As genres bleed, implode, breed and keep going, there’s a new pack of Stateside metal shape-shifters, a loosely connected group of musicians that includes, among others, Pyramids’ R. Loren, the guys in Locrian, and, of course, Jenks Miller. We last heard Miller via the folky Americana of Mount Moriah, though he’s better known for Horseback’s Southern-tinged, noirish black metal drone. The guy’s a fascinating composer, something more apparent than ever on The Gorgon Tongue, a double CD that pairs Horseback’s 2007 out-of-print VHF-ready debut Impale Golden Horn with the harsher post-Invisible Mountain blackened atmospherics of the cassette-only Forbidden Planet. The Impale portion features some of Horseback’s most patient, painterly, and straight-up pretty music. Listening to it together with the bleaker new material does for Miller what Heart Ache & Dethroned did for another brilliant metal-based composer, Justin Broadrick: It allows you to trace the evolution of a singular sensibility, offering overlaps and divergences, suggesting future wrinkles and pathways. The gentle, 8-minute “Blood Fountain” emerges after almost 40 minutes of cascading, softly consuming Richard Youngs-esque drone. I’d call it the quiet after the storm, but here even the storm’s pretty relaxing. Mount Moriah’s Heather McEntire joins him on the track. Take a look at its Jon Mackey-directed video.

The Gorgon Tongue is out 5/10 via Relapse. You can pre-order it now.

Comments (8)
  1. “Directed” video? So, apparently the new Horseback video is an eight minute and 32 seconds computer screen saver… Hmm.

  2. Excited for this.

    Brandon, have you heard Negative Plane’s Stained Glass Revelations? What are your thoughts? Seems like it’d be up your alley..

    • I’m into Stained Glass… I meant to post on it a while ago, but time got in the way. They’re one of NYC’s more intriguing bands. Interviewed them a couple of years ago before they moved here — enjoyed the secrecy, fully immersed kvlt-ness. Love the atmosphere (and riffs) of this one. Much bigger than in the past. Really pretty album. Title’s appropriate. Makes a great pairing with Inquisition’s Ominous Doctrines.

      You?

      • It’s a really cool album, it sounds old school, and like it was recorded in a cave (good way) but it’s also different from most everything out there. Lots of creepy organs, and a really idiosyncratic guitar style. I agree about the atmosphere too, really gets you in a mood.

        And yeah, they’re from NYC? Huh? Nice.

        • Stained Glass Revelations is great; the guitar playing is other-worldly. I was also wondering if/when you were gonna post on it. So torn between watching Negative Plane or Tragedy on May 30th.

  3. This track actually reminded me of Mogwai quite a bit.

  4. I don’t know whose creative work is better, Jenks’ or Jon’s. Both are beautiful! and complement the other.

  5. Its crazy to me how much I loved “The Invisible Mountain” after discovering it through your best of list last year…even though Horseback’s from my town! Geez…gonna have to check this out though.

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