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Holy Death Trio – Introducing Award winner

Holy Death Trio
Introducing
by Gary Hernandez at 27 November 2021, 5:50 PM

HOLY DEATH TRIO is a heavy rock trio out of Austin, Texas. Most people categorize them as Stoner Rock, but I like how John P. Rosales (guitars, vocals) labels the band: “A serious fucking rock band.” You won’t find them on Metal Archives, because technically, yeah, not Metal, but their energy level is through the roof, and they have a raw aesthetic that is visceral as hell. On September 17, 2021, they released their debut album, aptly titled “Introducing,” on Ripple. (September 17 is the same day Hendrix passed away and one day before BLACK SABBATH "Paranoid" was released in 1970). The album has been met with incredible enthusiasm internationally, and deservedly so. This album rips.

The album comprises nine tracks, including two short intro pieces, so seven proper tracks. Altogether, the album clocks out at 34 minutes—nice for vinyl; a bit short for digital. Already, the band has released two supporting videos and word on the street is that they are starting work on a second album.

Thematically, this isn’t a concept album. There’s no deep philosophical bent or social commentary—just high voltage rock and roll. With tracks like “White Betty” (obvious nod to “Black Betty”) and “Bad Vibrations,” there will be no dust left on your woofers. Other standout tracks include groove-infused “Get Down,” hard-driving “The Killer,” and the Doom-ish closer, “Witchdoctor.” Musically speaking, Jonathan Gibson and Trey Alfaro constitute a mean rhythm section. John’s vocals are clean but raspy, and his solos are crisp. One of the awesome trademarks about this band is when they drop a solo, they don’t overdub a rhythm guitar in the mix. The bottom falls out and it’s just a thunderous bassline, galloping drums, and a gut ripping solo—the same way you’d experience live.

On the production side, the band spared no expense, recording one song per day and expertly crafting each track. The separation is razor sharp and though it is clearly meant to be loud, they never sacrifice quality for distortion. Well, almost never. Though they aren’t a Doom band, they can pull on the boots of lead and trudge out into some serious swampiness when they want to—take portions of “Fishsticks” as case in point and pretty much all of “Witchdoctor.”

Altogether, “Introducing” represents a high point for hard rock in 2021. HOLY DEATH TRIO is as driven as they are fun. Try to catch them in a small local venue while you have the chance. And if you aren’t in the US southwest, then hopefully they'll be out on the road in the world soon. In the meanwhile, head to Bandcamp and pick up “Introducing” on digital or get in line for the vinyl.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Introducing
2.  White Betty
3.  Bad Vibrations
4.  Black Wave
5.  Get Down
6.  The Killer intro
7.  The Killer
8.  Fish Sticks
9.  Witch Doctor
Lineup:
John P. Rosales – Guitar, vocals
Jonathan Gibson
Trey Alfaro
Record Label: Ripple Music
     


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Edited 09 December 2022
 

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