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Horseback - A Plague Of Knowing Award winner

A Plague Of Knowing
by Spyros Stasis at 22 August 2013, 4:38 PM

HORSEBACK is by far one of the most interesting bands to come into view in the last few years. The band from North Carolina, led by Jenks Miller, has released albums of top quality. Their sonic investigations in “Impale Golden Horn”, “The Invisible Mountain” and “Half Blood” have revealed that HORSEBACK is a band of many faces. The number of influences is truly immense, ranging from Jazz, ambient, Noise and electronic music to Post-Rock, psychedelic music and Black Metal.

“A Plague of Knowing” is not a new album. It is a compilation of their most rare material. So, what you get in this instance is twenty-four tracks from split releases, singles, live recordings and the rest. Now, I am not a big fan of compilation albums in general but this does seem like a really good deal if you ask me. When you add to this the fact that HORSEBACK are masters when it comes to keeping the listener’s interest intact throughout, you get that you are dealing with a very interesting and intriguing release.

A retro feeling appears in “On The Eclipse”, mainly due to the very complimenting organ sound. The use of unconventional instruments fits the style of the band quite nicely with a great accordion part coloring the sound of “Transparency (Murdered Again)”. Whatever the case may be, the common denominator in HORSEBACK’s music is able to always retain an overwhelming quality. The band is basically able to create encircling, emotional music no matter what instruments are in use or what musical influences they are following.

From the uncompromising, raw moments of raving noise in “IHVH” and “MILH” and the immense drones of “Impaled Golden Live” to the Black Metal quality of tracks like “Another World” and “Thee Cult of Henry Flynt”, HORSEBACK always retain the same outlook in respect to their music. The sense of melancholy might be hovering over the sonic structures of the band, but they also offer moments of an emotional awakening, as is the case for instance with “Oblivion Eaters”. When you add to all that some experimentations with tribal music in “Retribution” and a cover of “TV Eye” (originally by THE STOOGES) you start to comprehend the full extend of the band’s concept.

I can keep on forever analyzing each track, but it is better if you find out what lies within the core of HORSEBACK on your own. You will find this compilation appealing if you are a fan of the band and just want to listen to same rare material. But even if you are new to their sound, the twenty-four tracks of this release will act as a great introduction to HORSEBACK’s music. Truth be told, even if the only song included here was the forty-minute long title track, it would still be worth a listen. I cannot wait until their next full-length.

4 Star Rating

1. On The Eclipse
2. High Ashen Slab
3. Another World
4. Heathen Earth
7. Thee Cult of Henry Flynt
8. Oblivion Eaters
9. Broken Orb
10. TV Eye (Live)
11. Stolen Fire
12. Murdered
13. Retribution
14. Do You Have a True Feeling? (Plagued Version)
15. Luciferian Theme
16. North Star Struck (Plagued Version)
17. Transparency (Murdered Again)
18. Blood Loop
19. Clattering Into Aggregators
20. Recite
21. Do You Have a True Feeling? (Stolen Fire Version)
22. North Star Struck (Destroyed Demo Version)
23. Impale Golden Live
24. A Plague of Knowing
Jenks Miller – Vocals / All Instruments
Record Label: Relapse Records


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