Mar 042022

There are SO many things to like about the Gravedancer video we’re about to premiere that it’s hard to imagine anyone not enjoying it — other than perhaps the trvest of the trve black metal kultists out there. And they’ve already got so many other things to be upset about that this is probably just one more drop in a rapidly filling bucket.

The music alone is a big attraction. Entitled “The Devil’s Garden“, the song is the closing track on this Arkansas band’s latest EP, Every Kind of Dog, which was released last October. It traverses some interesting and unexpected musical territory, especially given the general folk/Americana style of the tracks that precede it in on the EP.

The video is a humorous spoof, but the song’s infernal lyrics really don’t read like tongue-in-cheek, and they end with a Latin phrase that means “In the name of Satan with the power of hell”. The music isn’t a joke either — far from it.

It features an array of instruments that includes mandolin, cello, violin, banjo, upright bass, and different guitars. The strings provide a dark and downcast overture, setting the stage for frontman Baker McKinney‘s arresting voice and a soft thumping beat. The effect is spellbinding as well as sorrowful, but when McKinney reaches the soaring chorus and the banjo becomes more prominent, the song becomes livelier — and more devilish, as the fiddle melody rises.

The tune will get your toes tapping and your head nodding, but a tense and heavy undercurrent begins to swell in the sound, leading toward a scorching scream. What was once merely sinister becomes frightening; what was harmonious becomes abrasive; and the vocals becomes a cold, gritty roar. The drums hurtle, the bass thunders, the other instruments convulse in a frenzy, and the roars and screams turn cacophonous.

By the end, the whole experience feels demented and predatory. Welcome to Hell.

And so, the song proves to be seductive and sinister, haunting and harrowing. But as forecast above, it’s not just the excellence of the song that makes this new video so appealing, and it’s the video that brings good-natured, and ultimately heart-warming, humor to the experience.

Shot in black and white, it portrays Baker McKinney in corpse-paint and hooded robes (not his usual look) wandering a desolate forest and alongside rushing waters. But some of the faces he makes and the jigs he dances aren’t quite in keeping with grimness.

And things get a whole lot less grim when a second and more diminutive corpse-painted and hooded figure enters the narrative. It might seem that some awful sacrifice is on the verge of occurring, but then… well, we’ll let you discover for yourselves what happens next.

Credit for the video goes to Kevin Thompson ( Baker McKinney‘s delightful co-star is his daughter. We’ll also share a comment we got from Baker about why he wrote the song:

Growing up in the South/Bible belt it always irked me when the churchgoing folk would look past Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil or Johnny Cash singing about some dark shit. As though it gave them a sense of danger or adventure within the music. The Devil’s Garden was my response to that. I wanted to write a song that the Southern Baptists would find simply unlistenable, and I believe I succeeded!

Every Kind Of Dog is out now on all streaming platforms, and you can find it via the first link below. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Nick Futch in Fayetteville.

Gravedancer have also made shirts adorned by Tobey Rover‘s artwork for the song in the video, and you can find those via the same link. (There’s only 50 of them, so don’t dawdle.)

Recording Line-up:
Baker McKinney – guitar, mandolin, singing
Cheyenne Rain – cello, singing
Chooch Norton – guitar
Chris Overcash – violin, throat singing
Jeff Bodine – doom bass
Mark Landry – upright bass
Nick Shoulders – banjo
Zachariah Coger – percussion, singing


The witching hour is finally upon me
Stamina and self-will are on trial
Grasping at the flesh that is this altar
The nails sink in my back, blood for Belial

I’ve been watering the Devil’s garden
The roots grow ever deep as the candle drips
Voluptuous and vile, this form is beckoning
A crooked smile and a curse upon my lips

I keep company with Satan’s finest
We’re resurrecting Cain
I’ve been laying my head at the coven
We’re letting chaos reign
I’ve been spitting in holy water
I dip my robe in mud
I’ve been turning round to look at Gomorrah
The salt is in my blood

The nocturne ritual, nigh
Reborn under a darkened sky
The moon rises high
Black out the sun
A crucifix inverted
Seductively inserted
A piously perverted left-hand nun

I keep company with Satan’s finest
We’re resurrecting Cain
I’ve been laying my head at the coven
We’re letting chaos reign
I’ve been spitting in holy water
I dip my robe in mud
I’ve been turning round to look at Gomorrah
The salt is in my blood

In nominae satanas cum potentia inferni


  1. Absolutely fantastic! And father of the year without a doubt

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