Archive for September, 2021

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