Cultivating his unique brand of “Death Western” Stu Folsom is capturing the attention of metal fans with his meld of Old West esthetic and a classic sound that is heavy AF.
There is an inherent darkness in the underbelly of the Old West, an element of the sinister that until now, had not intersected the culture of extreme music.
Embracing the ominous parallels between the eerie desolation of the American frontier, set to a menacing, sinister soundtrack, songwriter Stu Folsom created his own unique vessel in Spiritworld. Summarizing his signature so the masses had some form of reference, Folsom coined the brand “Death Western” and offered an emphatic introduction to the endeavor with the cross of Sergio Leone meets Slayer in “Comancheria“.
The lead single from Spiritworld’s debut in Pagan Rhythms managed to capture the attention of the greater community of heavy music for it’s execution, it’s authenticity, and it’s innovative take on a genre in which repetition often be misconstrued as traditionalism. Folsom explains the vision of the project.
“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.”
Following though on the notion of making quality records, the second visual offering from Pagan Rhythms serves as a bold assertion that Spiritworld is far from a gimmick. With the band’s latest, “The Bringer of Light,” the cinematic quality, coupled with the band’s musical horsepower, make for a finished product that is equally audacious, ambitious, and wildly artistic. Transforming a music video into a grisly western flick complete with elements of the occult, suggests a level of showmanship that makes Spiritworld far more than just a new metal band.
“The film for ‘The Bringer of Light’ has been a long time in the making,” says Folsom. “The director, Todd Hailstone, and I met in high school. He roadied on my first band’s first tour and we lived together at the infamous Hammer Lane junkyard squat when we were young, dirt poor, and wild as fuck. It was incredible to reconnect artistically after all these years and hand the reins over to someone that I have spent hours punishing with my plans for the fiction and film sides of the SpiritWorld project.”
Folsom adds, “I asked Todd to come up with a treatment that would introduce the world to the characters of Godlessness and Pagan Rhythms on a budget that should barely cover another tired ‘band in warehouse headbanging’ video, and he was able to completely nail the John-Ford-meets-70s-horror vibe anyway!
Pagan Rhythms will be re-released on November 5 via Century Media Records and is now available in a physical format for the first time outside of North America. The nine track masterwork currently streaming via preferred DSP – HERE.
The limited edition 180g black LP + Art Print featuring 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) and limited CD Digipak and digital album are currently available for pre-order – HERE