Heathen Apostles – Gothic Blues EP Cover Art

The Heathen Apostles are proud to reveal the cover art for their newest release, the 5 song EP Born By Lightning, which will be out online Friday November 15th on Ratchet Blade Records. In keeping with their Gothic Americana roots they have gone in a heavy gothic blues direction on this one, with plenty of shouts, hollers and slide guitar, and per usual it has been produced by guitarist Chopper Franklin. Born By Lightning will be available at the Heathen Apostles webstore and all digital outlets, and the band will be shooting some music videos to accompany it.

Heathen Apostles - gothic blues

Dark Entries Magazine – Gothic Roots “Dust To Dust” Album Review

dark roots musicGothic rootsgothic countrySouthern Gothic or dark Americana are terms used to describe the music of Heathen Apostles. The band operates from Los Angeles, California and their first album dates from 2013. So basically it is traditional American country and folk, bluegrass or ‘hillbilly’ music with a black edge and akin to genres such as cowpunk, gothabilly or hellbilly (think of Ghoultown , Gravetown or DAD ) but also alt-country (bands like Whiskeytown , 16 Horsepower or Woven Hand ) or the murder ballads of Nick Cave for example .

Several musicians from Heathen Apostles also have a past in similar bands. One musician is punk rock veteran Chopper Franklin (guitar, banjo, mandolin, keyboards, drums and also responsible for the production) and he has a history in The Cramps , Nick Curran & The Lowlifes and Mau Maus . Singer Mather Louth previously sang with Radio NoirThomas Lorioux (standing bass) was in The Kings Of Nuthin’ and former drummer Stevyn Grey had a history with Christian Death and 45 Grave. The current line-up also includes  violinist Luis Mascaro .

“Dust To Dust” (13 tracks, 53 minutes playing time), the fifth album from Heathen Apostles, appearing again on Ratchet Blade Records , a label specialized in such bands. The three men in the band look like black suited cowboys in nineteenth-century outfits and the singer from the company like a Victorian lady from the same period and also with a black hat just like her male colleagues.

My criticism of the previous release, “Bloodgrass Vol. 1 “ EP, was that it was very good, but that it could be a bit darker and musically more gothic or punk, because it was more pure Americana than a real crossover into the gothic roots genre. It seems whether this criticism was completely taken to heart because this is fully true on “Dust To Dust”. Just listen to the magnificent opening song “Burn It To The Ground” with cello, rocking electric guitar and some sort of panting whisper, followed by the uplifting up-tempo folky (sounding like a horse hopping over the prairie) song  “Rise”. “The Bride”, with whisper singing in the stanzas and catchy melancholic wailing violin playing, is also one of the toppers. We are also served dark roots murder ballads such as “Home Sweet Holmes”, drinking songs such as “Two For The Road” in addition to quite a few more compelling songs.

gothic roots musicI can imagine most songs in an interpretation of Inkubus Sukkubus . Inkubus Sukkubus fans who like a more ‘country’ or ‘bluegrass’ version of their beloved goth rock / folk band should definitely check out these Heathen Apostles. The same goes for goths who like Johnny Cash , by the way!

All songs on this album were written by the Louth / Franklin duo with one exception: the traditional “In The Pines”. “In The Pines” is a powerful song that I already knew in a different version and about which I hurt my brain for days, from where I knew this song. The song was often attributed to Leadbelly but is actually older and not composed by Leadbelly himself. The composer disappeared in the darkness of time – as is usually the case with traditionals and that is what traditionals are for. So the song is often attributed to the legendary folk and blues singer Leadbelly (Huddie William Ledbetter , 1880-1949) because he recorded one of the first versions under the name “Black Girl”and I also have this on CD but it was not this version that haunted me. No, that turned out to be Nirvana ‘s. They release this song on the album “MTV Unplugged In New York” (1994) under the title “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” . The song is also attributed to Leadbelly on the Nirvana album, which is in fact incorrect. In any case, the version that Heathen Apostles brings here is enchantingly beautiful, dramatic and sensitive sung and accompanied by banjo and violin with the sound of the wind at the end and certainly not inferior to that of Leadbelly nor that of Kurt Cobain and co. Top album! Rating: 9 of 10 stars

Hard Americana Album Review of Dust to Dust By Indy Metal Review

Hard Americana Chris Latta of Indy Metal Review had a great take (and an ‘A’ rating!) on the Gothic, Hard Americana flavor of the new Heathen Apostles album Dust To Dust (which is actually the band’s fifth album)…

While Heathen Apostles’ third album is their first proper full-length since 2015’s Fire to the Fuse, it fits right in with the EPs that were released in between. The two Bloodgrass volumes set up a foreboding direction for the gothic country group’s already dark sound that Dust to Dust is happy to develop even further. There’s a sense of buildup as tempos are decidedly slower and one can detect tension in the air throughout.

This tension is especially potent during the album’s first half. “Burn it to the Ground” makes for a scorching call to arms right off the bat, riding an ominous verse complete with a chorus whose vocals manage to alternate between whispers and Disturbed-esque pants without sounding too silly. “One True Belief” and “The Bride” make for additional highlights thanks to their exotic yet sinister rhythms. “Home Sweet Holmes” is easily the most stirring of the lot, an inevitability when you pair up an electrifying twang with a narrative about The Devil in the White City…

Of course, there are plenty of lower key moments to be found as well. “Paradise Lost” features a subtler structure compared to the album’s more in your face moments, but its slow burn is tastefully executed. “Where the Waters Meet” follows it up with more abstract rhythms and “In the Pines” is a gorgeous update of a folk ballad classic. There’s also something to be said for the upbeat simplicity on “Two for the Road” and “The Fall.”

Through it all, the musicianship is exceptional. The alto vocals exhibit a variety of husky croons, esoteric whispers, and sneered spoken word that work to see through the stories they tell. The foundations are carried by a sturdy of guitar, banjo, and mandolin that avoid getting too cluttered and the occasional violin makes for gorgeous texturing. The drums also deserve props for playing the right amount, providing energy during the most intense sequences without getting too overbearing.

Hard Americana

Despite a four-year gap between full-lengths, Heathen Apostles’ third album sustains their momentum quite nicely. Dust to Dust doesn’t stray too far from the gothic country sound set up by its predecessors, but a thematic symbiosis of dark barn burners and more subtle ventures results in what may be the band’s most powerful effort to date. This isn’t the most revolutionary album by any means, but fans of more macabre persuasions are encouraged to check it out.

Highlights:
“Burn it to the Ground”
“One True Belief”
“The Bride”
“Paradise Lost”
“Home Sweet Holmes”

Editor Grade A

Dark Country Music – Review of Dust To Dust By Rootsville.com

Dark Country With the Heathen Apostles we entered into the dark side of the music; we are at the dark country music of “Bloodgrass” as they have come to call it. The Heathen Apostles consist of Mather Louth, Chopper Franklin, Thomas Lorioux and Luis Mascaro and are from the “City of Angels” aka Los Angeles, California. Punk rock veteran Chopper Franklin has played in groups such as The Cramps and Nick Curran & The Lowlifes, and those are definitely names that stand out. And with femme fatale Mather Louth the mutual admiration for murder ballads, Americana Noir and Memento Mori came into the picture and soon the Heathen Apostles was created.

Dust To Dust is their 5th album and brings them to Europe for the promotion of their new album. On the album we find 13 songs from which almost all songs are a creation of Mather Louth and Chopper Franklin; only the traditional In The Pines is the exception to the rule. The opener on the album is Burn In To The Ground where they immediately showcase the characteristics of their music. A mix of Gothic and Americana is how they come to create their own sound; it’s a sound where the lyrics are usually darker than the melodies.

Dark Country musicThe common thread throughout the album, in addition to the powerful and clear vocals of Mather Louth, is the penetrating violin playing by Luis Mascaro, and it is all enhanced by multi-instrumentalist Chopper Franklin and double bass player Thomas Lorioux. This mix of two contradictory directions in the contemporary music scene seems to work wonderfully with the Heathen Apostles. From threatening songs like Two For The Road, to morbid-feeling ballads like The Bride, they know how to create an atmosphere that is at one with their way of playing and living. Bringing together an absolute connection of dark and sometimes eerie-looking aesthetics with Gothic music and art, the Heathen Apostles has succeeded without too much trouble, and in a perfect balance.

Jumping out of the box or not at all, the traditional In The Pines is a song that carries a veil of dark mysticism throughout its existence. Also very morbid to the touch is Easeful Death, but then everything seems to clear up again by bringing the catchy  tune The Fall. The closing of Dust To Dust is Out Of The Ground and with that we had a more than appreciated introduction to these Gothic Outlaws.

tracks:

01 Burn In To The Ground 
02 Rise 
03 Two For The Road 
04 One True Belief 
05 The Bride 
06 Paradise Lost 
07 Where The Waters Meet 
08 Home Sweet Holmes 
09 In The Pines 
10 Easeful Death 
11 Through The Forest, Through The Trees 
12 The Fall 
13 Out Of The Ground 

musicians:

Mather Louth: vocals 
Chopper Franklin: guitar, banjo, mandolin, keys, drums 
Thomas Lorioux: upright bass 
Luis Mascaro: violin 

Dark Americana – An Interview With Heathen Apostles By Folk N’ Rock

dark AmericanaLos Angeles based dark Americana outfit Heathen Apostles recently put out their latest studio album, “Dust to Dust,” and soon followed up with a European tour in support of the release. I spoke with Mather Louth and Chopper Franklin about the album, the tour, and where the band might be headed next.

Now that your European tour has just ended, can you tell us a little bit about what that experience was like?

Mather: In a word: a whirlwind! Which is actually quite surprising, being that it was essentially 5 weeks long and our longest European tour to date. But, it was incredibly inspiring, not only because of all of the dark Americanasights we were able to take in, but also because of all of the connections we were able to make with fans (both new and existing alike.) Our tour took us everywhere- from the hustle and bustle of big cities to some beautifully remote locations- and that in itself provided a beautiful variety of experiences.

As much as playing 32 shows in 32 days was exhausting, it was equally exhilarating thanks to the adrenaline of performing on a daily basis. As a singer, I was pushed to my limits, but the genuine love for performing allowed me to keep hitting the reset button every night. You can never tell what each day will bring when on tour, so you just try your best to enjoy the highs and (as cliched as it sounds) maintain a sense of gratitude to have the opportunity to share your music with people that truly appreciate it.

Dark Americana

What was the writing and recording process like for Dust To Dust?

Chopper: While we were on last year’s European tour we talked about what kind of album we wanted the next one to be. The previous album, Bloodgrass Vol. I & II was dark Americana, but also really rootsy, and we thought this one should have a heavier mood.

As soon as we got home I began writing music that reflected that vibe, and then served the demos up to Mather for lyrics. Since we record in my studio we are able to build on the demos, and Thomas and Luis come in and do their parts. By busting it out this way we were able to have the album out for this year’s tour.

READ THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW HERE.

Heathen Apostles Duo Added To Shawn James Mid West Dates

Heathen Apostles DuoMather Louth and Chopper Franklin are performing as Heathen Apostles Duo on the Mid West leg of the Shawn James Darkness and the Light Tour. The Shawn James & Heathen Apostles Duo shows are from July 19th to the 26th, also look for a Heathen Apostles stand alone show too.

Friday 7/19/19 Colorado Springs, CO – The Basement at Oskar Blues
Get ticket info HERE

Saturday 7/20/19 Fort Collins, CO – Hodi’s Half Note
Get tickets HERE

Tuesday 7/23/19 Wichita, KS – Barleycorn’s
Get tickets HERE

Wednesday 7/24/19, Lawrence, KS – Bottleneck
Get tickets HERE

Thursday 7/25/19, St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway
Get tickets HERE

Friday 7/26/19 Indianapolis, IN – Hi-Fi
Get tickets HERE

Heathen Apostles – New Gothic Americana Album Out Today

Gothic Americana is a genre that is fast taking hold around the world, in that it combines the sub-genres of gothic country, dark blues and depression-era jazz. The Heathen Apostles were amongst the first to inject all three into their incendiary music.

Gothic Americana
Their fifth album Dust To Dust opens with the aptly named (and surprisingly danceable) incendiary stomper Burn It To The Ground, and doesn’t let up from there. The Heathens keep one foot firmly planted in driving heavy gothic numbers with Home Sweet Holmes (a recount of America’s first serial killer) and One True Belief (featuring eerie Middle Eastern-esque flourishes). With Dust To Dust, the band continues to explore the boundaries of Gothic Americana: the jangly Bad Seeds-esque Two For The Road, a spooky Southern Gothic dirge reinvention of the classic In the Pines, and the lamentful Paradise Lost (written for the victims of last year’s wildfires.) And since no future classic would be complete without an anthem, the Heathens offer up the soaring spaghetti western Rise. As an added bonus, the album concludes with the entire The Fall EP, which was selected by Folk N’ Rock Magazine as the EP of the Year for 2018. You can check out the album HERE.

“I truly dove in head-first on this album, building complex and layered vocal harmonies as a complement to the musical arrangements. Just as the best movies inspire multiple viewings, I sought to create melodies that invite the listener back to hear more and more of the song unfold. With Dust To Dust, we dug the grave a little deeper sonically, but we think you’ll enjoy falling in.” Mather Louth, vocalist.

“After our last album, the decidedly rootsy Bloodgrass Vol. I & II, we chose this album to showcase all of our influences; gothic rock, bluegrass, dark country, cowpunk… and much more.” Chopper Franklin, guitarist/producer.

Heathen Apostles Cowboy Goth CD “Dust To Dust” Reviewed on Viola Noir

The Russian Gothic website Viola Noir has posted a review of the new Heathen Apostles album Dust To Dust, it really connects with the Americana and cowboy goth vision of the band. Here is the English translation:

Heathen Apostles cowboy goth CD "Dust To Dust"The new Heathen Apostles album Dust To Dust is a return to where they began. After experimenting with bluegrass, covers and collaborations, while revamping country music, the Heathen Apostles use the doctrine of the darkness, terror and horror with accompaniment of the banjo once again.

Burn It To The Ground begins as smooth dark country, leaving both ritual and dark roots in place. Bluesy symphonic tragedy and western-swiftness appear with the track Rise. Two For The Road mixes the narrative with emotionality, and generally changes the mood. On to One True Belief, where the listener is already warmed up and ready to listen to another scary tale with a bad end. The Bride develops the mystic-theme and brings us to a true tragedy on Paradise Lost. After – Where The Waters Meet as an unusual track for Heathen Apostles – lyrical with hypnotizing elements from old school, post punk music. Home Sweet Holmes – a gothic americana slasher with a dense narrative and an injection of sinister atmosphere. Spooky Southern Gothic, dirge-like reinvention of the classic In The Pines follows- as the soundtrack to sorrow and sadness, a kind of farewell song. Meditative, contemplative Easeful Death gives a short pause before the intense final part of the album. The final you could already hear when EP The Fall came out. Exactly in the same sequence of tracks, so we will not be repeated.

cowboy goth

A successful appeal to their roots, without self-plagiarism, with the development of new themes, with a more fresh sound, where there are still characteristic handwriting and recognizable powerful vocals. Moreover, the Heathen Apostles never disappoint.

The release of the album Dust To Dust will be on June 7 from Ratchet Blade Records. Presale has already started, in addition, they have published dates for a European tour in support of this album. 8/10

tags: cowboy goth, Gothic Americana

Pre-Sale Launches For Heathen Apostles’ Album “Dust To Dust”

The pre-sale has launched for the new Heathen Apostles’ album “Dust To Dust”, out online on June 7th (and in stores worldwide on July 12th). The album is a great blend of their Gothic Americana music, combining the gothic club stomper Burn It To The Ground alongside the spaghetti western scorcher Rise and the poignant Paradise Lost (released earlier this year to benefit the California wildfire victims).

The pre-sales are a copy of the CD, a Heathen Apostles Logo T Shirt and a large Deathrider sticker for $15, and a CD and Deathrider sticker for $10. Both packages will ship as soon as the CDs arrive from the factory, and the T Shirt bundle will end as the shirt sizes run out. So check it out now, you can visit the band’s webstore by clicking HERE.

Heathen Apostles' Album "Dust To Dust"

Heathen Apostles – “Deadly Nightshade” Swamp Witch Music Video

The Heathen Apostles are proud to announce Deadly Nightshade, their new swamp witch tale in the guise of a music video, directed by good friend Jorge Jaramillo. It is the third video from their Bloodgrass Vol. I & II album, out on Ratchet Blade Records. Here is the press release for the video:

Deadly Nightshade, the new music video from the Heathen Apostles, takes the band back into familiar dark territory; this time, the atmosphere is that of the quintessential Universal horror films of the 1930’s and 40’s.

Swamp Witch

 

Those familiar with the iconic genre will thrill to the sights of a mortician-like banjo player piloting an angelic victim down river to her doom and corpses floating up from their graves, while burlap-masked musicians provide the soundtrack to a feral witch stealing the soul from our helpless heroine.

‘Inspired by classic horror movies and German expressionism, the main goal was to not romanticize an old style, but rather to bring it to something that could still be dark, creepy and beautiful,’ states director Jorge Jaramillo (who also directed the Heathen Apostles’ Paint the Stars video). Watch the new video HERE.

Swamp WitchLead vocalist Mather Louth: ‘When the Heathens sat down for the initial pre-production meetings with Jorge, we all agreed that reinventing and modernizing the classic black and white horror genre would be the perfect visual direction for “Deadly Nightshade”. I’ve always felt very strongly about “Deadly Nightshade” being incredibly cinematic in nature, and it was always clear to me that Jorge would be the perfect director for the song. His work is thought-provoking, filled with symbolism and horrifically disturbing creatures, and he is a true visionary and original.

The video also served as a fun exploration for me to portray both predator and prey, and I particularly enjoyed finding the physicality and mannerisms of the witch’s character. There is something quite freeing about playing a character that is so wholly repulsive and ugly, especially in today’s overly filtered and appearance-obsessed culture.’

Deadly Nightshade is the third music video from the band’s Bloodgrass Vol. I & II album, check it out HERE. The Heathen Apostles fifth album, Dust to Dust, is out June 7th on Ratchet Blade Records.”

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