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‘That Witch’ – Dark Western Music Review

dark western musicFrom the London Celtic Punks website: “One of the best bands to wield a banjo IN THE WORLD Phantom Of The Black Hills soak in influences as varied as Country, Punk, Goth, Folk, Bluegrass with distorted vocals and mysterious mystique and a dark, very dark western music ethos.

That Witch is their 6th studio album and they are accompanied by Mather Louth from renowned ‘Gothic Americana’ band Heathen Apostles.

To put it simply Phantom Of The Black Hills are fantastic!!

When I saw that their was a new Phantom Of The Black Hills album on the way I can admit to being pretty bloody excited. Even though I love music we receive so much here at London Celtic Punks Towers that it is hard sometimes to rally up enthusiasm for new releases but for That Witch I was even willing to pay (those that know me will know how incredible that is!). Luckily for my Scots /Yorkshire sensibilities I was incredibly lucky to receive a free download from Ratchet Blade Records and it’s not left my lugholes ever since!

Dark Western Music

The Phantom and Mather Louth

That Witch had originally been planned for release in 2020 but with all the shit going on was delayed almost a year. For those wishing to pigeonhole the label’s most bandied about for the Phantom Of The Black Hills are ‘hellbilly’, ‘frontier-core’ or ‘doom country’ and all capture them pretty fairly squarely and imaginatively. Taking elements of Country, Folk, Punk, Psychobilly, Bluegrass and dark western music, while mixing traditional instruments like mandolin, banjo and fiddle but combining them with fiercely dark and angry polemic, crunching guitars, snarling distorted vocals, intense sound effects and cleverly used movie dialog this is one ‘country’ band you won’t see at the Grand Ole Opry! Shrouded in secrecy hiding themselves away from the glare of publicity the bandana’s they wear in their videos and photos are very careful not to give away any clue as to their identities so it’s kind of hard to tell you anymore about the band themselves! That Witch is their sixth album, the last being Scalped in 2017. That album was to first to feature guest vocals from the lovely Mather Louth on ‘Wild Witch Of The West’ (be sure to check out the brilliant video). She also doubles up as the lead singer of excellent fellow ‘Gothic Americana’ band Heathen Apostles and she guest vocals on pretty much the whole of That Witch giving the album that little extra special range.

Phantom of the Black Hills

That Witch begins in superb form with ‘Rising Son’ and The Phantom snarling his way through a song that takes the point of view of Native American’s and their resistance to the early settlers who sought to steal their land and force them onto special reservations.

“This ain’t Oklahoma
And I was here long before ya
Mistress Darkness has come
And when the night is done
I’m the rising son”

The song is a slow burner. A dark foreboding of what is to come building to a climax in the lyrics rather than the tune. Excellent fiddle throughout from El Gato is matched by Popeye on guitar, banjo and bass and Deacon on drums.

‘That Witch’ sees The Phantom and Mather dueling it out on vocals and it’s another dark slower song and I think it’s fair to say that while their albums have progressively darker the sound has mellowed somewhat though the heaviness of the music does mitigate that. You often think you’re listening to a much faster song than you actually are. We get a fast one next with the album’s lead single ‘Buck Knife’ and the tragic tale of a veteran of the Civil War suffering from PTSD. On returning to his home town he is shunned and the story climaxes in a orgy of deadly violence before ending with the kind of twist to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

Heathen Apostles are one hell of a band in their own right and it is absolute genius to team her up with the Phantom Of the Black Hills. The perfect foil to The Phantom’s vocals her beautiful voice on ‘Lady Judas’ belies the story while we do see a lot less of the electric guitar like on next track ‘Moon Killer’ with vocals now dominating but it works a treat and the distorted vocals are still clear enough to understand every word and the various tales of  violence, drunkenness, debauchery and revenge.

“Time to take a vow and consecrate
Using skin and motion as my bait
The cauldron is a-bubblin’
Got to go and show him sin
Lucifer just don’t want to wait…”

‘Hunger’ is co-written by Mather Louth and the band and she leads here her voice soaring above the bands train-like rumble and that majestic fiddle.  The Phantom takes the rein back for ‘Road To Bleeding’. This is the kind of song that previously they would have slung hard and heavy electric guitar all over but now they treat more gently. ‘Sin & Sanctify’ is as close (still not that close really) as they come to a traditional Country song while the album continues to its violent conclusion with two of the album’s best songs ‘Wicked Storm’ and the storming ‘Attack’.

Phantom of the Black Hills - Dark Western Music

That Witch was released July 2nd on Ratchet Blade Records. The Los Angeles based label home to the Heathen Apostles, Doghouse Lords, the Mau Maus, Charley Horse, Berlin Brats and many more. Ratchet Blade Records describes itself, correctly, as “the best in dark roots music”. Once again it features the amazingly talented former The Cramps bassist, and current Heathen Apostles one, Chopper Franklin on production duties. To be honest I’m kinda upset this ain’t a Celtic-Punk album as it would definitely be up there in our end of year Best Of awards. Looks like I’m going to have to make up a special new category just for them!
Dark Western Music

The Phantom Of The Black Hills have come a long way since Ghosts and while their sound may not be quite as raucous as then they still are as powerful and heavy and perform even more dark western music than ever before. The teaming up with the beautiful Mather Louth adds a whole new dimension to the sound. It’s a dark world out there and the imagery The Phantom Of The Black Hills conjure up in the mind may not be a pleasant one but it’s an imaginative one filled with the ghosts of the wronged, deserted mines and villages, dust and dirt and the people who lived there and also the  best music the ‘old’ west can produce.”


Doom Country Music Rundown by London Celtic Punks

Here’s a great run down of the 5 Phantom of the Black Hills albums by London Celtic Punks. Their website states: “The London Celtic Punks are a group of people living in or with connections to London. We are dedicated to the promotion of Celtic-Punk music. That’s the traditional folk music of the Celtic nations (Ireland/Eire, Isle Of Man/Mannin, Scotland/Alba, Wales/Cymru, Cornwall/Kernow, Brittany/Breizh, Galicia/Galiza and Astures) mixed with rock’n’punk.” They really get doom country music, here’s the introduction they wrote for the piece, you can check out the full article HERE.POTBH - doom country music

Phantom of the Black Hills are one of the most innovative bands you will ever hear that has a banjo! This isn’t the Country music of Nashville or the Grand Ole Opry instead its angry polemic over bluegrass banjo, mandolin and upright bass mashed together with raucous punk guitar, blistering drums and dirty, snarling distorted vocals with extreme sound effects and movie dialogue samples. They are one of my favourite bands so I thought I’d attempt to convert a few of you lot too.

The Black Hills are a mountain range in South Dakota famous for the Mount Rushmore memorial of the four presidential heads of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln carved into the granite. It’s also an area where large populations of Scots and Scots-Irish settled which may explain the areas fondness for moonshine. Production of illegal alcohol that is still widespread today. Another possible by-product of the Celtic on the local population is widespread mistrust of all government. Many see themselves as outlaws and in the Black Hills you are unlikely to find a Vegan coffee shop or demand for stricter gun control laws. Phantom Of The Black Hills are a band that shy away from publicity. From the bandana’s that hide their faces in their videos and photos to their Web-Site and Facebook page that are very careful not to give away any clue as to their identities. 


Scalped – Peek-a-Boo Magazine ‘Aggro Americana’ Review

aggro AmericanaTheir faces are shrouded in a sort of bandana with eyeholes, like a bad outlaw of an imaginary Western encapsulated into an a temporal dimension of aggro Americana.

Phantom of the Black Hills hail from South Dakota and have reached their fifth album showing an eversive attitude that reminiscent of The Clash. A track like “Raised On Fire”, for example, resembles a gift pack with “London Calling” inside.

A raspy, distorted voice is the backbone of each song conducting the traditional instruments (fiddle, banjo, and mandolin) to crash against a wall of guitars and drums, adding a roughness to the fiery climate.

“Wild Witch of the West” is a delicious ballad with special guest vocalist Mather Louth, member of Radio Noir and Heathen Apostles.

The highlights begin with “Dr. Dealer” that advances solemn, justifying the term ‘doom country’ often associated with the group. Harsh guitar and metronomic drums ensure thickness and atmosphere.

“Torchy” seems The Gun Club sharing an insane gig with the Country Gazette while the sinister bells of “Blow It Up” look back to Black Sabbath’s first album, tracing the coordinates of a ride on a heavy-punk carousel. “Chiva”, and “Jeckill and Hide” are two fine silverware pieces, dramatic, pressing and goth-tinged. The imagery of the band is purely Gothic Western, a dusty mosaic, made of abandoned mines and wandering ghosts, faded pictures of bandits and hanged men joined with a powerful anti-establishment soul.

aggro Americana

One more time, Chopper Franklin (The Cramps, Heathen Apostles) is the man in the control room. As ever, he has a very specific and recognizable hand, amalgamating all the components of the dark roots universe (an ideal arc from hellbilly to deathrock) in one shot.

Somewhere, out there, a memory of the ’80s cowpunk spirit has survived thanks to Phantom of the Black Hills and similar groups. However, this time equipped with flamethrower and vitriol.

You can check out Scalped HERE.

Sergio MANGHINA


POTBH Doom Country Album Reviewed in “Ox Zine” (Germany)

POTBH- doom countryOx Zine, the #1 rock music magazine in Germany, has reviewed the Phantom of the Black Hill’s new doom country album Scalped in their latest issue (you can preview and order Scalped HERE). Here is a translation from German:

Ashes on my head: In Ox # 118 I called the last album of the PHANTOM OF THE BLACK HILLS their fifth. Now I learn that the current work “Scalped” is number five in the discography, also in the band are five masked Hellbilly bastards from South Dakota. Sitting in the producer’s chair once again is the former THE CRAMPS bassist Chopper Franklin, and the absolutely insane mix of doom country, rock, industrial music and spoken-word passages is still kinda trashy (to the insane bad Billo cover, which refreshingly tops the unsightly layouts of almost all HAYSEED DIXIE albums). It’s innovative alright and not homogeneous: a classic Bluegrass song like the opener “Wild Witch of the West” and then one with extremely distorted vocals on “One for the Gut”, (which strangely enough reminds me of TURBONEGRO’S “Ass Cobra”), are worlds apart. Definitely a plate that you can sort on the shelf under “Special Interest”.   – Christian Krüger


“Scalped” Review in Uber Rock (UK) – ‘The Hellbilly Genre’

Phantom Of The Black Hills - hellbilly genre

As a sub-genre, the hellbilly genre seems to lie somewhere between bluegrass, country, NOLA-style doom and traditional rock ‘n’ roll. Most popularly brought to global attention by artists such as Hank Williams III, it is a musical style which can, at first, be difficult to understand and then digest. Take, for example, the reaction of her good self when she walked into the UR studio and first heard this particular opus blasting from our tower block sized speaker system: “what the fuck is that shit?” she demanded to know as I turned the mixer up another notch…

“That shit”, as herself so eloquently put it, is the fifth album from POTBH, a band who don’t believe in giving much away, from the bandanas across their faces in all their publicity photos to the paucity of information on both the press release which accompanied the CD and on their Facebook page: it doesn’t even say where they’re from – although the reference to “Black Hills” in their name should be a huge pointer… but, you never know and should never take anything for granted. For all we know, they are either a bunch of hicks from Nowhereville in North Dakota, or a bunch of rich college grads from Hollywood playing at being the former – although, I must admit, I sincerely doubt it!

Whatever the case, POTBH have produced an album that veers from out and country to the lunatic fringe industrialism of Ministry: this is probably understandable, as the only piece of information the band proffer about themselves is that their music would be the result of “Glenn Danzig and Al Jourgensen stayed up all night listening to old Porter Wagoner and Hank Sr. records and drinking homemade corn liquor”. Maybe a bit OTT – but, hey, what band doesn’t overhype themselves – but you get the picture…

My problem with ‘Scalped’ is that there are two songs which absolutely kick ass heavier than a size 11 New Rock to your tailbone. The first is opener ‘Wild Witch Of The West’, which pumps and thumps like a moonshine-fuelled culchie; driven by a snarly snare and characterized by a punked-up banjo, and featuring a lascivious guest vocal from Mather Louth, it sets a mood that almost immediately dissipates. Yes, ‘Raised On Fire’ is a suitable slice of fiddle-fuelled arson, ‘Dr Dealer’ is a leather-clad metallic monster, and ‘Torchy’ is cute in its amalgamation of metal and country grooves – but the album then, from the loud but unfulfilling abrasiveness of ‘Blow It Up’ onwards, slowly peters out until the bonus track of ‘The Reckoning’ drags it kicking and screaming back to life, with its Nick Cave-like Gothicism, hard-ass thrashy guitar riff, snarly snare-led percussive drive and spoken vocal.

Phantom Of The Black Hills – ‘Scalped’ (Ratchet Blade Records/Cockroach Media) By Mark Ashby Read the full review HERE.


“Moonshine Bright” Reviewed On No Depression

Review of Moonshine Bright on No Depression, read it online HERE:

Moonshine_cover_final_sm“Phantom of the Black Hills, one of the outlaw music scene’s favorite bands of renegade pickers, stummers, pluckers and bangers, is back with a new album on Ratchet Blade Records, Moonshine Bright. Continuing to terrorize the musical wagon trail of the current roots revival with their sound of doom country, frontier-core, and hellbilly punk, Phantom of the Black Hills’ most recent collection of songs is as powerful and violent as the fiery blast of an old blunderbuss, with each deadly projectile hitting a different mark.

Throughout Moonshine Bright, Phantom of the Black Hills lays down some mean distorted chords, plenty of pickin’ and strummin’, hillbilly fiddin’, strong drums, and gritty outlaw vocals. The opening song, which is also the title track, is as dirty and intoxicating and homegrown as the contents of the musical barrel in which it was distilled. “Hellbetties Risin’,” the first single from Moonshine Brightand a raw cowpunk offering with male and female vocals, is as sharp as the edge of a boot knife. “In Hell” is a lawbreaker anthem which rides like hell for the horizon, loot in hand, putting some distance between oneself and the hangman’s noose, yet knowing full well that, when the time comes, hell will be one’s ultimate destination. “The Storm is my Shelter” is about as close to traditional country music as this band gets, but it is still pretty far removed from the purist idea of the genre, which is decidedly a good thing. The closer, “A Life for an Eye,” is a little different from the rest of the album in that it is garagey roots rock and dark country punk hybrid.

Moonshine Bright by Phantom of the Black Hills is available from the Ratchet Blade Records webstore here.”


Great Review of “Moonshine Bright” in Ox Zine

Another great review of Moonshine Bright in the German magazine Ox Zine, pick up issue #118 for the review:

Name-dropping galore in the Press Release: this record was produced by the Cramps late bassist Chopper Franklin and the Moonshine cover final 1 smmastering was done by Geza X  (the former producer of the Dead Kennedys and Black Flag. “Moonshine Bright” is album number five for the masked Hellbilly / Doom-country band from the USA. The genre style comes from the band itself, they blend a lively mix of styles from Southern Rock, punk, Alternative Country and a B-movie atmosphere. All in all it’s difficult to categorize: it is powerful, fully instrumented (supplemented by the classic country instruments: banjo, mandolin and violin), gloomy, aggressive and melodic. Bluegrass fiends will love the fast mandolin and banjo sections the best, and inevitably the rapid playing of Split Lip Rayfield comes to mind. But the again the next moment is a distorted guitar and the sound kicks into gloomy Rob Zombie to realms. The whole thing is exciting and is expected to attract fans of 16 Horsepower, Hank Williams III, The Meat Purveyors (and rockabilly and bluegrass in general) my equally much. 7 of 10 stars.

Christian Kruger
Ox Zine



“Moonshine Bright” 4 Star Review in Dynamite

The new POTBH album Moonshine Bright received a 4 star review in the German magazine Dynamite:

Moonshine cover final 1 smThe Black Hills are a mountain range in South Dakota, including Mount Rushmore with its four presidential heads. The Black Hills is also an area that is populated by rednecks and in which the illegal production of alcohol, the so-called moonshine, is still widespread even today. At the same there time is widespread scepticism of all government, and many see themselves as outlaws and the demand for stricter gun control laws in this area is not being heard. The Phantom of the Black Hills provide their new album “Moonshine Bright” as the appropriate soundtrack. Traditional country, blitzkrieg guitars and distorted vocals take on violin, banjo and mandolin. The result of this mixture are ten dark and wild, masterfully produced by Cramps Bassist Chopper Franklin, songs about the dark side of life. Great!

 


Four Star Review of “Moonshine Bright”

Moonshine_cover_final_smThe new Chopper Franklin produced Phantom of the Black Hills album Moonshine Bright has been reviewed by The Examiner, it received 4 of 5 stars:

Phantom of the Black Hills, one of the outlaw music scene’s favorite bands of renegade pickers, stummers, pluckers and bangers, is back with a new album on Ratchet Blade Records, Moonshine Bright. Continuing to terrorize the musical wagon trail of the current roots revival with their signature sound of doom country, frontier-core and hellbilly punk, Phantom of the Black Hills’ most recent collection of songs is as powerful and violent as the fiery blast of an old blunderbuss, with each deadly projectile hitting a different mark.

Throughout Moonshine Bright Phantom of the Black Hills lay down some mean distorted chords, plenty of pickin’ and strummin’, hillbilly fiddin’, strong drums, and gritty outlaw vocals. The opening song, which is also the title track, is as dirty and intoxicating and homegrown as the contents of the musical barrel in which it was distilled. “Hellbetties Risin’,” the first single from Moonshine Bright, is a raw cowpunk offering with male and female vocals, is as sharp as the edge of a boot knife. “In Hell” takes a lawbreaker anthem which rides like hell for the horizon, loot in hand, putting some distance between oneself and the hangman’s noose, yet knowing full well that when the times comes hell will be one’s ultimate destination. “The Storm is my Shelter” is about as close to traditional country music as Phantom of the Black Hills get, but it is still pretty far removed from the purist idea of the genre, which is decidedly a good thing. The closer, “A Life for an Eye,” is a little different from the rest of the album in that it is garagey roots rock and dark country punk hybrid.

Moonshine Bright by Phantom of the Black Hills is available from the Ratchet Blade Records webstore here.

by James G. Carlson
The Examiner

read the review online by clicking HERE


ENEMY! Reviewed by ReGen Magazine

Phantom of the Black Hills - Enemy!

Phantom of the Black Hills
Category: Country / Rock / Experimental
Album: Enemy!
Stars: 3.5 of 4
Blurb: A delightfully scathing and exploratory mix of underground punk and industrial elements with a classic southern rock and country vibe.
There was once a time when country and southern rock was part of the counterculture, quick to espouse a sociopolitical viewpoint opposite to that of the status quo. While the mainstream sensibilities of the genre have overtime gravitated toward a less incendiary outlook, a band like Phantom of the Black Hills comes along to give the style a firm kick in the arse with a raucous sound and image that is sure to attract a more adventurous audience. Indeed, to even look at the band adorned in bandana masks and Stetson hats, brandishing bottles of booze, pistols, and their instruments, one could draw comparisons to some bluegrass derivation of Slipknot. Thankfully, Phantom of the Black Hills comes across as less comical, though the music is not devoid of anger and abrasion with a fair share of whimsy. “Battle Cry” begins the album with guns blazing, a whooshing electronic wind leading into the sound of fiddles and banjos meshing with the grittily distorted guitars, The Phantom shouting out his rebellious lyrics in a style immediately reminiscent of Chemlab’s Jared Louche. The rest of the album follows suit with a firmly anti-establishment vibe permeating throughout, with lyrics like “You think you’re fit to go to war? Can’t even figure out which way to point the sword” on the title track, “If it’s law don’t make it right” on “If Hell’s Where I Have to Be,” and the abundance of politically charged samples on “Evil Dove.” Other songs like “Bled for No Reason,” “Read My Bible,” and “One Per Sinner” also convey a lyrical predilection against war and hypocrisy, while the music maintains a steady rock pace from beginning to end, each instrument given its moment to shine. Produced by Chopper Franklin of the Cramps and mixed by Geza X, whose credits include the likes of Dead Kennedys and Black Flag, Phantom of the Black Hills’ third album is a surprisingly innovative album. Eschewing the clean cut conventions of modern country, Enemy! is raucous and rambunctious from start to finish; the product of a band firmly planted in its southern roots but with a gutturally mechanical vibe that should appeal to rivetheads, revealing an exploratory spirit that should appeal to more underground tastes.


ENEMY! Reviewed in UBER ROCK

Phantom Of The Black Hills – ‘Enemy’ (Ratchet Blade Records)
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz E

You remember how it was when you were a rock kid buying albums with your pocket money, selecting which ones were gonna go home with you purely on their cover art, generally finding out that they sucked all kinds of arse? Well, as the years have gone by, it usually works the other way: I look at an album cover now, sigh, and think of how much time I will waste listening to what lies inside and then trying to write something worthwhile about it, sometimes finding an unlikely gem.

Kinda happened that way with ‘Enemy’, the third album from the mysterious Phantom of the Black Hills.

Masked figures being lynched on the front cover, masked men holding banjos and big fucking knives on the back – this was going to be one of those 45 minutes that I wasn’t going to get back in a hurry, I guessed……but I guessed wrong.

With no clue as to who is actually behind the masks – I’d guess that the band is made up of the members of various other bands but I couldn’t (be arsed to) find out who on the ol’ interweb – I had no clue what to expect when I slipped the disc into my death deck; another of those ‘comedic’ stabs at a country album by someone who should know better was at the top of my list. Thankfully I was wrong again, way wrong.

‘Battle Cry’ opens the album and does exactly what it says on the tin. The Phantom is described as a hellbilly/doom country band and that’s exactly what I got….and a fine example of that curious genre chimera at that. There’s a whiff of the more cinematic moments of Rob Zombie’s newer solo material about the vocals, some Al Jourgensen too, before you remember that Al actually turned in his own attempt at this genre around a year ago; that album by Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters a bit of a mess, truth be told. ‘Enemy’ blows it away, sharp, rather than shit, shooter style.

The follow-up to 2010’s ‘Born To Gun’ album, itself following 2009’s ‘Ghosts’, ‘Enemy’ was produced by Cramps bassist Chopper Franklin and mixed by legendary punk producer Geza X (Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, The Germs), having me thinking once again that these mystery men are players in more than just the doom countryside. But I digress, it mattering little anyway – this is a great album; filthy of tongue, keenly-produced, and hugely impressive.

The album’s dirty dozen tracks fly by, making a mockery of its running time. From the aforementioned opener to ‘Read My Bible’, the album’s closing track, The Phantom and his bad pack mix traditional country instruments – the banjo, fiddle and mandolin, the secretive press release informing me, pushed more to the front than on the album’s predecessors – with distorted guitar and vocals, this album seemingly leaning more heavily on samples and loops: many prime examples of hard-hitting, controversial dialogue permeating the raw, rusty sounds of the record. “Violence is as American as apple pie” – yes, that’s a quote that we’ve heard many times before but here…it just seems right, a tight fit.

Whoever they really are, Phantom of the Black Hills cuts the throat of convention and bleeds out an album cooler than the blade of their frontman’s impressive weapon. The penultimate song on the album is ‘Call Your Bluff’ – sums it up really.

Read the review on the UBER ROCK site by clicking HERE


ENEMY! Gets 9 Star Review in Ox-Fanzine (Germany)

Finally, a band from that stands out from the musical pabulum: PHANTOM OF THE BLACK HILLS are in a separate category that really speaks for them. There are some musicians that go in a similar direction  (Hellbilly or Doom Country) such as Hank III and ASSJACK, Hipbone Slim or in the broadest sense Bob Wayne. The CRAMPS have already proved in the Seventies what depth this kind of sound can have. You can hear the CRAMPS in the PHANTOM OF THE BLACK HILLS, which is probably because the album was produced by their ex-bassist Chopper Franklin and mixed by punk legend Geza X (DEAD KENNEDYS, BLACK FLAG etc.). The special feature is the Phantom’s especially brutal use of fiddle and banjo, which is reinforced by striking guitar riffs and very critical lyrics. Overall, the result is a brutal, varied album, suitable for both line dancing as well as the Pogo. (9 stars) Igor Eberhard, Ox-Fanzine, Germany


“ENEMY!” Reviewed in New Edition

New Edition (Sweden) has published this review of the new Phantom of the Black Hills album ENEMY!:

 

 

 

 

 

Phantom Of The Black Hills – ENEMY!
Ratchet Blade Records

     Wow. After 2 great albums that sound like nothing I’ve heard before (doom country), along comes the third album that sounds a little different because the country influences has moved forward some in the overall sound. The big difference is that banjo, mandolin and fiddle take more space and I really like that. The mean sounding guitar and the hard driving bass are still there and they make this bands still sound like one of a kind.
   All that along with lyrics that could have been written by an angry Hank Williams if he still was alive today, and with vocals that for some reason  reminds me of Hasil Adkins, they have an unbeatable mixture. With this they have a formula that no other band has come close to finding. If this album gets some wide circulation my guess is that there will be other bands trying this formula.
    It´s an album that is hard, brutal and beautiful at the same time, a rock´n´roll answer for the Sam Peckinpah movie The Wild Bunch. Buy buy buy.

Jan Falk
New Edition

ENEMY! Reviewed on PoDunk Radio

Phantom of the Black Hills – Enemy – Ratchet Blade Records

Okay, so they’ve spent 2 years working on it. That’s a helluva long time to work on an album. Was it worth the wait? You bet your fur covered asshole it was! The guitars are as hard and brutal as ever, the banjos, mandolins, and fiddles have become much more prominent players in this album compared to the previous two; Ghosts – 2009, and Born to Gun – 2010.

The first two albums must’ve been dress rehearsals for this release. it’s like the Phantom & the boys (Popeye, Doc Helliday, & Deacon) picked up new quills dipped in blood to pen this new album. Lyrically more dark and intense than the previous two releases Enemy is filled with musical imagery or war, lust, death, and hell. Produced by Chopper Franklin [Bassist, the Cramps] and mixed by the legend himself Geza X [Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, The Germs, The Mau Maus]. For me this was a much anticipated release. From “Battle Cry” through to the closing track “Read My Bible” I get the impression this album has James Dickey grinning in his grave. The arrangement of the music is flawless, the lyrics are controversial as ever and I fucking love this album, just hope they don’t take two more years for the next one…. or maybe the wait will once again be well worth it.

Read the Review at PoDunk Radio HERE



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