Godhunter vs. Destroyer of Light – Endsville


Come no closer if you like God or happiness, as the very antithesis is available in this remarkably-packaged ‘split’, Endsville (Battleground), from Tucson quintet Godhunter and their Austin Doom counterparts Destroyer of Light.

The Arizona mob kick us off, their acoustic-toned ‘End Time Blues’ and ‘The Emptiness That is Left’ bookending four tracks of angry, raw Stoner. There’s a basic, Punk vibe to the minimalist style of ‘Divided States’ and ‘Anthropophobia’. The throaty squeal coursing through them is, however, somewhat inept, and accompanied by prosaic, unimaginative riffs and rhythm. Sadly this rather uninspiring, stodgy template continues throughout Godhunter’s offering; the Kylesa-lite ‘Cassandra Complex’ occasionally loads colossal weight upon the shoulders and is the standout track of their inferior set, but the slovenly growl and lacklustre riffs fail to stir the blood sufficiently. The closing coda of ‘…Emptiness…’, a diseased version of ‘Something in the Way’, desecrates Nirvana’s original whilst paradoxically landing a long-overdue significant punch.

Thankfully the rollicking, NWOBHM-infused Psych-Occult of Destroyer of Light fares much better. Opener ‘Electric Shadows’ finds ground between Moss and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats; the steady, cantering pace graced by Steve Colca’s dramatic holler, subtle samples and eerie chanting which add melody to pummeling riffs and Jeff Klein’s pounding bass. Some electrifying solo work to the track’s coda, meanwhile, helps to banish the memory of what has gone before. The dirty, monolithic chords of ‘Coffin Hunter’, Colca’s vocal tolling over them, are reminiscent of Iommi at his evil, crushing best, while devilish roars from the three-quarter point are utterly terrifying and offer more than Godhunter’s whole portion.

And here’s the issue: this is a ‘split’ in the real sense of the word, an immense second half in real danger of being overshadowed by the shambolic pointlessness of the first. The dazzling leadwork of the morose, pulsing ‘Forever My Queen’ proves the Texan outfit’s name to be misleading, lighting the path to sinister, bone-crushing closer ‘Valley Of The Dead’, and affirms the belief that Destroyer of Light should not suffer the sins of their undeserving co-contributors. Give the Trad Doom boys your time at the very least.