Review by Sheri Bicheno for MPM
After seeing the Las Vegas answer to western cowboy meets death/hardcore, SpiritWorld, at Bloodstock this year… and supporting Agnostic Front just a matter of weeks back, I’ve been eagerly awaiting for thier second album DEATHWESTERN to drop to wrap my proverbial eardrums around.
Having been around for such a short amount of time, plus the successful release of their debut album, Pagan Rhythms, written through the Pandemic, Spiritworld have made a huge footprint already.
Now with a new offering, comes DEATHWESTERN, an eleven track album of hardcore, thrash and death metal with a western horror influence.
Intro track Mojave Bloodlust offers up a visionary of winds, calling hawks and dusty acoustics to set us on our journey before pummelling straight into winding, filthy groove riffs and thrashing beats of title track DEATHWESTERN.
Stu Folsom delivers a blend of crushing gutturals and pounding roars in his vocals in hardcore style, the first that we hear on the album. This, accompanied with the aforementioned winding riffs and melodies, some Slayer-turned- Power Trip – esque styling in places, leaves the first full taste of the album quite intoxicating.
Relic of Damnation has pure thrash riffs and violent infused vocals, double bass twisting in between the riffing, creating a winding path of fury. Though, when next track Purified in Violence starts, we’re given a more frantic, bullet speed of pace to chew on from the outset. The guitars of Randy and Matt are chugging and full of interjections of rage of guitars.
U L C E R and Committee of Buzzards are two of the stand outs for me on DEATHWESTERN – solos and shreds of tempo changes worthy of any headbangers dream, U L C E R showcases some sneaky yet filthy breakdowns creeping in entwined with a rush of death metal laced through it’s path.
The latter, the grinding first groove riffs with Preston’s flawless drumming melting this track into a wonderfully fantastic example of why SpiritWorld are the harbingers of a new felt genre.
The Heretic Butcher has a surprising but refreshing start of gentle acoustics, painting a view of sunrises over the dusty plains… but don’t be fooled, that picture-esque view is then pulled from under us and we’re now falling into a rabbit hole of gnarling riffs and Stu’s hardcore infused howls. With steps leading further down into this pit of pummelling twists, the face blasting favourite of mine since its single release is none other than Moonlit Torture.
Having seen this mind blowing track live, the pure energy and ferocity of SpiritWorld is reflected in this track, which, as one of the albums first released singles, was a huuuuge look into what to expect from DEATHWESTERN. Featuring Integrity’s Dwid Hellion, the alliance of Stu and Dwid gave this track more power and focused energy into the aforementioned face blasting – evil riffs and Nick’s chugging bass notes rain into this track and thus, you’re on a runaway train of a pure frantic, unknown destination into the ether.
Crucified Heathen Scum doesn’t hold back on the huge riffs and heartstopping breakdowns – it’s only a minute and a half long but not to be underestimated – spine chilling mash ups of death and hardcore elements is where the soul of this track lies.
The penultimate tracks to DEATHWESTERN are here to remind you… this is an album not to forget in any hurry. We’re not ready to leave yet, with the grinding riffs and sheer venomous tempos that lace through Lujuria Satánica, the sound is huge and the impact devastating. It doesn’t leave any calm down for the final and most bloodthirsty track, 1000 DEATHS.
Old School thrash, death metal and punk infusions combine this final offering, the riffs again, are maddening and offer melody tempo changes that leave you hanging on for more…
If debut album Pagan Rhythms caught you out, you’re gonna get catapulted into a shocking dimension of newly discovered senses with DEATHWESTERN.
SpiritWorld’s style, songwriting and uncovered blends of the unexpected have just been heightened by a thousand and as these guys have seemingly just appeared from out of the blue, you bet they’re gonna continue to create huge waves of direction to a unique genre we are all yet to fully explore.
What a time to be alive!
Stu Folsom – Vocals
Preston Harper – Drums
Randy Moore – Lead Guitar
Matt Schrum – Rhythm Guitar
Nick Brundy – Bass
Godlessness Signed Book + Vinyl Audiobook: https://rarebirdlit.com/godlessness-signed-by-stu-folsom
DEATHWESTERN Limited Edition Cassette: https://rarebirdlit.com/deathwestern-by-spiritworld-limited-edition-cassette