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London Celtic Punks Reviews Gothic Country Outfit Heathen Apostles EP

The Los Angeles-based dark roots & gothic country outfit Heathen Apostles release their third volume collection of songs at once as timely as they are timeless.

Gothic Country Outfit

Imagine bands doing to Country / Bluegrass music what the bands we all love doing to Celtic music? Add on a bit of Goth and you’ve got the Heathen Apostles. An LA based band featuring ex-members of Radio Noir (Mather Louth), The Cramps (Chopper Franklin) and Kings of Nuthin’ (Thomas Lorioux) in its ranks, they have been on these pages before but not for an in-depth review. Mather, of course, was recently on these pages as co-vocalist on the new album from fellow ‘Doom-billy’ merchants The Phantom Of The Black Hills, an album that still holds the #1 spot in my heart of all 2021 releases. Though she had recorded with the Phantom before this time, her input was a lot more than just a great voice with her assisting with writing and lyrics.

Gothic Country Outfit

Sadly, this review is going to be published after their tour of mainland Europe comes to an end, so any new fans who may have had the chance will have missed them. Their tour of Europe was cancelled twice before as the music industry ground to a stop because of the Covid pandemic, but it did mean the Heathen Apostles were gifted time. Time that they were not expecting due to their busy schedules and while some bands were happy to rest upon their laurels, they channeled the turbulent year’s events and its complex emotions into their music. It was only last month that they released a 3-track EP as featured in Lorin Morgan-Richards Western animated series The Goodbye Family, about a fictional family of undertakers based on a comic book. The show is available on You Tube and features the Heathens music throughout.

Gothic Country Outfit The third volume of Bloodgrass follows on from one and two released in 2017 and 2018 respectively, and Bloodgrass #3 is a worthy follow up to the two previous volumes, both available on the bands Bandcamp (click HERE).

So Volume three arrives and begins with ‘Bad Patch’ and continues their dark interpretation of Bluegrass, Country and Blues. Fiddle, banjo and mandolin accompany Mather’s beautiful voice as she sings of the tragedy of the 1930’s Dust Bowl, a series of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology of mid-west American prairies during the 1930’s. Besides the great lyrics the song is musically a bit more ‘radio friendly’ Heathen Apostles, while ‘Careful What You Pray For’ is more of the dark Gothic Americana they are known for. The song tells of the danger of religious dogma and cements Mather as having one of the best voices in alternative music… or just music. ‘Black Hawk’ was the lead single for the EP and I’ll not pretend to have any idea what the lyrics are about except it’s a a tale of transformation by shedding the darkness in order to welcome in the light.

Yeah, that is from the press release as if you didn’t know, but be sure to check out the video as along with their label-mates The Phantom Of the Black Hills, their videos tell entire stories and are as far from our usual fare as you can get. Despite being closely linked in many ways to the Phantom, the Heathen Apostles have a very definite and original sound. There is no one else who resembles them, making it hard to review them as it’s so original. Rooted in the definition of ‘Folk’ they mangle up several genres while adding much to the final sound. ‘Demi Monde’ is a slow song dominated by all the usual elements and shrouded in occult imagery paying homage to the fires of Beltane. ‘Tall Rider’ brings down the curtain on the EP on a positive note. I mean even the Sisters of Mercy were sometimes upbeat (ish!). Catchy as hell and a reminder of the possibility to heal through love. Great fiddle throughout that does lead a lot of the time, but without dominating thanks in no small part to the excellent production of master producer Chopper Franklin.

This dark roots & gothic country EP may only be five songs long, but it’s length, at almost twenty minutes, is almost as much as some albums we hear. Their recent tour took in mainly Germany (the Germans are good at spotting American bands), but I can’t see how this band with a bit of luck and the right promotion it won’t be long before their a name on everybody’s lips and they’ll be back touring in your country too.

Review by London Celtic Punks, read the full review HERE.

ViolaNoir.com Review of Bloodgrass Volume 3 EP

Bloodgrass Vol. 3 EPThe following is a reprint of ViolaNoir.com Review of  the Bloodgrass Volume 3 EP :

The next part of the Bloodgrass series from Heathen Apostles can be attributed to the Covid 19 pandemic, because its creation was provoked by a protracted lockdown, and the thematic content reflects the general depressed state of the scene with a timid glimmer of hope.

The opening track Bad Patch, where the 30s and modern times is so successfully intertwined, is permeated with pure melancholy, which is extremely unusual for the latest releases of Heathen Apostles. Careful What You Pray For bets on the mystical component and wins. The ballad Black Hawk is filled to the brim with the authenticity of the Gothic Americana genre in its current state. The lulling Demi Monde is also something new to the familiar sound of the project. Tall Rider as a typical dark country parable.

This release fully respects the good tradition of Bloodgrass – as in the two previous numbered releases, it contains all the most colorful both in terms of genre and in terms of creativity by Heathen Apostles. The only thing that distinguishes the third part is a slight melancholy, sadness and thoughtfulness – but those are the times we are in.

Viola Noir

You can listen to the Bloodgrass Volume 3 EP HERE.

Heathen Apostles’ Gothic Americana Tour Continues In Europe

The Heathen Apostles‘ Gothic Americana tour is continuing through Europe, tomorrow marks the halfway point of the 18-shows-in-18-days tour. They have hot-off-the-press vinyl copies of their last full length album Dust To Dust (out now on Urgense Disk Records in Geneva), and they are supporting their latest release, the Bloodgrass Vol. 3 EP (out now on Ratchet Blade Records).

Most venues are having some capacity adjustments due to the COVID 19 pandemic, and some are relocating to outdoor venues, so contact your local venue and get tickets early.

Heathen Apostles' Gothic Americana tour

Heathen Apostles' Gothic Americana tour

Heathen Apostles' Gothic Americana tour

Heathen Apostles' Gothic Americana tour

Heathen Apostles' Gothic Americana tour

HEATHEN APOSTLES 2021 EUROPEAN FINAL DATES

09/09/2021 Thursday – Willemeen, Arnhem, The Netherlands
10/09/2021 Friday – La Bonne Idée, Vresse-sur-Semois, Belgium
11/09/2021 Saturday – CC Muze, Zolder, Belgium
12/09/2021 Sunday – The Grand Canyon, Nazareth, Belgium
13/09/2021 Monday – Titanic, Herenthout, Belgium
14/09/2021 Tuesday – Far-West Bar, Liege, Belgium
15/09/2021 Wednesday – The Shakespeare Pub, Herdecke, Germany
16/09/2021 Thursday – Indra Club 64, Hamburg, Germany
17/09/2021 Friday – Wild At Heart, Berlin, Germany

Heathen Apostles Enter the EU Under the Wire

We are pleased to report that the Heathen Apostles made it into the European Union a day before the EU proposed a travel restriction on several countries, including the US. All shows on their European tour are currently still scheduled as planned, starting tonight at Schlachthof in Krefeld, Germany and continuing through September 19th. Mask requirements and proof-of-vaccination will vary by venue, so call ahead for information. The band will be playing selections from their new EP Bloodgrass Vol. 3 (click HERE to listen), as well as favorites from their seven year history.

Heathen Apostles Enter the EU

HEATHEN APOSTLES 2021 EUROPEAN TOUR DATES

02/09/2021 Thursday – Kulturrampe, Krefeld, Germany
03/09/2021 Friday – Alter Open Air Stage, Mannheim, Germany
04/09/2021 Saturday – Ballonfabrik, Augsburg, Germany
05/09/2021 Sunday – Private Show, France
06/09/2021 Monday – l’Usine Switzerland Genève
07/09/2021 Tuesday – Spazio 211, Torino, Italy
08/09/2021 Wednesday – Brasserie de Framont, Grandfontaine, France
09/09/2021 Thursday – Willemeen, Arnhem, The Netherlands
10/09/2021 Friday – La Bonne Idée, Vresse-sur-Semois, Belgium
11/09/2021 Saturday – CC Muze, Zolder, Belgium
12/09/2021 Sunday – The Grand Canyon, Nazareth, Belgium
13/09/2021 Monday – Titanic, Herenthout, Belgium
14/09/2021 Tuesday – Far-West Bar, Liege, Belgium
15/09/2021 Wednesday – The Shakespeare Pub, Herdecke, Germany
16/09/2021 Thursday – Indra Club 64, Hamburg, Germany
17/09/2021 Friday – Wild At Heart, Berlin, Germany

Heathen Apostles Release Southern Gothic Soundtrack EP

Heathen Apostles Release Southern Gothic Soundtrack Ratchet Blade Records in pleased to announce that the Heathen Apostles have teamed up with Lorin Morgan-Richards to release a Southern Gothic soundtrack EP for his animated series The Goodbye Family. The Goodbye Family EP consists of 3 Heathen Apostles songs featured in the first Gothic Western animated series The Goodbye Family, originated by author Lorin Morgan-Richards from his comic series of the same name. You can listen to this Southern Gothic soundtrack EP by clicking HERE.

“Sew It Up” (the series’ theme) is a gypsy-infused, up tempo hoedown of a tune, and on “Get Outta Dodge” lead vocalist Mather Louth channels Patsy and Dolly while singing the woes of an Old West dancehall singer. The release is finished off by “Lake of Fire”, an instrumental worthy to be placed in any collection of Spaghetti Western soundtrack songs. The EP was produced and mixed by Chopper Franklin, and released on Ratchet Blade Records.

Meanwhile the band is back to finishing up their Bloodgrass Vol. III EP (out 8/27) before their September European tour, which starts on September 2nd in Krefeld, Germany.

Heathen Apostles September Bloodgrass Music 2021 tour:
02/09/2021 Thursday – Kulturrampe Germany Krefeld
03/09/2021 Friday – Alter Open Air Stage Germany Mannheim
04/09/2021 Saturday – City Club Germany Augsburg
05/09/2021 Sunday – Private Event, FR
06/09/2021 Monday – l’Usine Switzerland Genève
7/09/2021 Tuesday – BlahBlah Italy Torino
08/09/2021 Wednesday – Brasserie de Framont, Grandfontaine, FR
09/09/2021 Thursday – Willemeen The Netherlands Arnhem
10/09/2021 Friday – La Bonne Idee, Vresse, BE
11/09/2021 Saturday – CC Muze Belgium Zolder
12/09/2021 Sunday – The Grand Canyon Belgium Nazareth
13/09/2021 Monday – Titanic, Herenthout, BE
14/09/2021 Tuesday – Tortuga Germany Unna
15/09/2021 Wednesday – Bei Chez Heinz Germany Hannover
16/09/2021 Thursday – Monkeys Germany Hamburg
17/09/2021 Friday – Wild At Heart Germany Berlin
18/09/2021 Saturday – Sonic Ballroom Germany Köln
19/09/2021 Sunday – BUSKERfestival Belgium Aarschot

Heathen Apostles Release Southern Gothic Soundtrack

Final Dates for Heathen Apostles’ Gothic Country Tour

The final tour dates have been announced for the Heathen Apostles September 2021 European Tour, they will be visiting Germany, France, Sweden Italy, Belgium and The Netherlands. Their Gothic Country tour was booked to make up for the postponed tour of September 2020, and they are playing many of the same venues on board one year later. They will be supporting their upcoming EP Bloodgrass Vol. 3, out August 27th on Ratchet Blade Records, and the precursor to the 2022 release of the Bloodgrass Vol. 3 & 4 album.

There are still dates open for their 2022 May/June European tour, if you have a venue that would like to book the Heathen Apostles, or know of one, Kurt DeBont at Rootstown Bookings HERE.

Heathen Apostles' Gothic Country Tour

 

Heathen Apostles September Gothic Outlaw Country 2021 tour:
02/09/2021 Thursday – Kulturrampe Germany Krefeld
03/09/2021 Friday – Alter Open Air Stage Germany Mannheim
04/09/2021 Saturday – City Club Germany Augsburg
05/09/2021 Sunday – Private Event, FR
06/09/2021 Monday – l’Usine Switzerland Genève
7/09/2021 Tuesday – BlahBlah Italy Torino
08/09/2021 Wednesday – Brasserie de Framont, Grandfontaine, FR
09/09/2021 Thursday – Willemeen The Netherlands Arnhem
10/09/2021 Friday – La Bonne Idee, Vresse, BE
11/09/2021 Saturday – CC Muze Belgium Zolder
12/09/2021 Sunday – The Grand Canyon Belgium Nazareth
13/09/2021 Monday – Titanic, Herenthout, BE
14/09/2021 Tuesday – Tortuga Germany Unna
15/09/2021 Wednesday – Bei Chez Heinz Germany Hannover
16/09/2021 Thursday – Monkeys Germany Hamburg
17/09/2021 Friday – Wild At Heart Germany Berlin
18/09/2021 Saturday – Sonic Ballroom Germany Köln
19/09/2021 Sunday – BUSKERfestival Belgium Aarschot

Heathen Apostles Gothic Country tour

 

Phantom of the Black Hills – Gothic Bluegrass Album Review

gothic BluegrassFrom the London Celtic Punks website: “One of the best bands to wield a banjo IN THE WORLD Phantom Of The Black Hills soak in influences as varied as Country, Punk, Goth, Folk and gothic Bluegrass with distorted vocals and mysterious mystique and a dark, very dark ethos.

That Witch is their 6th studio album and they are accompanied by Mather Louth from renowned ‘Gothic Americana’ band Heathen Apostles.

To put it simply Phantom Of The Black Hills are fantastic!!

When I saw that their was a new Phantom Of The Black Hills album on the way I can admit to being pretty bloody excited. Even though I love music we receive so much here at London Celtic Punks Towers that it is hard sometimes to rally up enthusiasm for new releases but for That Witch I was even willing to pay (those that know me will know how incredible that is!). Luckily for my Scots /Yorkshire sensibilities I was incredibly lucky to receive a free download from Ratchet Blade Records and it’s not left my lugholes ever since!

gothic Bluegrass

The Phantom and Mather Louth

That Witch had originally been planned for release in 2020 but with all the shit going on was delayed almost a year. For those wishing to pigeonhole the label’s most bandied about for the Phantom Of The Black Hills are ‘hellbilly’, ‘frontier-core’ or ‘doom country’ and all capture them pretty fairly squarely and imaginatively. Taking elements of Country, Folk, Punk, Psychobilly and gothic Bluegrass music, while mixing traditional instruments like mandolin, banjo and fiddle but combining them with fiercely dark and angry polemic, crunching guitars, snarling distorted vocals, intense sound effects and cleverly used movie dialog this is one ‘country’ band you won’t see at the Grand Ole Opry! Shrouded in secrecy hiding themselves away from the glare of publicity the bandana’s they wear in their videos and photos are very careful not to give away any clue as to their identities so it’s kind of hard to tell you anymore about the band themselves! That Witch is their sixth album, the last being Scalped in 2017. That album was to first to feature guest vocals from the lovely Mather Louth on ‘Wild Witch Of The West’ (be sure to check out the brilliant video). She also doubles up as the lead singer of excellent fellow ‘Gothic Americana’ band Heathen Apostles and she guest vocals on pretty much the whole of That Witch giving the album that little extra special range.

Phantom of the Black Hills

That Witch begins in superb form with ‘Rising Son’ and The Phantom snarling his way through a song that takes the point of view of Native American’s and their resistance to the early settlers who sought to steal their land and force them onto special reservations.

“This ain’t Oklahoma
And I was here long before ya
Mistress Darkness has come
And when the night is done
I’m the rising son”

The song is a slow burner. A dark foreboding of what is to come building to a climax in the lyrics rather than the tune. Excellent fiddle throughout from El Gato is matched by Popeye on guitar, banjo and bass and Deacon on drums.

‘That Witch’ sees The Phantom and Mather dueling it out on vocals and it’s another dark slower song and I think it’s fair to say that while their albums have progressively darker the sound has mellowed somewhat though the heaviness of the music does mitigate that. You often think you’re listening to a much faster song than you actually are. We get a fast one next with the album’s lead single ‘Buck Knife’ and the tragic tale of a veteran of the Civil War suffering from PTSD. On returning to his home town he is shunned and the story climaxes in a orgy of deadly violence before ending with the kind of twist to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

Heathen Apostles are one hell of a band in their own right and it is absolute genius to team her up with the Phantom Of the Black Hills. The perfect foil to The Phantom’s vocals her beautiful voice on ‘Lady Judas’ belies the story while we do see a lot less of the electric guitar like on next track ‘Moon Killer’ with vocals now dominating but it works a treat and the distorted vocals are still clear enough to understand every word and the various tales of  violence, drunkenness, debauchery and revenge.

“Time to take a vow and consecrate
Using skin and motion as my bait
The cauldron is a-bubblin’
Got to go and show him sin
Lucifer just don’t want to wait…”

‘Hunger’ is co-written by Mather Louth and the band and she leads here her voice soaring above the bands train-like rumble and that majestic fiddle.  The Phantom takes the rein back for ‘Road To Bleeding’. This is the kind of song that previously they would have slung hard and heavy electric guitar all over but now they treat more gently. ‘Sin & Sanctify’ is as close (still not that close really) as they come to a traditional Country song while the album continues to its violent conclusion with two of the album’s best songs ‘Wicked Storm’ and the storming ‘Attack’.

Phantom of the Black Hills - gothic Bluegrass

That Witch was released July 2nd on Ratchet Blade Records. The Los Angeles based label home to the Heathen Apostles, Doghouse Lords, the Mau Maus, Charley Horse, Berlin Brats and many more. Ratchet Blade Records describes itself, correctly, as “the best in dark roots music”. Once again it features the amazingly talented former The Cramps bassist, and current Heathen Apostles one, Chopper Franklin on production duties. To be honest I’m kinda upset this ain’t a Celtic-Punk album as it would definitely be up there in our end of year Best Of awards. Looks like I’m going to have to make up a special new category just for them!
Dark Western Music

The Phantom Of The Black Hills have come a long way since Ghosts and while their sound may not be quite as raucous as then they still are as powerful and heavy and perform even more gothic Bluegrass music than ever before. The teaming up with the beautiful Mather Louth adds a whole new dimension to the sound. It’s a dark world out there and the imagery The Phantom Of The Black Hills conjure up in the mind may not be a pleasant one but it’s an imaginative one filled with the ghosts of the wronged, deserted mines and villages, dust and dirt and the people who lived there and also the  best music the ‘old’ west can produce.”

Doom Country Lyric Videos “Rising Son” & “Buck Knife”

Ratchet Blade RecordsDoom Country Lyric videos has released two doom country lyric videos from the new Phantom of the Black Hills album That Witch. Here are the videos for Rising Son and Buck Knife, along with some brief descriptions:

The Massacre at Wounded Knee was initially referred to as the “Battle of Wounded Knee”. A metal plate was added to the signage at the site to correct this, and remains to this day.

By the time the massacre was over, more than 250 men, women and children of the Lakota had been killed and 51 were wounded (4 men and 47 women and children, some of whom died later); some estimates placed the number of dead as high as 300.

Twenty US soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor for their participation in the slaughter. By contrast, only three Medals of Honor were awarded among the 64,000 South Dakotans who fought for four years of World War II:

The lyric video for the song Buck Knife tells the tale of a Civil War veteran suffering from PTSD and the reception he receives when he returns home:

Phantom of the Black Hills Pre Sale For Heavy Country Album “That Witch”

heavy country album The pre sale has launched for the sixth Phantom of the Black Hills heavy country album “That Witch”, out July 2nd on Ratchet Blade Records. It features the Heathen Apostles’ Mather Louth on vocals and Chopper Franklin once again pulling production duties. The digital pre sale is the album for the reduced price of $5, and the CD pre sale includes the digipak CD (as well as the digital download), 2 POTBH buttons and a POTBH Shotgun sticker, all for $10. You will also receive early shipping of your order before the release date, as well as an immediate download of the title track.

Check it out HERE.

That Witch
1. Rising Son
2. That Witch
3. Buck Knife
4. Lady Judas
5. Moon Killer
6. Hunger
7. Road To Bleeding
8. Sin & Sanctity
9. Wicked Storm
10. Attack

Doom Country Band the Phantom of the Black Hills Releasing “That Witch”

Phantom of the Black Hills - doom country bandOur favorite doom country band the Phantom of the Black Hills are releasing a new Heavy Western album, and their labelmates Heathen Apostles are all over it. Their lead vocalist Mather Louth is singing on several of the songs, and bandmate Chopper Franklin produced and mixed it. Here’s the press blurb from RBR:

Ratchet Blade Records is proud to announce the July 2nd release of “That Witch”, the highly-anticipated seventh release from the notorious hellbilly/doom country band the Phantom of the Black Hills. A true Heavy Western album, “That Witch” is the follow up to Ghosts (2009), Born To Gun (2010), ENEMY! (2012) and Black Hearted Killer EP (2013), Moonshine Bright (2014) & Scalped (2017) and was produced and mixed by Chopper Franklin.

The band is joined on the album by Mather Louth, lead vocalist for the Gothic Americana band the Heathen Apostles, of which Franklin is also a member.

Check back for the launch of the That Witch Pre Sale in August.

POTBH doom country band

Track Listing:
1. RISING SON
2. THAT WITCH
3. BUCK KNIFE
4. LADY JUDAS
5. MOON KILLER
6. HUNGER
7. ROAD TO BLEEDING
8. SIN & SANCTITY
9. WICKED STORM
10. ATTACK

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