The last two releases of the defunct Warhorse were reissued earlier this year by Southern Lord. This review will be confined to the band’s sole LP, As Heaven Turns To Ash. (The reissue also includes the final EP, I Am Dying.)
This is so heavy it nears a 1.0 on the Electric Wizard scale. Huge, lumbering riffs steadily pound the listener. Raspy, semi-growled vocals don’t add a whole lot, but they serve well enough to add the human element and keep you engaged. Only occasionally do they add a little speed for good measure, while acoustic guitar/piano/bongo interludes break up the hour-long album and keep it from suffering the slightest bit of drag. The mood is just, heavy, man. It’s not depressive or upbeat, it’s just—“Hey, listen to this because it sounds awesome.” And the music stands well enough that it doesn’t need anything like that.
The highlight of the record is “Every Flower dies No Matter the Thorns (Wither).” Not all the titles are quite such a mouthful, but a tune like this warrants an extensive name. It’s an incredible, steady descent, sort of a gritty reboot of Sabbath’s “Into the Void,” featuring a section focusing on bass and drum with underwater-sounding clean guitar as a reprieve.
The only question for me is, how did I not know about this band before? This is incredible.
The Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars