First, the ordinary or at least what you might expect from a review. Headless Eyes is a six song EP released just this year. While I am familiar with Blood Farmers previous efforts this will be the first time I am aware of them and buying an album from them as it streets. The insert artwork is a collection of monochromatic stills from the Kent Bateman classic Headless Eyes. This is a movie that may not necessarily be a masterpiece, but it has deep cult following and one of the best VHS covers ever released from Wizard Video. The disc itself features plenty of blood and an eye removal. Blood Farmers are for horror fans.
The song selection is varied between epic ten minute battles du sludge and shorter, sweeter fantastical jams that provide bridge work between long strides of pure doom and boom. It is important to remember that the album does not necessarily promise groundbreaking, new sound but offers a perfect amalgam of classic 70's metal with slow, well-paced stomps from Tad Leger and Sabbath-esque solos and weeping hammer-ons that lead into and percussive, full-bodied bass runs from David Szulkin that connect the dot between tales of absolute darkness and inhuman, unnatural things in the unknown from vocalist Eli Brown. Fans of doom, sludge and stoney metal will be pleased as will fans of Blood Farmers earlier work.
Here's the track by track. This is what I saw in my mind's eye while listening to it and free form written as the song progressed.
A battle of feet meeting the pavement on a gray day in an urban cityscape surrounded by closed doors of after business hours window shopping but with only one item on the brain: vengeance. Between steps and heart beats that natural rhythm of the world becomes awkward and confused yielding a feeling of disconnect. There's a victim at the end of this slow meander, if only the heightened adrenaline addiction can hold out like a sex fiend not wanting to cum too soon. It's nightfall now and hunger of an altogether different kind removes the prey/victim relationship from a slightly skewed brain stem. They survive for one more night only because he lets them, and that's only because he's got a hearty appetite.
(Love the opening sample)
Medieval broken castles surround like giant stone monsters, old and full of stories, but with eyes squinted shut spoiling derision and anger upon all who pass them. This chain mail is very hot. This armor is heavy. It's been days between food, but they told me I'd find some sort of dark evil out here. Some kind of wandering devil or dragon. Something to save them all from. Tired and arms couldn't lift this sword to cut a loaf of bread. The mind begins to worry less about the good intentions of men fighting monsters and more toward allowing the monsters to be victorious. For putting burdens on young men's backs. For creating martyrs where they were unnecessary.
Stand up now and find the stale remnants of old food. Wormy. Mealy. Edible only to the dying. The demon is in the shadows and confronts me with coldest claws. Sour Jabberwocky. Free form changing tower of pure malice and spite. Stinking like fishheads in the sun. Putrify. Detestable. Mutant. With a swing the blinded demon is crushed back to the stone obelisk form it once took. Where strength had failed a weary traveler, the evil failed it's own ambition and forgot the will of man is stronger than stone or hunger or even fiery roadside murder.
Time to return home now with the head of the beast. I shall wear it on my skull and scream and let it's foul green slime drip down my bear chest, un-mailed/armored. I am the great god wretch. I piss myself in slow waves while walking out of spite for the future hero worshipers who make great pedestal builders but shitty friends. I will walk through the walls of doomed men, the doomer, the destructor, the battle worn dragon they feared but could not understand and some young man will surrender me to the earth. I will feel the blood and piss and my entrails and this heavy devil head fall away. And the town will be free until someone picks up the shredded rotting head mask.
The serpent crawls along in waves of side winded spins into the sky along painted, technicolor, rich trails into an acid washed sky. A nuclear cloud of creeping radiation spoils over the desert and it looks like a cup of water color rinse water spilled over a canvas of cream and copper.
At the apex of the distant horizon falls a horse lead by a man. Walking toward us. Walking away from us. He is the bringer of the cloud and the sky and it's strange color and all that the color brings with it. He comes this way. Gently. Slowly. Dreadfully.
You do not fuck with this man. This is the puppet on the end of the pole with a showdown forced to play the cowboy even with his worst adversary in sight. He has walked into town. He is the man who dies.
I am the cowboy who makes the death. The man at the end of the good guy story who brings the guns to town and has the happy Sunday morning suit. I drink the bottles. I play the role of sheriff when the sheriff plays the role of the town drunk, but I am not long for this role or this world or the man who is not to be fucked with for he is the pill on the tongue in the suicide tent of a town that needs a scapegoat.
You do not fuck with this man. He is the ape killer.The mongrel man. The burnt and charred, double dose over dose under dog. He wears the poncho of the ghost you were afraid of as a child. In the basemen of your mind the unknown dances across your face like cobwebs tickling you into hysterics. He is the man you do not fuck with. You do not fuck with this man. You do not survive.
I am the little boy playing the cowboy. I am the little boy in the corner who was caught with his hand in the chaw bowl. Life begins its punishment and the weepy ghost I see that battles through town like a lumbering stranger called death came looking for me. Because I called for him from so far away.
I should not have called this man. You do not fuck with him. He fucks. He is the death dealer. I am the coin.
Night of the Sorcerers
Dripping magic falls from atop a hill raining like great green slimy electrical fire bolts reigning down over the entire countryside in a moment of pagan ritual. The wizard is on the hill and fires off the spells and the ritual and you will know what it means to be afraid this night.
Break out of your home and start a clever sprint to the farthest place you could think of. Look for home. Look for the summer time. Do not look at the shadows falling like the Towers being called on that witch hill. The men are skeletons and the trees have great big hands to wrench you back into the clutches of the man who controls the world.
And from the eyes of fire on top of the hill marches out great claws and clambering and climbing fingers from the pit of stark raving madness like tentacles and tendrils and all those things the straight jacket wearers like to dream about but never dare tell you about. These are the sorcerers. This is the night of the old gods, and the world is no longer safe. Walpurgis. The great veil.
The being of mal-intent begins a lumbering descent into the valley. He looks for no one or nothing. He is hungry only for your sacrifice. Your bones in between his diamond teeth.
Now get up and run. And run. And run. run run run run as fast and as far. The thing is after you. It's on you. It on your tail. Don't look back or you will lose all the parts you hold most dear. The green light of strange magic illuminates the sky and the great skull crusher bounds after you promising a swift cat and mouse catch followed by a thousand years of slow decay. There's nowhere to hide for the Sorcerer's beast.
Best to give in to the teeth gnasher. The unholy, patriarch of the virtuous monsters. Step toward it, and face the death you die for the village as the sacrifice (though never asked to). Satiate it. Become the food. Succumb to it. Just long enough to rip into it's slimy mouth, rip out a tooth and slay it with a slash and hack. Let the green drippings dance on your tongue. You are the night master. They are the sorcerers in your playground.
Thus endeth the "interpretive writing" part of our review.
I'd like to make a comment on the last track, The Road Leads to Nowhere. I adore this David Hess track. Ever since I saw Last House on the Left I became enamored with it. I've enjoyed it's many incarnations, covers, variations. Some day I'd like to cover it with both the Wait for the Rain and The Road Leads to Nowhere versions medleyed together. This is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful man and musician who I regret never meeting. David Hess gave us great villainy. He also composed beautiful music. This rendition has been on repeat several times over the last week since I first enjoyed Headless Eyes. A fitting way to end an awesome album.
Here's a track from the album to wet your palette.
Pick up the CD right now. Fans of the doom. Fans of the metal. Support awesome music.
Thanks for the great music equivalent of a shortened acid trip.