What do you get when you take two Molotov cocktails built out of cheap beer and whiskey bottles, thrown out of an unmarked van barreling down a dusty old highway at about 100 miles per hour? You get the split release from two doom metal/stoner rock/sludge acts about to make some serious noise (literally and figuratively).
Jogging out of the unforgiving yet beautiful deserts of Arizona, Godhunter is a throwback to a time when doom and sludge weren’t afraid to coat their sound in an almost punk rock aesthetic. Circle pits, cut with bowel-moving rumblings and sprinkled with stoner rock to boot. Lumbering out of Texas like a pack of ancient mammoths, Destroyer of Light are doom through and through. From the anguished sounding vocals to the head-bobbing riffs, this is a band that huffs and puffs and blows your house down in the middle of a bad acid trip. Take these two riff-loving, low-end rumbling beasts and combine some of their best material into one collected source and you come up with the Godhunter vs Destroyer of Light split, Endsville. Actually, calling it a split is a bit of a misnomer here. This isn’t two bands dumping throw-away tracks onto a seven inch so they can dupe an extra $7 out of you. This is essentially two full EPs of sludgy goodness, with the vinyl version coming on a two LP gatefold release.
Godhunter’s side consists of six tracks in total, five grimy gifts of nastiness and the lead-up track, “End Time Blues,” which sets the stage perfectly with its post-apocalyptic acoustic guitar line warning the listener of the hard road they are about to travel. Some of the highlights of Godhunter’s side include “Anthropophobia” with its Kyuss-like opening riff being backed by a Black Flag meets Eyehategod rhythm section and “The Emptiness That Is Left” which sees a return of that eerie acoustic guitar only to find it swallowed up like Jonah into the belly of a whale made out of esoteric doom and finally spit out in a surprisingly good cover of Nirvana’s “Something In The Way.” (Surprising because this scribe never would have guessed that Nirvana could sound so heavy and so nasty as they do here.) Destroyer of Light meanwhile offer up four tracks of sonic devastation – three originals and an absolutely ripping cover of Pentagram’s “Forever My Queen.” Destroyer of Light are exactly as their name implies on these tracks. They are bleak and desolate. They are a thousand days without sunshine, and the ensuing chaos and blight that it would cause.
Fans of doom metal and all of its many variants will find a ton to love on this co-release. Both bands have recently unleashed, on their own, some pretty worthwhile material. But if you are looking for a jumping off point for either or both bands do not hesitate to jump off with this double album in hand. Endsville is out now via Battleground Records and Heavy Friend Records. You can experience and purchase the album through the Battleground Records Bandcamp page.
Both bands will be appearing on the second night of the Metal Insider-sponsored Death To False Metal Festival in Hamden, CT on Saturday, August 15.