Monday, 24 March 2014

Godhunter - City of Dust (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 18/2/2014
Label : The Compound / Battleground Records

City of Dust, album track listing :

1). Despite All
2). Rats In The Walls
3). Brushfires
4). Snake Oil Dealer
5). Shooting Down The Sun
6). Palace Of Thorn
7). City Of Dust
8). Plague Widow

Bio :

While brutalizing Tucson-based sludgecore quintet, GODHUNTER, has amassed a plethora of independent recordings since their late 2009 inception, including several split vinyl releases, and their 2011-released Wolves EP, City Of Dust marks the band’s first official LP. The band already bears an undeniable kinship to goliaths Noothgrush, Weedeater, Bongzilla and Sourvein, yet the sprawling LP shows the band exploring even more depth, with more sonically-destructive tones, more diverse, melodic song structures and even acoustic strings and gravelly, clean vocal segments atop the sun-baked bed of earthmoving roared vocals and gang chants. More than simply a collection of songs amassed for the purpose of releasing an album, City Of Dust presents a fully conceptual statement, lyrically delivering a political by-the-throat theme which unravels through the bitter finale. The album’s eight anthems engulf exactly fifty minutes of brand new material, recorded with trusted cohort Ryan Butler (Landmine Marathon, Unruh)at his Arcane Digital Studios (Exhumed, Misery Index), where GODHUNTER’s Wolves EP also came to fruition.

City Of Dust will be released cooperatively between the band’s own newly-founded Battleground Records and Earsplit’s also recently-formed label, The Compound. The first strike will see the album disbursed on CD digipak and digital download on February 18th, 2014, followed by a limited, deluxe 12” LP version shortly thereafter. The LP’s cover artwork was created by Tucson-based artist Rudy Flores, marking his return after handling the artwork for Wolves as well

The Band :

Dick Williamson | Bass
Jake Brazelton | Guitars
David Rodgers | Guitars, Vocals
Matthew Davis | Keyboards, Cello, Effects
Charlie Touseull | Vocals
Andy Kratzenberg | Drums

Review :

Well, it looks like it’s back to Tucson for this old warhorse, and back to a band I previously reviewed doing a 7” split with Anakim.  Hello again, Godhunter, and how are we today?  Still angry, sludgy, and riffy?  Fantastic to hear.  What?  Here’s your brand new full-length album to review?  It’s called ‘City of Dust’?  Well, aren’t you guys good to me. 

Carrying on from ‘Vulture’s Wake’ from the aforementioned split 7”, this album continues with the filth by being heavy, hard-hitting and wholly destructive.  Imagine yourself in a desert, tripping on acid and being chased by the cops.  It’s an intense, breathless experience; and listening to this band is exactly the same.  The first time I heard ‘Brushfires’ I sank back in my seat from its clubbing pressure, while at the same time marvelling at the gripping, precise riffery being hurled at me.  It feels like EyeHateGod if they were present at Woodstock in the sixties: jarring, heavy, a bad trip made sonic.  But you’ve bought the ticket, so you’re gonna take the ride.  It’s a ride worth taking, you can count on that. 

There’s such a crazy-cool mix of musical influences you can get from Godhunter, and that’s why I like them so much.  Take a pinch of Pantera, a slice of Sabbath, a nip of Neurosis and a crapload of Crowbar, mix well with weed and whiskey and simmer in your speakers.  There we have it: sound like a chalice from which you’d like to quaff?  There’s no better way to imbibe than grabbing ‘City of Dust’ and playing it at full volume.  In fact, play the title track first: it’s not only a blinding song, it highlights Godhunter’s ferocity and shows off Charlie Touseull’s manic barking vocals.  Plus this song is one of the chuggiest hunks of sludge you’re ever likely to hear this year. 

All eight tracks from ‘City of Dust’ stand tall and defiant as exemplars’ of the sludge and doom genre.  ‘Snake Oil Dealer’ is over seven minutes of raw, thick, oozing aural toxic waste, irradiating your ears with its potent horror.  Seriously, guitarists David Rodgers and Jake Brazelton and bassist Dick Williamson must coat their strings with molasses to get such a thick sound.  The surprise track on ‘City of Dust’ has to be ‘Shooting Down the Sun’, an acoustic beat poem of regret, loss and pain.  It’s a sonic sunset: drawing proceedings to night and to inner, personal musings on life.  Just because it ain’t distorted don’t mean it ain’t heavy, folks. 

Tuscon’s finest have certainly brought out the best in themselves in ‘City of Dust’: it’s evocative, confident, and as heavy as King Kong’s nutsack.  If it’s a bite of sludge potency you’re after, Godhunter has that particular vintage right there, waiting for you.  Get sonically drunk at the ‘City of Dust’ right now. 

Words by : Chris Markwell

You can buy CD and preorder the vinyl here

For more information :