Published Jun 19, 2019The brainchild of Arizona's Andrew Markuszewski, Sonoran Rebel Black Magick's True Western Doom is most certainly true, western and doom. Ghostly guitar noodlings and metallic voices on opening track "Pilgrim of the Sun" conjure up images of skeletal desert towns half buried in Mojave sand.
Things just get grimmer on "No Country for the Weak," "Poetry of the Desert Tomb" and "Tantra Bandits," by which point the underlying electronics have turned this into a straight-up horror show. It ain't cheery, but it's certainly an interesting experience — like a Cormac McCarthy novel set to music.
Sounding like YOB possessed by Swans in the first half, and Zeal and Ardor in the second, True Western Doom lurches through the motions of a traditional album, while being something entirely different. Without overstaying their welcome with ten-minute runtimes, the riffs that make up the album echo out with sinister intent. To hear the title track's mantra of "I breathe to kill, I kill to eat" is to be disturbed and unsettled in the best possible way, like hearing Nine Inch Nails' darkest material for the first time.
True Western Doom is not an easy listen, but it's still worth checking out due to its originality and completely bizarre aesthetic. If the summer weather isn't to your liking, spin Sonoran Rebel Black Magick to bring the chill back into your spine. (New Density Records)