Friday, May 15, 2020

SPIRITWORLD - Pagan Rhythms

SPIRITWORLD: Las Vegas shapeshifter Stu Folsom reveals details of apocalyptic hardcore masterpiece "Pagan Rhythms"; album features producer Sam Pura (Self Defense Family) and drummer Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta); new track streaming now

SpiritWorld announces the July 10th release of debut full-length album Pagan Rhythms.

Stream new song, "The Bringer of Light," here:



SpiritWorld is the work of Las Vegas-based artist, author, songwriter and vocalist, Stu Folsom. Folsom is a true independent and SpiritWorld's Pagan Rhythms is the latest chapter in his unpredictable story. 

A mercurial hero in the Las Vegas scene and beyond, Folsom is known to exercise his artistic freedom to the fullest and leave people guessing as to what is next – from the metallic hardcore of his namesake band, Folsom, to the country-punk of SpiritWorld's early material, informed by the likes of John Doe and Steve Earle.

Under the SpiritWorld name, Folsom has released one demo, one single, and a split – but any fans who have gotten comfortable with SpiritWorld's countrified sound will be shocked and rocked by the new album. Pagan Rhythms is a festival of relentless, apocalyptic hardcore – nine over-the-top tracks, rooted in the warlike sounds of Slayer, Sepultura, and Bolt Thrower, laced heavily with Wild West vibes, and containing contributions from some of the best musicians on the planet.

Pagan Rhythms was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Sam Pura (The Story So Far, Self Defense Family) and features drummer extraordinaire Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta, Trash Talk) among other players. From start to finish, the album bursts with energy and seethes with end-of-the-world drama. Any fan of the metallic hardcore ecstasy of Hatebreed, Ringworm, or Integrity will find something here to rejoice about.

Folsom describes the musical background that led him here:

"I grew up in a household full of country. My grandmother came out to Nevada from Texas after the Great Depression when there was nothing here and raised a family off the land. My grandfather was a rodeo cowboy and ranch hand. I grew up on honky tonk music and rodeo with five brothers. My brothers got into hardcore punk and metal in the late '80s and early '90s so there was a mix of George Jones, Slayer and 7 Seconds constantly blasting in the family car and I fell in love with all of it."

Beyond music, there are literary and cinematic references at play. Pagan Rhythms is the auditory companion piece to a collection of Folsom's short stories titled Godlessness (which will accompany the vinyl pressing) – Western horror stories influenced by Cormac McCarthy novels and Coen Brothers films, among others things.

Apocalyptic as the aesthetic might be, Folsom flips the narrative in a positive way. In his words: 

"The gods are dead and we’re all alone. The world rots and every time I look at the news I can’t help but feel like Hell has swallowed us whole. I focus all my anxiety and despair into art and hope that I can bring a little respite to someone else lost out in the dark, even if it is only for a few moments. I am making the records that I long to hear and I know they will land somehow in the arms of loners, outcasts and working-class folks like me who need them."

Pagan Rhythms tracklist:

1) Pagan Rhythms
2) The Bringer of Light
3) Unholy Passages
4) Night Terrors
5) The Demon Storm
6) Armageddon Honky Tonk & Saloon
7) Godless
8) Comancheria
9) Ritual Human Sacrifice

Pagan Rhythms musicians:

Stu Folsom - vocals, guitar, bass
Matt Schrum - guitar
Lord Beezus - samples
Sam Pura - guitar, bass
Randy Moore - lead guitar
Thomas Pridgen - drums
Adam Elliott - drums

SpiritWorld discography:

Demo (2017, self-released)
Viper Blood single (2018, self-released)
Split 7” w/ Black Coffee (2019, Head2Wall Records)
Pagan Rhythms (2020, self-released)

Pagan Rhythms artwork: Stu Folsom

SpiritWorld photo: Jennifer Olsen

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