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Apocalyptic Blues

Demo Review + Stream

You better get on your knees, the apocalypse is coming and its four horsemen are Dreadlords. This group of ritualistic racket-makers summon up an unholy concoction of apocalyptic blues, Satanic southern gospel and shamanic sacrilege. This blasphemous demo tape sounds like the sonic incarnation of a Flannery O’Connor short story or Cormac McCarthy novel – back before he started winning literary prestige awards and was still writing twisted Southern bloodbaths about incest, scalping and backwoods violence.

Guitars and piano clang and crash in a free form fall through a cathedral-sized chamber of reverb, while Dreadlords’ singer rants and raves like a schizophrenic madman at the pulpit, veering from Nick Cave-style blues sermonizing (once again, think less his later dad-rock, Kylie Minogue duet-ing phase and more his spastic early years) to black metal-esque croaking and snarling, and even the occasional haunting howl of a werewolf in full moon fever.


Dreadlords is a modern update on age-old delta blues tropes and apocalyptic gospel instilled with the fervor and mangy menace of heavy metal (not that those styles were lacking in menace to begin with).

Dreadlords’ nightmarishly psychotropic music conjures up mental images of the swamps and bayous of backwoods Louisiana in much the same way most black metal evokes the forests and frozen peaks of Northern Europe. Listening to this tape will get you swatting at the spectres of mosquitos and flies and checking the floor for snakes and crocodiles, pinching your nose to block out the stench of marshlands and mouldering corpses. Consider this tape a reverse exorcism ritual, drawing the demons and devils in rather than out, and let it enfold you.

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