Horseback
Piedmont Apocrypha


3.5
great

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (84 Reviews)
March 27th, 2014 | 34 replies | 1,542 views


Release Date: 03/25/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Horseback...the new metal anomaly

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Since 2007, Jenks Miller and his incredible solo project (with contributing artists) Horseback have been doing the bare minimum and yet have been creating some of the most fascinating takes on niche metal since....well....I don’t really know to be honest. That’s just the thing with Horseback though, they’ve been exploring the depths of many niche genres and taken them to incredible heights. They began their trek as an ambient drone band – essential debut album Impale Golden Horn can only be described as a toxic, ethereal soundscape. They’ve been exploring the depths of psyche-metal mastery with The Invisible Mountains’ spiralling drugged-out post-metal that I would consider one the greatest metal albums of the past ten years. Miller also dawned his spaghetti western apparel for 2012s Half Blood where his psych elements were stripped way down revealing a raw post-metal twang being dragged down a dusty dirt road. And there’s not an ounce of surprise in this year’s Piedmont Apocrypha taking another turn in the Horseback evolution. What’s amazing about Piedmont is the common thread woven through this and past albums, a thread that lingers in the simplicity and the finer qualities of music that conveys raw human emotion rather than expressing stagnation of a sound that could have easily bogged this album down.

Through Miller’s raw emotion and simplistic – but nuanced – song structures, Piedmont Apocrypha’s opener “Passing Through” is a panoramic scene of an arid desert with his folky organ, silent post-rock march and all the while proclaiming “I was born to lose”. Miller’s vulnerability is felt so decisively on this track that anyone with half-an-ear to music would naturally be swept away amongst the majestic ringing notes, faint harmonica hums, and the gorgeous twinkling rhythm of the albums self-titled track that follows. The slow-vibe desert rock leaning on this track is also familiar to Miller’s back catalogue but it’s got something more to it. Rather, the track leads into a more upbeat indie spin on things not normally associated with his past works of haunting, shriekish psyche-metal. “Milk and Honey” and “Consecration Blues” are both equally fascinating works of Miller’s love of indie rock and strange chord progressions that wouldn’t sound out of place on Kid A by Radiohead. As well, these two short tracks help lead up to epic 17 minute closer “Chanting Out the Low Shadow”. Anyone that thought at this point in time Miller was going to push Horseback into indie post-rock pastures is completely proven wrong once the track gets going. And no surprise here, the distinct raspy screech, psyche metal, and swirling tribal beats come together with Millers’ amazingly creative ringing notes that sound as if they’re going to evoke an unwritten Neurosis track except with a lot more melody and mind-warping plod.

The only thing I could criticize this for - besides Miller not living up to his potential greatness of past albums – is that the songs are stacked together in a very odd way where it makes the album almost feel incomplete. However, new Horseback is always going to be great and I believe Miller is taking Horseback to a wider audience and showing that he still manages to pull off surprises when he’s at his calmest and most melodic yet.



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
March 27th 2014



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://threelobed.bandcamp.com/album/piedmont-apocrypha

Wtf, Wizard is now doing reviews for albums that are barely metal?

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

conesmoke
March 27th 2014



5171 Comments


babymetal?

Relinquished
March 27th 2014



24398 Comments


pos'd just for killing the 6month break

Wizard
March 27th 2014



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have another few in the works including Pure.

Relinquished
March 27th 2014



24398 Comments


you better mention how great pure II is and why there's no pure III

Wizard
March 27th 2014



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pure II is like the Holy grail of industrial noise. Pure III should never be attempted!

I wonder how many Sputnikers are smart enough to check this band out btw.

Relinquished
March 27th 2014



24398 Comments


I had that on repeat one day and it messed me up haha

Wizard
March 27th 2014



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't get stoned to it either : p.

Relinquished
March 27th 2014



24398 Comments


you don't even have to warn me on that bro, it gets you stoned on insanity by itself

TheSpirit
March 27th 2014



17130 Comments


Karl, please write more

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2014



8317 Comments


I wonder how many Sputnikers are smart enough to check this band out btw.
Gonna exhibit my smarts by doing just that haha. It'll be a bit before I get to this though, probably, since I've gotten so much new music over the span of the last 2-3 weeks that I want to give more detailed attention to/let sink in properly. Seems like I've been rushing through 2014 a bit, which is unlike me, and I don't fancy that to continue.

Wizard
March 27th 2014



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Karl, please write more

New kid on the way, wife, daughter, house, looking for a new job...got a busy 2014 ahead of me. Thankfully, I'm hoping to slide into a teaching position which will free up tons of time for more reviews.

Inveigh
March 27th 2014



24752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this rules, but agreed that the structure makes it feel a little incomplete.

it's still awesome and as good if not better than the last album

Gyromania
March 27th 2014



15187 Comments


after all the reviews i've read and critiqued lately, it's nice to be able to just read a review without having to pick out a shit tonne of errors etc.

anywho - excellent review, wiz. you should definitely write more.

DominionMM1
March 27th 2014



9496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

you fucking rule wiz

Digging: Neurosis - Through Silver in Blood

zaruyache
March 27th 2014



5838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wiz if your classroom isn't heavily influenced by School of Rock I will be severely disappointed.

Digging: Sunwolf - Beholden To Nothing And No One

Wizard
March 28th 2014



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Could I work it into a Plant ID and Greenhouse Management curriculum?

RoyalImperialGuard
March 28th 2014



1096 Comments


Karl...my fucking man.

Digging: Johnny Cash - Blood, Sweat and Tears

CaptainDooRight
March 28th 2014



28300 Comments


New kid on the way, wife, daughter, house, looking for a new job...got a busy 2014 ahead of me.

I feel ya and congrats. Pos'd on rev. I don't have bc access at work so I'll have to check later sometime.

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

zaruyache
March 28th 2014



5838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Could I work it into a Plant ID and Greenhouse Management curriculum?

Yeah just jam Botanist and all that other hippy BM. Kids will remember the plant names if you scream them at them.



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