By the time you read this, Horse Head will be no more. The Phoenix sludge outfit released this third EP as their swansong, calling it a day after six years. So I can’t tell you to look into this promising trio anymore—this is literally the last you’ll hear of them.
At least they left us something to remember them by. Terminal is a four-track, 23-minute effort that sorta sounds like what might happen if Mike IX Williams went down to Georgia and joined Kylesa. “Inferno” starts off on a mellow, desert-rock note (hey, they are from Phoenix), before the first crashing riff comes in about a minute and 15 in, followed by the first vicious vocal some 30 seconds later, mixing guttural growls with sludgier screams. But things dissipate to a whisper shy of the three-minute mark, before picking up with reckless abandon…until they throw in a Crowbar-sized breakdown down the homestretch.
“Throne of Lies” begins with a squeal of feedback, before delivering a crunchy, Melvins-style riff. The vocals definitely scream EHG. “Ghost Hunter” adopts an Unsane-like stomp—although at 6:47, it’s about twice as long as anything on the NYC icons’ new album—before things get slow ‘n sorrowful again in the last couple minutes.
“Price We Paid” is a little more straight-forward at a shade under four-and-a-half minutes, throwing in some death metal chugs alongside the guttural vocals. Perhaps a hint at a future project?
Release date: October 6.