A couple of years ago we premiered a Godhunter track from Endsville, their merciless but moving split with Destroyer of Light. After the release of that split, there were a few departures from the band’s line-up, but the remaining members — guitarist/vocalist David Rodgers, drummer Andy Kratzenberg, and keyboardist Matthew Davis — began working on new material, and the ultimate result is a new EP named Codex Narco now set for release on May 19th, which includes contributions from a number of their musician friends.
Two of the tracks from the EP have already appeared, and today we have a third one for you, “Cocaine Witches & Lysergic Dreams“.
Although Metal-Archives will tell you that Godhunter is a “Sludge/Thrash” band, this particular song is a tough one to nail down in genre terms, so I’m not going to bother trying. I will say that, like much of the rest of the EP, Godhunter have stretched their wings way beyond the debilitating destructiveness and plague vectors lodged within Endsville, and they may have soared the farthest on this particular song.
Of the 7 tracks on Codex Narco, five of them are in the roughly two-minute range, but two are nearly six minutes in length, and “Cocaine Witches…” is one of those. Godhunter and friends make good use of the extra room… room to move, and room to get you moving. By my lights, it’s probably the best song on this very strong EP, and it’s certainly my own favorite.
As you think back on it, the pulsing and Doppler-ing electronic emissions at the start might be taken as a sign of the twists to come, even though they’re followed by huge, slow, pounding drum beats and long, grim, abrasive chords. It might seem that you’ll be dragged into a charnel pit, but then the rhythm begins to move, as will your head. The gritty fog of guitar distortion doesn’t go away, but a clean, emotionally penetrating vocal melody rises through it, as that compulsive groove carries you forward.
The head-moving power of the song only grows stronger, the drums booming and the bass groaning down in the depths, and the song intensifies in other ways as well, with the vocals turning to growls and wrenching shrieks and that harshness persisting even as the clean voice repeats the song’s lyrical mantra. And when the drums disappear, the sound of the guitar becomes both more bleak and more degraded.
It’s a heavy song and a dark one — this is Godhunter, after all — and there’s a hallucinatory quality to the music that fits its title, yet it sticks in the head like a spike, and as a friend of mine accurately observed, it almost feels danceable.
We’re told that Codex Narco was influenced by the dramatic personal trauma that all the core members experienced in recent years, with the songs focused on dependency, depression, and loss as the driving factors. But as inward-turning as the EP may be in those respects, Godhunter remain keenly aware of what’s happening around them… and thus all the proceeds of this record will be donated to Planned Parenthood. And it includes a cover of a Tegan & Sara song (“Walking With A Ghost”) about suicide prevention, which will soon be released as a video made by Thou’s Mitch Wells.
As for those friends I mentioned earlier, the music includes guest vocals by Eva Rose (CHRCH) and Josh Thorne (Thorne), bass from Adam Sage (Demon Lung), guitars from Clayton Bartholomew (Mountaineer, ex-Secrets Of The Sky), and vocal, bass, and guitar contributions from Nick Genitals (Methra).
The EP was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, and features artwork by Bailey Illustration and layout by Cool Ghoul Ltd. (Ethan McCarthy of Primitive Man). It will be released in digital form and on cassette, and pre-orders can be placed here:
Check out “Cocaine Witches & Lysergic Dreams” below, where you can also listen to “A Dread of Some Strange Impending Doom”. To hear “Like Glass Under Black Fingernails”, visit DECIBEL.
1. A Dread Of Some Strange Impending Doom
2. Like Glass Under Black Fingernails
3. Our Blood Is Poison
4. Cocaine Witches & Lysergic Dreams
5. Unarmed Combat
6. Walking With A Ghost
7. Distant Fading Screams Of A Dying World
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