The American frontier — where lost highways stretch into darkness and undisturbed deserts speak a language as ominous as it is otherworldly. This is the tableau of SPIRITWORLD.
Self-described as “death western,” SpiritWorld is also the aural vision quest of Stu Folsom, a Las Vegas native who has taken the intensity of that blasted desert heat and given it voice on Pagan Rhythms, the band’s debut for its new label home, Century Media.
To celebrate the new partnership, SpiritWorld have released a brand new video for the song “Comancheria,” which perfectly underlines the artistic statement of Folsom’s music. Check it out down below:
It was that purity of Folsom’s vision that immediately won SpiritWorld international acclaim on the limited 2020 self-release of Pagan Rhythms via Safe Inside Records.
Daniel Carter, influential BBC 1 DJ and curator of The Rock Show with Daniel P. Carter, gave the record almost immediate attention. Even the likes of Exodus/Slayer guitarist Gary Holt and former Sepultura/current Soulfly leader Max Cavalera raved about the album on social media.
Not surprisingly, SpiritWorld were quick to gain the attention of Century Media, who saw Folsom’s vision and inked the band.
Says Century Media Vice President of A&R, Mike Gitter, “SpiritWorld is sonic world-building in the boldest way. It’s a vision of the American West as somewhere south of heaven that’s equal parts Slayer, Louis Lamour, and Sam Peckinpah — full of dust, dirt and blood.”
Conceived entirely by Folsom and produced by Sam Pura (The Story So Far, Self Defense Family), songs that stand out include “Comancheria” or the blast-beat propelled “Unholy Passages,” courtesy of drummer Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta/Trash Talk), who plays on half the album, with ex-Apiary skinsman Adam Elliot playing on the other.
SpiritWorld will begin their long ride this fall, playing one of their inaugural performances for Pagan Rhythms at Decibel Magazine’s Metal & Beer Fest in Los Angeles on December 10 and 11.
“It’s about trying to write killer songs and craft a classic record,” says Folsom, whose love for the likes of George Jones or the legendary L.A. punk band X runs as deep as his metallic roots. “With Pagan Rhythms, I set out to distill my love of thrash, old school death metal, and hardcore into something new that would hit like a tomahawk right in the face. When I first started telling people about this idea, I had to merge Western imagery, horror fiction, and heavy metal into an all-out sonic assault. It seemed ridiculous, but I truly believe that if you make great records people are a lot more willing to embrace your weirdness and come along for the ride.”
Pagan Rhythms will be re-released on November 5 via Century Media Records and is now available physically for the first time outside of North America.
The album is up for streaming on your platform of choice and available in the following formats for pre-order: Limited Edition 180g black LP + Art Print (with alternative cover artwork; this format is only available in the first pressing); Limited Edition apple red LP + Art Print (with alternative cover artwork; this format is only available in the first pressing and is expected to be shipped in Spring 2022); limited CD Digipak; digital album.