Horseback/Locrian – “The Gift” (Stereogum Premiere)
Back in May, Chapel Hill, NC’s Horseback released one of the year’s most rewarding albums, Half Blood, which blends ambient black metal with rootsy Americana to chilling and remarkable results. Their occasional collaborators, the Chicago-based drone outfit Locrian, dropped the excellent The Clearing/The Final Epoch in August of this year. The two groups are teamed up again on New Dominions, which was originally released last year as a two-track, extremely limited-edition single-side vinyl, but has been remastered and expanded by three tracks, and will be reissued by Relapse next month. The now-five-song album opens with “The Gift”; Horseback’s Jenks Miller croaks his haunted vocals, somewhere between poetry and prophecy — “Dead plain / empty landscape like / an open palm” — while Locrian rattle and shiver around him like the Appalachian wilderness under a wolf moon. Give it a listen.