Drug Honkey - _Ghost in the Fire_
(Diabolical Conquest Records, 2012)
by: Chaim Drishner (7.5 out of 10)
First, a warning: you might want to listen to Drug Honkey on a decent stereo system, due to the fact the bass-heavy fucked up music, heavy on reverb and pronounced electronic elements, might sound like a total cacophony of shit if the listening experience is compromised by a sound system incapable of dealing with those frequencies, or if your speakers will further distort the already distorted sound waves slapping you on the face courtesy of this album. In other words, it's like listening to stripped down and violent black metal in your car stereo with the windows open, where, instead of paying attention to all the elements, the wind drowns most of them and you're left hearing a really thin sounding buzzing guitar intermingled with those half-drowned shrieks, asking yourself where's the fucking music.

Drug Honkey, for reasons that are valid or otherwise, will remind you from the first moment the American group Today Is the Day, because both bands share a completely polarized take on metal: both play slow and heavy and neither is intimidated by experimentation, plus they both possess an undeniable psychedelic stance, incorporated and blended well into their hostile, enigmatic sound. But there's more: if you want to capture the sound of Drug Honkey without first listening to it, you might want to check out also the German oddity Touch the Spider! (exclamation mark included in the band moniker); sort of a mixture between '70s rock, gothic doom and psychedelia all mixed together, resulting in an eerie sonic experience that's anything but orthodox, yet powerful enough to stir and shake the listener due to its hostile, mysterious and mind-altering powers.

The backdrop of the music is industrial and steel-cold, repetitive and 'mechanical', having basic riffs and a pounding, enormous rhythm section. In that regard you cannot but acknowledge bands such as Skin Chamber, who would serve, without even admitting to the fact, as a major influence to Drug Honkey's creation; and despite this being an educated guess, one who's familiar with the former couldn't escape the comparison.

The music is nothing a traditional metal band could ever offer; it's apocalyptic for the most part, the mix is thickly layered by elements upon elements of estrangement, and everything echoes back and forth from the speakers to the listener's skull and vice versa. The vocals are for the most part processed, robotic yet evil, alternating between cohesive citations and wild throat tearing howls of a rabid madman. The slow and simple song progressions and the repetitive nature of the riffs boost the despairing non-dynamics of the compositions, solidifying them into being virtually black oozing thick sonic tar that's poisonous and deadly -- yet one cannot help but keep on breathing these venomous fumes, being utterly mesmerized by what's unfolding.

If you have ever pondered upon what experimental metal sounds like, Drug Honkey's _Ghost in the Fire_ is your definite answer. It never loses coherence despite its highly mind-fucking assertion; it never falls into fragmented abstraction that more often than not loses its grip on the notion of 'music' itself; it's powerful and intriguing despite its virtual lack of traditional dynamics and beyond everything, this is a mind-altering, surreal experience that still holds firmly the basics of melody and compositions, even though it is sometimes so 'out there' that any relation between that monster and rock music can be purely coincidental.

_Ghost in the Fire_ is one experiment in experimental metal that has not gone awfully wrong; the strange and unmerciful melodies go hand in hand with some fucked up, abstract and seemingly stream of consciousness lyricism, and when these are coupled with the rotation of the album on a -good- audio system, the outcome is that of resonating an experience that won't be easily forgotten.

This album comes as highly recommended for those who seek for original yet extremely morbid music, but this recommendation comes with a warning: proceed with caution and listen carefully, for this album is not, by any means, an easy listening affair nor does it cope with your shitty computer loudspeakers.


ALBUMS
10/23/2006 Q Kalis 6.5 Drug Honkey - Hail Satan
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