Dreadlords containing members of Panther Modern and T.O.M.B., hailing from the general Philadelphia PA area, take the serpent off the bible, tossing it into the holy water starting the sermon with a background southern sizzle. The blues were meant to be bad, psychedelic’s were meant to be mood/perception altering, black metal was born from inherent rebellion as folk was a social statement of the times. Death Angel gives all, brewing a cauldron of noise compilation that tells the ear, this ain’t quite right. They’ve managed to sound more evil than some forest dwelling black metal makers using a single, different and not so heavy member of the guitar family. Recorded in New Jersey early winter 2013 (because this stuff don’t go with the summer breeze) Dreadlords features Brian Zimmerman on (demonic) banjo, Samantha Viola on drums, bells and ritual noise makers, and J. Gannon on vocals, featuring guest vocals on the title track by Susan Bones. Death Angel is now available on Not Just Religious Music.
They’re one part Psychobilly, a few parts Doors meet Sabbath and the rest is somewhere between what Danzig jamming with the Manson Family might’ve sounded like. With lots of dark, cultish atmosphere with spell casting frolic.
“Going to the Well” don’t look down when a bucket of blood comes up. A submerged melancholy grinding sound, they resurrected The King to dance with the dead. Conjuring up a post mortem rockabilly sound playing the honky-tonk jam of hell. The moonshines strong but won’t kill you, though you might hallucinate your death.
“Alone” has a cultish atmosphere meeting basement black metal with a hell-born version of a country twang.
“Born into the Arms”, there’s always one that’s born to be bad. Damned for life at 5, raised by the devil cause Jesus was hanging out elsewhere. A snake rattling, poison soaked campfire tune, with conjuring witches dancing around trees under the moon.
“Moonshine” would be the song if there was Christmas in hell and the Grinch stole it. A haunting solo track as J. Gannon breathes pain and despair into the darkness.
“Death Angel”, a slow delicate acoustic touch to the final testament and whisky drenched confession of a dying soul as the reapers blade glisten’s in wait hovering above. The last gasps of life lived exhaling despair, sadness, appreciation and surrender as music from a withered voice.
Blasphemy “Lives in Me” I’m Lilith’s maitre d’, singing the hymn of the church of the damned. There’s no salvation for me. Doing a tambourine shakin’ devil’s dance in the pew, watching the flames dance with a wicked hue. See ya later, I’m head’n down south.
Vocals and music like backward messages on the Twin Peaks soundtrack come from the deepest, darkest catacombs as stories of grave robbers and “Thieves of Faith” escape from the light starved walls. Notes are slowly played like dark chimes from death’s grandfather clock.
There’s no deliverance for the banjo playing heretic. “Take My Soul” plays the distorted mechanical sounds of damnation. Drowning in a sea of blackened avarice.
“Odin” mercifully ends the damnation, depending on POV, with its instrumental whirlpool of horded souls descending into the swirling darkness like falling shattered glass.
Death Angel has sounds that weren’t meant to be heard by mortals, blasting through hell’s ceiling. It’s a southern exorcism revival with the spirits of the swamp and woods escaping the possessed mouths of the congregation. A record that’s as haunting as it is seductive showing the power of simplicity using ‘traditional’ non heavy instruments, showing just how dark and evil a banjo can sound. As if the devil forged it himself. A snake charmers delight of southern comfort sweetly stained with the tears and torments of the delta blues. The midnight bayou sermons have arrived swimming in a black pool of submerged distortion and reverb. Listen if you dare.