For years New Orleans, Louisiana has really been the home for most sludge bands. We now have another destination for all things sludge. Chicago quartet Pale Horsemen have been giving birth to some amazing sludge albums since their formation in 2012. Since then they now have released 3 amazing albums. They debuted their first self-titled release in 2013 and took little time with a follow up releasing ‘Mourn the Black Lotus’ in 2014. November 30th marked the date of their latest release ‘Bless the Destroyer’. The band celebrated the release at their CD Release Party a couple days early in the Windy City with yet another northern sludge band The Mound Builders.
‘Bless The Destroyer’ features some of the best down tuned riffs I’ve heard in quite some time. The album begins with one of the strongest tracks on the album which is “Clear the Throne”. Immediately the guitar work by Eric and Andre shows its precedence. The way the riffs along with the bass parts create this overwhelming groove and the vocals have this slight echo. The echo in the vocals just create that little something extra to push their sound over the edge. Moving on to track two ‘Caverns Of The Templar’ which has this really dirty chanting vocal style that just meshes really well with their sound. Then with some soothing guitar riffs comes in these clean vocals which is a really refreshing change to mix things up. The chorus of the song is just so overwhelmingly catchy, especially for the more un-clean vocals. It’s nearly impossible to listen to any track on the album and not bang your head, even just with the groove it makes you want to just move. The album contains 5 amazing sludge filled tracks. The main course or protein of the album is by far “Bastard Child” the epic 15 minute long track. You get a lot more of the Pale Horsemen that you’ve already been introduced to of course and then some other tid bits thrown in. Everyone really has their moment to shine here. At around the 4 minute mark you get this independent bass line that leads into this hypnotizing guitar riff. The whole song blends into this really killer positive vibe machine where all the sounds really just become one. Then just as you hit your peak on the relaxing jam session the band breaks outside the box yet again and the heaviness pours in. Most bands would take a couple years off to write a record this good and these guys are pumping them out pretty much yearly. If you think this album is great the previous two releases are just as stellar. Pale Horsemen will soon become a household name in the sludge world.