Warhorse – As Heaven Turns to Ash/I Am Dying reissue

Rating

Boston isn’t automatically associated with stoner/doom metal the way that Baltimore or Indianapolis (for those in the know) is, but that’s not to say Beantown hasn’t cranked out a few solid outfits recently—Elder, Black Pyramid and Gozu come to mind. Hell, last year’s edition of the Eye of the Stoned Goat Fest was held in Worcester, Mass… which also happened to be home to this particular Warhorse some 15-20 years ago.

Suffice to say, they weren’t the only metal band with that moniker—or even the only doom outfit, as legend has it Wino’s original band of brothers had the same name in the 70s before switching to The Obsessed. But like Winter a decade before them, this ‘horse entered the realm of one-album wonders with the release of As Heaven Turns to Ash on Southern Lord in ’01, repackaged here with the band’s final EP, I Am Dying, which came out the following year.

That said, they don’t sound exactly like Winter; though bleak and desolate in its approach, Warhorse has a heavier bottom end, and a distinctive bass tone more stoner than death doom. But the pummeling attack is somewhat similar; these aren’t noodling jams for the most part, but rather bone-crushing riffs of downtuned despondency, repeatedly beating you down in 8-10 minute increments. You could call it sludge filtered through a death/doom lens, I suppose. For instance, “Black Acid Prophecy” recalls Sleep, but on a really bad trip, as the picture blurs and distorts beneath some throaty death growls. Zoroaster was doing something like this, too… some 5-6 years later, mind you.

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Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

8.0 Rating