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Eager Spirits Descending (Upon The Altar Of Ages) - 82%

CHAIRTHROWER, March 30th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2012, Cassette, Deadbangers (Limited edition)

To say fans of female fronted heavy psychedelic occult rock in vein of Black Road, Castle, Death Penalty, Frayle, Christian Mistress, Lucifer, Psychedelic Witchcraft, The Lucid Furs and The Riven will get a major, major (major!) kick out of Copenhagen's esoterically named Death Rides A Horse, and its tri-tracked 2012 EP Tree of Woe, is an understatement rings true as soon as its indelibly mammoth, pendulous and riff-rampant, heavily dosed seven minute opener "For Those About To Die" - A Reverend Bizarre-ish title if there ever was - crashes through the painted fresco which is said loosely invigorating doomsday refreshment...

Because, I mean, nary half way in - a little over - we get flattened, ceremoniously so by crunchy and towering, palm muted psalms and alms, alongside gently ruffling, subsonic and ever-pentatonic chutzpah in form of memorably alternative rock-like refrains, amidst oh-so-tumbling and outright waffling drums & cymbals, like the trio's throwing down in same room.

A more swinging Goatsnake (of L.A.)-meets-Vancouver's Dead Quiet, yet decidedly Lucifer-esque (e.g. 1st cannon i.e. Lucifer I) "(A Unified Vision of a Transgalactic Empire) Open the Gates" hails next: a six-minute-r which, to harking tune of lush(ush) femme wails (by front gal who also rocks for Pink Absynth), moderated blast beats and restrained, albeit rich and fulsome, leads, returns to gloriously florid form. Although, its second solo section, beneath hers huskily's portentous cries, opts for virtuoso, high flourishing dexterity and class; hence, making this little tidbit of EP a most enticing and necessary, if not rarefied, affair.

Without pomp, now, the killer main feature and 10.5 minute long title track...simply blows this outta the bejewelled waters, and onto the deck, flopping, fish-like, never wanting for more than self-deciduous and crafty or gratifyingly engaging, bass-heavy, drum heavy, guitar heavy, estrogen-laced bliss, what! (Towards end, even softens up some to fairy-like, Hands of Orlac styled, haunting mellifluousness.) Never wavers, nothing flounders, DRaH's Tree of Woe - available on limited (to 200 copy) quantity of cool town Deadbangers cassette - instantly delivers!

This reissue is a bloody nice release! - 75%

Lane, April 6th, 2013

Will Death Rides A Horse (DRaH from now on) be the next big metal music export from Denmark? This band, formed back in 2008, took their name from a movie. First I recalled a Hammer Films had a movie called that, but wrong, it was a western starring Lee Van Cleef.

This MCD is a reissue of September 2012 3-song tape release (via Deadbangers). Infernö Record's CD version includes DRaH's previous EP 'Pantokrator' (2010) as well as an exclusive bonus track. There's 58+ minutes of music here! It comes with beautiful stained glass artwork and almost every song's lyrics printed (they concentrate on mythologies and literature [H.P. Lovecraft and J.R.R. Tolkien]) on glossy paper. Looks very stylish indeed. As does the band's logo which reminds of, surprise surprise, old movies.

While being named after a western, the moods presented by the band here are just like from old horror movies, so Hammer Films was in a way the right bet from me. First up is the band's newest material. 'For Those about to Die' starts with similar vibes to a Runemagick song; ominous and ghastly, yet attacking. When the song goes on, there is clear Candlemass style doom tone, as well as headbangable Grand Magus-ish impression. Good classic and powerful heavy metal riffing (from NWOBHM to Accept) is abound. The title track brings in something new, that deepens the atmosphere: A calmer part with acoustic guitar playing. While the songs are rather long, from 6½ minutes to almost 11 minutes, the songs aren't complex, nor consist of that many parts. The compositions work, and one clear evidence about this is that, that they do not feel long at all. How do 11 minutes pass that fast?! The drums do what's suitable, meaning straight tempos or war-drum style tom drum utilizing work. The bass guitar playing is rather colourful, as one would expect in this kind of metal music. Female vocals are quite unique and into-the-point. If Doro would sing Danzig, maybe it would sound a bit like this. The production is thick and warm, organic. It could be heavier, though.

'Beyond the Granite Threshold' starts the 'Pantokrator' run. It's somewhat faster than 'Tree of Woe' material, but style-wise it is very similar. The song last between 5-9 minutes, so the band do not offer a fast way out. The title track shows the band's ability to pen atmospheric, story-telling songs. 'The Eye' presents well DRaH's sludge influences. I expected a lot from Scorpions cover 'Fly to the Rainbow', but maybe am just so used to Therion's take on it, that this left me a tad cold. The sound on these songs, minus the cover, is fairly muffled, but heavy.

The exclusive track, 'Dominion of Metal' starts with riffing, that is way more poodle hair thing than anything else on this release. Gladly, it knows how to metal on in a doomy way, too. Anyway, this one was dedicated to Accept. The song sounds like it was a demo recording, which it probably is.

All things considered, this release is a fine way to put out almost every recording made by DRaH. Well, I do not know what they still might have hidden in their vaults, and am missing their two-song debut demo from 2009. I believe the band will be noticed widely now, and get some credit they deserve. Heavy metal and doomy heavy metal addicts need to get their filthy hands on this one! Oh, and that Hammer Films flick I was thinking about was "The Devil Rides out"...

(Originally written for