Drug Honkey
Ghost in the Fire

You know those anti-meth PSA posters where they show a normal person and their progression each month as they become addicted to meth? Well, one listen to Drug Honkey‘s fourth album might result in the same, tooth rotting, skin itching, hair losing, gaunt results. In fact, Drug Honkey might be onto a new sub genre of metal. While stoner metal typically has a fuzzed out, harmless red eyed dopey vibe, Drug Honkey‘s heroin addicted hues are a far more dangerous, Bradycardia and Psoriasis inducing form of metal that reeks of ammonia, feces paranoia.

Though I’ve never done cocaine, I imagine Ghost in the Fire as the audio soundtrack to either a bad trip or DT’s. By the same token I imagine that listening to Ghost in the Fire while on cocaine or meth would lead to some terribly disturbing hallucinations such as thinking your can melt peoples faces using your eyes or that you are being raped by dragons.

At a very base level, Drug Honkey is a doom/sludge band that can be traced to the likes of Eyehategod, Cough and such with droning, feedback drenched guitars. But there’s also a lot of other, disturbing elements at play. I hear some caustic, industrialized tones in some of the background programming and noises that recall Skin Chamber, Godflesh or Scorn (cemented by a cover of Scorn‘s “Twitcher”). There’s also an icky ambient pallor over the whole affair that has a Gnaw Their Tongues vibe by way of the cacophony of noises and sounds, that only rarely come together to form anything musical. The entire affair isn’t about riffs or moments, but about leaving you in a nerve wracked, piss covered, shuddering state of paranoia.

I could barely make it through the first three tracks “Order of the Solar Temple”, “Ghost in the Fire” and ” Weight of the World” without taking my headphones off and checking there weren’t ticks attached to my tongue. And it’s not just the dense, crawling, itchy riffs and racket of grating, discordant and jarring, industrial FX, the vocals are the main reason for the music’s dilapidated atmosphere. Paul “Honkey Head” Gillis’ uses a variety of truly disturbing growls, groans, screams and chants, many often modulated and enhanced to further the mind fuckery (just listen to “Out of My Mind” and closing track “Saturate /Annihilate”) . And this isn’t an album of 3-4 rangy, drawn out songs. This is ten shorter, sharp mainline injections that get right into your blood stream.

If the CIA really wanted to punish captured insurgents or terrorists, they should play this instead of white noise. There are so many layers of nightmarish, chaotic noise mixed with calculated nauseating moments of psychosis, that it is at times a very difficult listen. But by the same token, Ghost in the Fire, like drugs, has an addictive, hypnotic crawl in its later stages  (i.e “This Time I Won’t Hesitate”, “In Black Robe”, “Dead Days (Heroin III)”)  that it burrows into your mind, demanding you listen. It’s sonic heroin basically. You know it’s bad for you, but you want just one more hit.

Listen to Ghost in the Fire at your own risk. Don’t blame me if you find yourself with trichotillomania and acute periodontitis, blowing dudes in back alleys for $10 to get your next fix.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 14th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    best band name. ever. like, ever.


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