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Album Review: Drug Honkey ”“ Ghost in the Fire

The American experimental doom metal band keep it heavy and exceptional, traversing through thick, bone-chilling music

Anurag Tagat Jul 15, 2013
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Drug Honkey

Drug Honkey

[easyreview cat1title = “Ghost in the Fire” cat1rating = 4]

Ghost in the Fire

Ghost in the Fire

You think you know terrifying music? Putting blastbeats and growls and screams aside, Chicago doom/death metal band Drug Honkey has constantly upped the game when it comes to spooking the hell out of listeners. The Chicago band, who formed in 1999, releases their fourth offering, Ghost in the Fire on Indian metal label, Transcending Obscurity.

In Ghost in the Fire, Drug Honkey have delivered a set of tracks you won’t tire of. Vocalist Paul Gillis aka Honkey Head modulates his voice to reach guttural growls and sounds that recall the Jigsaw Killer from the Saw movie series. He’s also in charge of all the background white noise and all those boiling/bubbling sounds which you hear on “Weight of the World” and “This Time I Won’t Hesitate” where he maxes out his growl over eerie sounds we’re pretty sure didn’t come out of a guitar.

Drummer Adam Smith sets the slow burn pace right from the opener “Order of the Solar Temple,” but revs it up on songs like “In Black Robe.” Guitarist Gabe Grosso and bassist Ian Brown double up to give Ghost in the Fire a tone that sounds like a sludge monster emerging from a swamp.

Also See  Hear Noah Ferrari’s Experimental New Album ‘Wonderful Agony’

The band, who proudly proclaim that you should listen to them “if you wished Pink Floyd had made a doom album,” continue their psychedelic-leaning song series, which began on their 2005 album, Hail Satan and “China Black (Heroin II)” on their 2008 album, Death Dub, with “Dead Days.” But Ghost in the Fire isn’t psychedelic in the manner Drug Honkey fans are used to. Sure, Gillis talks and sings and screams on and on in a voice straight out of an acid trip, but there’s nothing mellow on this album, which is more doom than psychedelic. Their cover of ambient/trip hop/industrial project Scorn’s “Twitcher” comes closest to being a bass-led psych-jam, although you can’t turn a dark song any darker.

They pull one last punch on “Saturate/Annihilate,” speeding up the standard doom tempo to create something faster for metal fans. If you’re not familiar with doom, Drug Honkey is the perfect band to get you started. 

Key tracks: “Order of the SolarTemple,” “Saturate/Annihilate,” “Ghost in the Fire.”

Stream songs off Ghost in the Fire here and buy the album on Transcending Obscurity.

 

 

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