too overbearing.

Despite a four-year gap between full-lengths, Heathen Apostles’ third album sustains their momentum quite nicely. Dust to Dust doesn’t stray too far from the gothic country sound set up by its predecessors, but a thematic symbiosis of dark barn burners and more subtle ventures results in what may be the band’s most powerful effort to date. This isn’t the most revolutionary album by any means, but fans of more macabre persuasions are encouraged to check it out.

Highlights:
“Burn it to the Ground”
“One True Belief”
“The Bride”
“Paradise Lost”
“Home Sweet Holmes”

Editor Grade A


Heathen Apostles In Nijmegen, NL: Goth Americana and Hellbilly

The bearable lightness of the dark Heathen Apostles: Goth Americana and hellbilly on a sunny Sunday evening.

Goth AmericanaWith a voice that can sink ships, it is a miracle that the nearby Waal is not littered with wrecks after the performance of Heathen Apostles. Fortunately that did not happen, but it could have, because in the music of the American goth Americana and hellbilly band death or the devil comes to the fore in almost every song.

Yes, you read that right. Goth Americana and hellbilly. Broadly summarized as Americana with a dose of folk and country topped with a pitch black edge. The murder ballads of Nick Cave meets Johnny Cash in a reincarnation of Bill Monroe. Frontwoman Mather Louth is dressed as a black widow and has a white face-painted grave face and the rest of the band (violin, guitar / mandolin and bass) also wear moody black clothes. 

Darkness is dripping from the songs on the set list tonight: ‘Death’s Head’, ‘Death Came a Ridin’, ‘Dark Was the Night’, ‘Evil Spirits’ and ‘Dark Days’. Not the kind of music that you like to set up to enhance the atmosphere at a birthday party. Or maybe it is, because despite the macabre clothing and lyrics, the music does sound exuberant the majority of the time. Thanks to the vibrant violin, the scorching guitar and mandolin, the barking bass, the powerful vocals and up-tempo songs such as ‘Two For The Road’ and ‘Shady Grove’, the performance is rather cheerful. Sure, the themes remain dark and more than once a murder ballad is played, but the whole thing is played with such a lightness that it remains bearable.

THE MOMENT
Goth AmericanaAnyone who thought Nirvana’s cover of the ‘In the Pines’ (with them under the title ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’) was heartbreakingly beautiful, will undoubtedly revise his opinion after the performance of Heathen Apostles. That American traditional – wrongly attributed to Lead Belly – was seldom brought with such a lump of pure emotion and darkness as Sunday evening in Nijmegen.

By Patrick Struijker Boudier. 3voor12 Gelderland is again reporting extensively on the Four Days Marches this year. Follow the  file  for the latest tips, reviews, photos and other relevant articles.

 


Americana Noir – Review of Dust To Dust By Rootsville.eu

Americana noirWith the Heathen Apostles we entered into the dark side of the music; we are at the Americana Noir “Bloodgrass” as they have come to call it. The Heathen Apostles consist of Mather Louth, Chopper Franklin, Thomas Lorioux and Luis Mascaro and are from the “City of Angels” aka Los Angeles, California. Punk rock veteran Chopper Franklin has played in groups such as The Cramps and Nick Curran & The Lowlifes, and those are definitely names that stand out. And with femme fatale Mather Louth the mutual admiration for murder ballads, Americana Noir and Memento Mori came into the picture and soon the Heathen Apostles was created.

Dust To Dust is their 5th album and brings them to Europe for the promotion of their new album. On the album we find 13 songs from which almost all songs are a creation of Mather Louth and Chopper Franklin; only the traditional In The Pines is the exception to the rule. The opener on the album is Burn In To The Ground where they immediately showcase the characteristics of their music. A mix of Gothic and Americana is how they come to create their own sound; it’s a sound where the lyrics are usually darker than the melodies.

The common thread throughout the album, in addition to the powerful and clear vocals of Mather Louth, is the penetrating violin playing by Luis Mascaro, and it is all enhanced by multi-instrumentalist Chopper Franklin and double bass player Thomas Lorioux. This mix of two contradictory directions in the contemporary music scene seems to work wonderfully with the Heathen Apostles. From threatening songs like Two For The Road, to morbid-feeling ballads like The Bride, they know how to create an atmosphere that is at one with their way of playing and living. Bringing together an absolute connection of dark and sometimes eerie-looking aesthetics with Gothic music and art, the Heathen Apostles has succeeded without too much trouble, and in a perfect balance.

Jumping out of the box or not at all, the traditional In The Pines is a song that carries a veil of dark mysticism throughout its existence. Also very morbid to the touch is Easeful Death, but then everything seems to clear up again by bringing the catchy  tune The Fall. The closing of Dust To Dust is Out Of The Ground and with that we had a more than appreciated introduction to these Gothic Outlaws.

tracks:

01 Burn In To The Ground 
02 Rise 
03 Two For The Road 
04 One True Belief 
05 The Bride 
06 Paradise Lost 
07 Where The Waters Meet 
08 Home Sweet Holmes 
09 In The Pines 
10 Easeful Death 
11 Through The Forest, Through The Trees 
12 The Fall 
13 Out Of The Ground 

musicians:

Mather Louth: vocals 
Chopper Franklin: guitar, banjo, mandolin, keys, drums 
Thomas Lorioux: upright bass 
Luis Mascaro: violin 


Review of Herselt, Belgium Show By Rootsville Magazine

We have received a nice review from Rootsville Magazine of the Pallieter Café show in Herselt, Belgium, here is the English translation:

Heathen Apostles (US) 
Roots – Americana Noir 
Pallieter Café Herselt (08-07-2019)
reporter & photo credits: Freddie – Rootsville

Just back from the successful edition of Hookrock Festival and we are already back on track as they say. This time for four “Gothic Outlaws” from the “City of Angels” as a contradiction to it. These bringers of “Bloodgrass”, as they call it, go by the name Heathen Apostles, and consist of Mather Louth, Chopper Franklin, Thomas Lorioux and Luis Mascaro.

Rootsville With this “Gothic Four” we end up in the past of American music history, but not exactly the traditional “American songbook”. Punk rock veteran Chopper Franklin has already played in groups such as “The Cramps” and “Nick Curran & The Lowlifes” and these are immediately names that stand out. Getting together with femme fatale Mather Louth, their mutual admiration for murder ballads, Americana Noir and Memento Mori came into the picture and soon Heathen Apostles was created. The band was completed by the addition of Thomas Lorioux and Luis Mascaro.

Rootsville Under the guise of their new album Dust to Dust they are now touring across Europe. On this Monday evening they are not at the gates of the Titty Twister in the Mexican hinterland, but simply at the Pallieter Café in Herselt , and we are grateful  to Kurt from the Rootstown agency for that.

There is a saying of “every bird sings as it is called”, but we still have to make some exception with the Heathen Apostles. This foursome has the dress code “Gothic Black” and this together with the skulls and tattoos may seem somewhat impressive but are all in all friendliness itself, even though there is suddenly an impressive Chopper Franklin for you to get acquainted with. The regular bass player Thomas Lorioux was not able to play the entire tour, so the Belgian Jens DeWaele, who we also know from the Ghent “Fifty Foot Combo” and “The Grave Brothers”, was hired as a replacement.

Since it was my first introduction to this “Bloodgrass” I didn’t know what to expect but these Heathen Apostles immediately caught my eye with songs like “Fool’s Gold” and “Death’s Head”. Mather Louth is a murder girl who can really sing and immediately catches your attention. In another outfit she could even be a “star” in any of the roots and / or Americana bands. The support of Chopper on the guitar, Jens on the double bass and the phenomenal Luis Mascaro on the fiddle make their “Bloodgrass” more than digestible, even more so you’ll immediately love it.

Rootsville Dark? Perhaps in the lyrics that are also about murder and destruction, but the music would almost encourage you to dance. The prominent presence of the fiddle also runs as a common thread throughout their performance. It becomes unreal when they perform a piece of Gershwin. “Summertime” was actually written by DuBose Heyward but due to commercial considerations only Gershwin was added. The Heathen Apostles version of this classic almost made me fall off my chair, and my compadre Vic immediately grabbed his smartphone to make a recording of it. It is simply a fine example of their abilities, as if Mather Louth has some DNA from diva Fitzgerald.

Of course we also get a lot of songs from their album Dust To Dust, such as an unbelievably strong version of the traditional “In The Pines”, a song that we also know in the versions of Lead Belly and Nirvana. This song has an exclaiming violin and fits perfectly in the picture of the Heathen Apostles. Respect!

Voilà, and so we are immediately in the mood to head towards the 44th edition of Sjockfest, all this next weekend at the Poeylehei in Gierle where we have a second meeting with these Heathen Apostles on the high mass of the “Rock” n Roll Highlight of the Year “.

You can read the original post HERE.

Rootsville


Angels and Demons – Review of Selestat, France Show

Between Angels and Demons

(As the  Heathen Apostles 2019 European tour finishes the first 1/3 of the journey, photos and reviews will begin to be posted here. This report and photos of their June 19th show at Bar Le Tigre in Selestat, France were done by Sebastien Riotto.)

It was not the deep south of the United States but a warm Alsatian Wednesday night in Selestat, France. At the Bar Le Tigre, the temple of rock ‘n roll, the stars and stripes were about to be released. The atmosphere was laid, it smelled like the plains of the west. Then came the time of black suits and Stetsons.
From Los Angeles, the Heathen Apostles swing between angels and demons. Their musical style is their own, assembling dark country and old Irish songs, a balance between Nick Cave and Howlin’ Wolf. The beautiful redhead Mather Louth leaves one bewitched by her voice, and the guitar of Chopper Franklin takes the soul into this musical universe that looks like no other. The initiates who responded to the call of the music promoters Cheeky Cherry have not been left with this trip into a dark pan of the American spirit.

Angels and Demons - Heathen Apostles
Angels and Demons - Heathen Apostles


“Dust To Dust” Review on Gothic Folk Site Rock N’ Folk

Dust To Dust - Gothic Folk The new Heathen Apostles album Dust To Dust received a great review on the Gothic Folk site Folk N’ Rock. It was written by Jeff Goble, here it is in its entirety, you can also check it out on the site HERE.

“With their iconic blend of Gothic aesthetics and Americana influences, Heathen Apostles set out to create a sound that’s easy to describe as one-of-a-kind. The group’s music is as charismatic as the band’s lush dark aesthetics, bringing a cinematic edge to their sound.

Although Goth and Americana might seem like two odd bedfellows, the mix actually works really well. If you stop and think about it, most Americana songs are rooted in darker stories and mysterious characters. This is definitely a strong connection with the dark and eerie aesthetics of Goth music and art. Heathen Apostles managed to find the right balance when blending these two cultures, making for something really special.

Recently, they set out to release their new studio album, “Dust To Dust.” This release is a musical journey through various moods, and it dives deeper into other genres, ranging from alternative rock to outlaw country. The record kicks off with “Burn It To The Ground.” As the title might suggest, this is a beginning with a bang, showcasing a relentless storm that brings a darker edge to a traditional Americana rhythm.

One of the most exciting aspects of this release is undoubtedly the group’s storytelling. On songs such as “Home Sweet Holmes,” the group dives deeper into the story of serial murderer H.H. Holmes, making for a vivid narrative twist. They also explore different tonal ideals and influences on tracks such as “Two For The Road.”

There is also room for a classic, with a cover of the timeless folk song, “In The Pines.” This track was popularized by artists as diverse as Leadbelly and Nirvana, to mention but a few.

Throughout the span of 13 tracks, this album feels like a sound roller-coaster, as the group takes you through such a wide array of tones and influences. In addition to the kaleidoscopic creative twist of the band’s musicianship, the production of the album is also quite inspiring. It feels warm and organic yet crisp and compelling. There is a pleasant liveliness to this release, which highlights the band’s chemistry, and their ability to create music that feels very cohesive, rather than just patching things up with the help of recording studio trickery and post-production wizardry.

This album is a labor of love and the sound of a band with a powerful vision. They know where they want to take their art, and as a result, they were able to deliver an exciting and meaningful album to the audience.

Ultimately, this release makes for a rewarding listening experience – a set list filled with highlights and diverse sonic characteristics. If you are a fan of artists such as Nick Cave, Howlin’ Wolf, The Pogues, or Devil Makes Three, you are going to enjoy this particular project!

Final Score  8.7  Great

Dust to Dust is a winning combination of different musical worlds, clashing into something fresh and original.


Review of Dust To Dust on Viola Noir

Dust To DustThe new Heathen Apostles album Dust To Dust is a return to where they began. After experimenting with bluegrass, covers and collaborations, while revamping country music, the Heathen Apostles use the doctrine of the darkness, terror and horror with accompaniment of the banjo once again.

Burn It To The Ground begins as smooth dark country, leaving both ritual and dark roots in place. Bluesy symphonic tragedy and western-swiftness appear with the track Rise. Two For The Road mixes the narrative with emotionality, and generally changes the mood. On to One True Belief, where the listener is already warmed up and ready to listen to another scary tale with a bad end. The Bride develops the mystic-theme and brings us to a true tragedy on Paradise Lost. After – Where The Waters Meet as an unusual track for Heathen Apostles – lyrical with hypnotizing elements from old school, post punk music. Home Sweet Holmes – a gothic americana slasher with a dense narrative and an injection of sinister atmosphere. Spooky Southern Gothic, dirge-like reinvention of the classic In The Pines follows- as the soundtrack to sorrow and sadness, a kind of farewell song. Meditative, contemplative Easeful Death gives a short pause before the intense final part of the album. The final you could already hear when EP The Fall came out. Exactly in the same sequence of tracks, so we will not be repeated.

A successful appeal to their roots, without self-plagiarism, with the development of new themes, with a more fresh sound, where there are still characteristic handwriting and recognizable powerful vocals. Moreover, the Heathen Apostles never disappoint.

The release of the album Dust To Dust will be on June 7 from Ratchet Blade Records. Presale has already started, in addition, they have published dates for a European tour in support of this album. 8/10

 


Heathen Apostles – The Fall Reviewed – Dark Roots

Heathen Apostles - Dark RootsReview from RocknFolk.com: Hailing from Los Angeles, Heathen Apostles took their blend of dark roots to new heights on their most recent studio release, The Fall.

The new release was published just in time for Halloween, matching the dark theme and vibes of the holiday. On this compact, yet richly detailed EP, the group confirmed its sonic aesthetics. The EP is almost like a continuation of the same conversation initiated on the band’s ambitious LP. The project, released earlier in the summer, is titled Bloodgrass Vol. I & II. On this follow-up EP, the group stays true to its roots. Yet, they explore their sonic aesthetics from a slightly different perspective. The songs on “The Fall” EP are generally more bare, going deeper into the band’s gothic/noir tendencies.

The ominous textures and eerie soundscapes of the band’s music is yet again a salient trait of this project. The Fall is a season when things die off and decay. The flora loses its warmth and bright color. The whole landscape acquires greyscale tints, as the winter approaches with no forgiveness. The sound of this EP holds the melancholia of the seasonal changes, while also capturing the band’s ability to create visceral, cinematic tones.

The group, which was started by Mather Louth (Radio Noir) and Chopper Franklin (The Cramps, Nick Curran & the Lowlifes), has developed a really strong chemistry throughout the years.

With every new release, they are willing to take more chances. Their vision is all about testing the boundaries of their formula, going for a diverse, intuitive and forward-thinking tone. Creativity comes easy for these talented musicians, who understand the power of storytelling. Their songs are like forgotten folk tales, murder ballads and dark stories, with a sinister twist.

Ultimately, The Fall EP is a very organic, consistent work. It really makes for a very immersive listening experience, pleasing old and new fans. The textures are absolutely impeccable. In particular, I really enjoy diving deeper into the otherworldly sonic landscapes. This approach makes for a dark, haunting tone, with a mood that suits the lyrics. These tracks display an inner sense of melancholia. Yet, this is far from being sad and depressive music. On the contrary, this release will keep you engaged from the moment you hit the play button! 8.5 of 10, review by Jeff.

Read the article at Rock n Folk HERE. You can listen to and purchase the dark roots sounds of The Fall EP HERE.


Heathen Apostles’ Southern-Gothic “The Fall” EP Reviewed

Heathen Apostles southern-gothicPrivate heroes of violanoir’s blog and wonderful extraordinary musicians Heathen Apostles present the new EP “The Fall”, which after the releases of Bloodgrass Vol. I & II is designed to return all the gothic and southern-gothic to the sound of this band.

In “Through the Forest, Through the Trees” opens the otherworldly reality of the dark country’s melancholy and  tales, penetrating the soul, silent spells… “The Fall” continues the theme more intensely and passionately, like the first releases of Heathen Apostles – “Boot Hill Hymnal”, “Without A Trace” and “Death’s Head”. The romantic track “Out of the Ground” revives the early Heathen Apostles with all the mystical / heathen (pardon for tautology) fatality.

Nice coincidence – Heathen Apostles – The Fall was released 5 days after the release of “Red Dead Redemption 2”. Now it is possible to ignore the original soundtrack of the game and start to its passage with the sound of true atmospheric gothic americana music. Review by ViolaNoir.

Read the Russian language HERE. Listen to The Fall EP HERE.


No Depression Reviews Bloodgrass Vol. 1 & 2

No Depression Reviews Bloodgrass Vol. 1 & 2No Depression reviews Bloodgrass Vol. 1 & 2, by James G. Carlson:

LA Dark Roots Quartet Heathen Apostles Releases Bloodgrass Vol. I & II

From the fertile ground of the most recent wave of roots music there has emerged an abundance of noteworthy bands and singer-songwriters. One such band is the LA-based Heathen Apostles, whose latest release, a full-length which combines the band’s Bloodgrass EPs, marks a significant point in the evolution of their sound. Call their sound what you will – gothic Americana, folk noir, doom country – but it cannot be denied that it successfully fuses the styles of bygone eras with those of today’s fringe music. And the material on the band’s Bloodgrass Vol. I & II release is a fine example of this.

Heathen Apostles began over six years ago with a fateful meeting between vocalist Mather Louth (Radio Noir) and guitarist Chopper Franklin (The Cramps, Nick Curran & the Lowlifes), who revealed their mutual appreciation for murder balladry, Americana, and momento mori to one another. With the strong yet haunting vocals of Louth and the skills of multi-instrumentalist Franklin, the two kindred spirits sought out other souls to bring into the fold, soon adding the upright bass thumping of Thomas Lorioux (The Kings of Nuthin’) and the violin playing of Luis Mascaro. Since then, the band has released two full-lengths, Boot Hill Hymnal and Fire to the Fuse, as well as a small handful of EPs and singles, and have played their share of shows.

Bloodgrass Vol. II & II opens with the Apostles’ dark, creeping rendition of Gershwin and Heyward’s classic “Summertime.” “Death Came a Ridin’,” a Heathen Apostles original, is a macabre piece dedicated to the reaper, with Louth employing a storytelling style of lyrical conveyance. “Dark Days” somehow manages to successfully marry gloomy folk with gypsy jazz, and features some of Louth’s best vocal work on the album. “Lady in Gold” is an energetic gothic country offering, while “Deadly Nightshade” is an ominous picker with a simple but nicely punctuating beat. “Paint the Stars,” an easy standout on this album, kicks off with lively violin, guitar strumming, and steady beat, and then incorporates a powerful vocal performance by Louth. Other covers include versions of “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” (Darrell Scott), “Ramblin’ Man” (Hank Williams), and “Shady Grove” (traditional). “D.O.A.” has a roots rock feel to it, while the closer, “Fever Jane,” another easy standout, is a moody picker with darkly beautiful vocals.     

Like all the band’s releases to date, the Heathen Apostles’ Bloodgrass Vol. I & II is available from Ratchet Blade Records. And to follow it up, the band is also preparing to release yet another EP, titled The Fall, in the very near future.
By James G. Carlson.

To read the review on NoDepression.com, click HERE.


Review of Bloodgrass Vol. 1 in Dark Entries Magazine

Great review of Bloodgrass Vol. 1 in Dark Entries Magazine (a great Belgium goth magazine) that was just brought to our attention, read the translation below, click HERE to go to their site:

Heathen Apostles Bloodgrass Vol. 1 reviewWe know alt-country, we think of bands like Whiskeytown , 16 Horsepower or Woven Hand . We also know cowpunk and gothabilly or hellbilly. Think of bands like Ghoultown , Gravetown or DAD. These Heathen Apostles from Los Angeles also fit in this category (especially the latter in terms of image) but actually this is almost pure Americana folk, country and bluegrass, in short hillbilly music with a dark edge. The musicians look like baddies escaped from a western movie, three black cowboys in nineteenth century gear and the lady from the outfit as a black-clad widow from the same period. Complete with a black veil covering her eyes. It has something steampunk too.

The band consists of singer Mather Louth (the lascivious widow) and her fellow band members, dressed-in-black cowboys Chopper Franklin (guitar, mandolin, banjo, keyboards, drums), Thomas Lorioux (bass) and Luis Mascaro (violin). Chopper Franklin is a punk rock veteran who once played in The Cramps and bands like Nick Curran & The Lowlifes and Mau Maus. In the past, Heathen Apostles also had drummer Stevyn Grey in the ranks (ex- Christian Death , ex- 45 Grave ).

Heathen Apostles are a very productive band. Their debut album “Boot Hill Hymnal” (2013), the “Without A Trace” EP (2014), the singles “Fool’s Gold”, “Fist City”, “Death’s Head”, as well as their second album “Fire To The Fuse” (all 2015) all came out on Ratchet Blade Records. The third Heathen Apostles album “Requiem For A Remix”, “The Misery And Gin EP” and the single “Albatross” all came out in a busy 2016. In 2017 finally the “Strange Flowers EP” came out and in December this ” Bloodgrass Vol. 1 “EP, still on Ratchet Blade Records that specializes in such bands.

Five songs are on the new EP (21 minutes playing time). Three original compositions: “Death Came A Ridin'” (my favorite and the darkest and rockiest song), “Dark Days” (with banjo and melancholic violin) and the up-tempo like a horse hopping across the prairie (I have to think of Johnny Cash) “Lady In Gold”. And then also two covers. These covers are “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” by the contemporary country artist Darrell Scott and a beautiful adaptation of the classic (from 1935) “Summertime” ( Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward ) which is especially known in the version of The Zombies but that counts numerous interpretations by Ella Fitzgerald , Billie Holiday etc.

Entertaining EP song with beautiful songs, but even better if these pagan apostles mixed some more punk, goth or psychobilly in their sound because with the exception of the song “Death Came A Ridin'” this is musically close to pure Americana or what they call alt-country today instead of a true crossover style with the dark genre as the image suggests. In spite of the terms ‘gothic americana’, ‘gothic country’, ‘southern gothic’ or ‘dark roots’ that they use to interpret their music. But you do not hear me complaining; Heathen Apostles are an interesting band that I will definitely continue to follow.

Henk Vereecken


Bloodgrass Vol. II Review on Viola Noir

Heathen Apostles Bloodgrass Vol. II ReviewBloodgrass Vol. II Review on Viola Noir:

Heathen Apostles continue the series of thematic EPs Bloodgrass. While previous release was focused on redefining bluegrass, the new one shapes the main features of reinvented genre.

The opening Deadly Nightshade seems to be the darkest variation of Southern Gothic ever known. It’s full of bluesy yearning, dark folk depression and pagan mysticism. Paint the Stars sounds more familiar with what the band makes nowadays. The song is swiftly, brief, but at the same time it contains some elements of intricate dark roots/bloodgrass ornament.

In addition, it is accompanied by stylish and atmospheric video. It was directed by Jorge Jaramillo, whose portfolio consists of macabre and technically complex visual projects with recognizable style. It is not surprising, therefore, that his collaboration with Heathen Apostles turned out to be so efficient.

Ramblin’ Man sounds a little surprising. It has bluesy mood, but not the one we have heard before. It is more contemplative, sensual, halftone. D.O.A is instead melodic and lyrical, it deeply roots in the memory. Shady Grove inherits gothic country and bloodgrass stylistics, while the final chapter Fever Jane is a smooth and calm ballad, adorned with Mather’s voice, which has no borders and limits in singing talent.

In general, the new EP proves to be great comeback of Bloodgrass theme – without any crisis of ideas or clichés.

You can listen to Bloodgrass Vol. II HERE.


Great Review of Heathen Apostles Bloodgrass Vol. I in Ox fanzine

A 9 of 10 stars review of the Heathen Apostles Bloodgrass Vol. I EP will be in the next issue of Germany’s Ox fanzine, there will also be an upcoming feature on the band to coincide with their August 2018 tour of Europe. The English translation is below for those who don’t read German:

HEATHEN APOSTLES
Bloodgrass Vol. I
Ratchet Blade • ratchetbladerecords.com • 21:01 • 9 of 10 stars 

Blood, horror and passion in the happy the southern heat of America: HEATHEN APOSTLES call their Dark Alternative Gothic Americana Doom Bluegrass sound simply Bloodgrass. On the new EP of the band from Los Angeles, that features former members of THE CRAMPS and THE KINGS OF NUTHIN ‘, there are two cover songs and three brand new ones Original compositions. The dark-hypnotic Bluegrass version of the Gershwin classic “Summertime” opens up the dance, and the soulful reinterpretation of Darrell Scott’s “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” closes it. In between are three of the Heathen Apostles own Gothic Americana songs: The Nick Cave -inspired “Death Came a Ridin’ “, the jazzy “Dark Days” and the driving bluegrass piece “Lady in Gold”. Reviewed by Karin Hoog  

Preview the Bloodgrass Vol. I EP HERE.

Heathen Apostles Bloodgrass Heathen Apostles Bloodgrass


Heathen Apostles – Bloodgrass Vol. I – Gothic Americana / Dark Country

gothic americana / dark countryHeathen Apostles are launching a series of EPs, united by one theme, a new bluegrass style. In hearing the prominent gothic americana / dark country of the project it is properly deemed bloodgrass. Passion, blood, horror in the hot southern summer night. And no one will get away alive.

The legendary and truly imperishable spiritualism of Gershwin’s Summertime by Heathen Apostles sounds like a dark ritual dark folk; a song from the other side, from the world of the dead. Death Came a Ridin’ continues it, but it is more familiar to Heathen Apostles fans, the impetuous gothic americana thriller. Dark Days has a dark cabaret sound, noticeably different in its style from the rest of the track list of Bloodgrass Vol. I. Lady in Gold – a colorful sample of the combination dark country / bluegrass, it can be said, exemplifies the form and direction of the “new” subgenre. The modern classic country of Darrell  Scott’s You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive completes the first experience in the world of bloodgrass, with all the dimensions of the appropriate atmosphere.

Interesting EP. Heathen Apostles develop as a creative unit without leaving their format. At the same time there is no self-repetition, self-plagiarism, Bloodgrass sounds quite exciting. 7/10.

You can preview and order Bloodgrass Vol. I HERE. Read more from Viola Noir HERE (In Russian, use Google Translate if necessary.)


“Albatross” Single & Video Review on Gothic.com

The Heathen Apostles latest single Albatross has been reviewed by Viola Noir on Gothic.com, the English translation is below, click HERE for the original review:

The new single from Heathen Apostles – a tale of treachery, betrayal and, of course, revenge. According to tradition, the single is accompanied by a video. This time, in seascapes, but with indispensable mysticism and blood. In reality, all of the video creativity of  the Heathen Apostles can be brought under a common denominator – “what would happen if the witch is hurt.” It is understandable that it is not good, but Mather Louth and Chopper Franklin illustrate in detail a “not good” with a grotesque and clever sense of humor.
 
As for the track –  it is the absolute spirit of Heathen Apostles. Gothic Americana in all its glory – guitar, violin, upright bass and Mather`s strong voice has a melancholic flair here. How else to talk about betrayal? Only with anguish, and with the ice of December sea. In general, Heathen Apostles are not losing their standing, and it is pleasing. 
Viola Noir

Albatross cover

 


“Albatross” Single Reviewed at Chain DLK

The Albatross single and video have been reviewed in alternative magazine Chain DLK, you can read the entire review HERE, and preview and order the single HERE.

The Heathen Apostles take a central core of faithful Americana and murder ballad arrangements and give things a slightly stylish, faintly gothic twist. “Albatross” is a one-track single and while their discography has several remixes and electronica elements in it, this is a straight-up three-minute 3 / 4 song featuring slightly Chrissie Hynde-like vocals over a folksy arrangement of violins and mandolins that would appeal to staunch Levellers fans.

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Review of “Fire to the Fuse” on Midnight Calling

A new review of the latest Heathen Apostles studio album Fire to the Fuse has been posted, read the teaser below then click on the link to read the entire review.

Following up their excellent debut album Boot Hill Hymnal, Heathen Apostles draw their musical six guns, and stalk once more through haunted graveyards, dangerous streets, and debauchery-filled saloons. Fire to the Fuse continues the epic Western Gothic  journey, and demonstrates that Heathen Apostles are musical  desperadoes  to be reckoned with.

Click HERE to read the review. Click HERE to preview and purchase Fire to the Fuse.

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“Misery and Gin” EP Reviewed By Midnight Calling

Here’s a great review of the upcoming Heathen Apostles’ Misery and Gin EP by Aiden of Midnight Calling, the EP will be out this Friday July 22nd, and be sure and check out the new video for the title track HERE. Click HERE to read the review.

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“Requiem For A Remix” Review In Uber Rock Magazine

Here’s the intro and review:

“Hailing from Los Angeles, California and playing what they call “southern gothic outlaw country and dark roots music,” Heathen Apostles are actually nothing of the sort really. The title of their new album, ‘Requiem For A Remix’, should probably give their game away as Uber Rock’s Jason Palmer soon discovers, these bad boys (and a girl) are all about the murder ballads, baby!”

Cick HERE to read the review.

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Great “Fire to the Fuse” Review on Alternate Root

Heathen Apostles Gold Text FTTF 1.indd   Heathen Apostles Fire to the Fuse– The Roots of Heathen Apostles has a dark current that roars through dense gothic tales surround by mountain music, back alley Jazz, murderous Americana, and bone-chilling Folk. The latest release from Heathen Apostles, Fire to the Fuse, lights the primeval blackness of the tales as it slowly ticks out for a Measure of Time, battles rattling whirls to spew words and sound on Death’s Head, and hangs on to the rapid rhythms of Lily of the West. Vengeance, greed, and lust are riding shotgun in the love tales strewn over Fire to the Fuse as fractured chords strum and stutter out the title track and propel Yveline through hushed whisper and frenetic fiddles while Without a Trace thunders a musical force and Evil Spirits scatter on percussive rhythms.
Heathen Apostles profess their faith for Americana by taking the Roots from their long Los Angeles history of blending Goth and Rock, with lineage in bands such as The Cramps, Christian Death, Radio Noir, Nick Curran and the Lowlifes, and 45 Grave. Fire to the Fuse makes use of mountain music backing to stomp out a skeleton-shake on glimmering strings and gypsy rhythms for a version of Cher’s “Bang Bang”. Desert wind blow western dust on the horse-hoof patter of Fool’s Gold as Looks are Deceiving sets the barn dance on fire and Heathen Apostles use the chaotic strum of strings to scratch their way to the surface for a breath in Drowned in Trouble.
Listen and buy the music of Heathen Apostles from AMAZON or iTunes
Read the review HERE


“Fire to the Fuse” Review On Viola Noir

Heathen Apostles Gold Text FTTF 1.indd  The second full-length release of Heathen Apostles is the hope for all gothic americana, dark country and southern rock music. The bulk of it could be already well known to their audience by the singles and videos, but this fact didn’t make Fire to the Fuse less surprising.

  Opening the release is the mystical tragedy Fool’s Gold, their familiar summer single. It’s a good beginning, because this track is probably one of the most colorful and characteristic in the discography of Heathen Apostles. Drowned in Trouble and Yveline join in this atmosphere, which is carefully woven from sounds of authentic instruments from the South — guitars, violin, banjo, upright bass and powerful voiced Mather Louth. In her voice we hear all — sorrow, anger, love, hate, melancholy and drive. In addition, Yveline has an invisible, but perceptible skin wildly-proto-goth-rock origin. Fist City somewhat reduces the tempo, this track can be attributed to the contemplative, romantic-tragic side of the Heathen Apostles concept . There’s an exciting video for this track — it’s fully in line with the recognizable Heathen Apostles style: fairly bloody, mystical, and presents to us an eternal antagonism between light and dark forces. All this against the backdrop of Southern landscapes and the accompanying paraphernalia. The dark theme continues with a track featuring Jyrki 69, Evil Spirits, familiar from the eponymous EP. Looks Are Deceiving suddenly sounds quite positive and relieves the tension before the blues-track Fire to the Fuse, and then Death’s Head is perceived as epic denouement. Also, a cover of the immortal Nancy Sinatra hit Bang Bang surprised and pleased me. First of all, the fact that Mather wasn’t attempting an exact copied intonation of Nancy, unlike previous versions, but introduced her interpretation of the song. It turned out pretty original and recognizable. Measure of Time — hypnotic ballad with a very heartfelt vocal line slightly expands framework of existing genre Heathen Apostles. The familiar Without a Trace comes with mood of fury , then thelyrical Before You Go and finally with Lily of the West the dark-cabaret veil once again passes through with core emotions, and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. So good, that makes this release coveted for re-listen.

  The release is universal in the sense that those, who follow the works of Heathen Apostles, will have the opportunity to listen to the familiar tracks. By one session of the Gothic Americana’s atmosphere. Those who begin acquaintance with the project Fire to the Fuse, immediately get a feel characteristic sound of Heathen Apostles. 8/10


“Evil Spirits” EP Gets 4 Star Review

EP cover 300James G. Carlson of the Examiner.com has given the Heathen Apostles & Jyrki 69 Evil Spirits EP a 4 star review:

‘Evil Spirits’ by Heathen Apostles

Los Angeles-based dark roots and gothic country band Heathen Apostles have released a new four-song EP, Evil Spirits, on Ratchet Blade Records. This lineup includes the band’s core players – vocalist Mather Louth (Radio Noir) and multi-instrumentalist Chopper Franklin (The Cramps, Nick Curran & the Lowlifes) – as well as newer members, violinist Luis Mascaro and Finnish vocalist Jyrki 69 (69 Eyes and 69 Cats).

With Franklin pickin’ and strummin’ on various acoustic stringed instruments, including banjo, mandolin and guitar, and working the keys, and with Louth belting out her strong, haunting vocals, Heathen Apostles continue to make the sort of music that will almost certainly outlive the roots revival that has taken hold of the underground in recent years. Now, with Mascaro’s violin playing, which alternates from mournful to rustic and lively, and Jyrki’s vocals, which, with its deep cool drawl, brings to mind a combination of Hank Ray and Johnny Cash, there is even more to Heathen Apostles’ sound, though without reaching the point of being too much.

Out of the four songs on the Evil Spirits EP, “Hallowed by Thy Name” and “After I’m Gone” are easy standouts. Be that as it may, the entire thing is worth repeated listens, including the title track, “Evil Spirits,” and the third track, “Maylene.”

Evil Spirits by Heathen Apostles is available now from Ratchet Blade Records.

Read the review at Examiner.com HERE