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Horseburner: The Thief

Can you please pass me the fudge, urrr…..I mean sludge.

You just have to get a hold of the latest disc by West Virginia’s Horseburner titled The Thief. The band formed in 2009 and released a couple of E.P.s before their first full length Dead Seed, Barren Soil in 2016. This is my first time listening and what an exhilarating experience it has been.

I know the sludge/stoner rock and metal genres have been inundated with bands recently and some don’t always hit the mark but Horseburner kick some major ass. So yes, this is heavy with its ripping guitar acrobatics, dense riffs and aggressive vocals, a sort of melodic shouting style but the band also weaves in more textural and moody elements changing the pace often. Lots of cool sounds to be had beginning with the first track “The Thief”. Quietly picked guitar and cool rumbling sounds before the band kicks in with a great groove. This song is truly epic as the vocals and riffs create a huge slab of sound, quite grandiose in breadth and scope. Next is “A Joyless King” beginning with nifty drum rolls and atmospheric guitar textures. There is a moody vibe before the seriously heavy riffs are unleashed. Again, the shouted vocals are catchy and distant sounding and the repeating guitar riffs completely absorbing. With “Drowning Bird” a barrage of heaviness hits immediately with some fast shredding guitar work and slower psychedelic sounds. What makes this stuff so intriguing is the contrast between heavy and mellow atmospheres. That and the fact there are some really catchy tunes here. Middle eastern/Indian guitar tones gives “The Fisherman’s Vow” a more exotic sound while the bludgeonly heavy “Fathoms” is as powerful as music gets.

The Thief is another exciting find courtesy of Ripple Music. Fans of heavy music should not pass this up. Excellent stuff.

Track Listing:
1. The Thief
2. A Joyless King
3. Drowning Bird
4. The Fisherman’s Vow
5. Seas Between
6. Hand Of Gold, Man Of Stone
7. The Oak
8. Fathoms
9. Thiefsong

Added: January 15th 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 493
Language: english

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