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Drug Honkey - Cloak of Skies

Drug Honkey
Cloak of Skies
by VR at 17 July 2017, 2:57 PM

DRUG HONKEY, based out of Chicago Illinois, was formed in the year 1997 by Paul Gillis  from the Death Metal bands CREMETORIUM and EMBODIED and Adam Smith who came from the Drum’n’Bass scene. The band was known as CHRONIC ILLOGIC in its early version and the intention was to blend various types of hard music and create a completely original and different style of music. After the collapse of the band due to creative difference, the duo moved on and created DRUG HONKEY in the year 1999 and released their self-titled album debut album “Drug Honkey” in the year 2002. This album had almost no live instrumentation, was entirely a studio album and was heavy on sampling. The band then recruited two additional members on guitars and bass and recorded their second album “Hail Satan” in the year 2005. It was during this album that the band found their sound that they continue to exploit to this day. Atmospheric Doom Metal infused with Synth and Electronic with experimental sounds make this band completely unpredictable with regards to their music. The band released “Death Dub” in the year 2008 and “Ghost in the Fire” in the year 2012. They also managed to release a live album in the year 2007 entitled “Quatro de Mayo”.  The band has been influenced by bands like GODFLESH to AUTOPSY and HELLHAMMER to name a few.

The band puts put 50 minutes of sheer groaning lethargic Experimental Doom Metal that can be as confounding as it is clever. “Pool of Failure” and “Sickening Wasteoid” are the first two songs of the album and the band is rather successful in painting a gloomy atmospheric aura with the opening songs. The songs are sample heavy and the use of synthesizers is abundant. The lead vocals are angst ridden and abrasive and play a perfect foil to the doom laden melodies. “Out of Hatred” takes the sluggish, putrid melody ahead with bits and bobs of Groove elements in the track. The track is peppered with riff changes and almost sounds like an Industrial Doom Metal band. The plodding melody is relentless, dismal and one can get submerged in the sea of slothful music. “(It’s not) The Way” and “The Oblivion of an Opiate nod” are lengthy songs that create a landscape of sheer anguish and helplessness. The tracks are strangely hypnotic and have a sense of morbid to them. “Cloak of Skies”, the title track, is a free flowing bizarre song that follows no apparent pattern and plods along almost aimlessly. Saxophonist Bruce Lamont of YAKUZA makes an appearance in the track as the melody runs amok towards its eventual demise. The final track is a remix of the first track “Pool of Failure” by Justin Broadrick of GODFLESH and the track is almost unrecognizable from its original form.

This album is definitely not an ambient and not for the casual listener as the melodies and tracks demand attention. The album is a unique one filled with experimental sounds that is worth paying attention to with its Progressive Metal melodies. The tracks are scratchy and under-produced which in turn lends a dreadful mood to the proceedings. This album could easily be a sound track to a horror/gore movie complete with an alien environment and unspoken terrors. The album also boasts of intricate and bizarre artwork by artist Paolo Giraldi who has a habit of churning out killer cover art for albums. This album is a must have for Doom Metal fans and they will discover that the surreal experience this album provides is out of this world and will probably change the way Metal fans envision the genre.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Pool of Failure
2. Sickening Wasteoid
3. Outlet of hatred
4. (It’s Not) the Way
5. The Oblivion of an Opiate Nod
6. Cloak of Skies
7. Pool of Failures (JKB Remix)
Lineup:
Honkey Head (Paul Gillis) – Synths, Vocal, Samples, Programming
BH Honkey (Adam Smith) - Drums
Hobbs (Gabe Grosso) – Guitars
Brown Honkey (Ian Brown) – Bass
Record Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
     


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