Seattle's Book of the Black Earth released mediocre heavy-metal albums:
I, II, III (2004),
The Feast (2006),
Horoskopus (2008) and The Cold Testament (2011).
Their frontman T.J Cowgill, however, emerged as an unusual singer-songwriter
under the moniker King Dude, pioneering a
gloomy fusion of alt-country and apocalyptic folk
(Death In June,
Tonight's Special Death Love (2010), with the evocative
River Of Gold,
and especially Love (2011),
with the lilting country-rock lullaby Lucifer Light of the World and
the trotting In The Eyes Of The Lord somewhere between a pirate
singalong and George Harrison's My Sweet Lord.
Burning Daylight (Dais, 2012) further increased the dose of gloom and
Holy Land, propelled by voodoo tribal drumming, crosses
Suicide-ian vocals and
Duane Eddy-ian twang.
The locomotive blues Jesus In The Courtyard borrows the most sorrowful
accents of Tom Waits' gravely voice.
This time the references multiply:
Johnny Cash, etc.
If the first two albums were very personal, this one often sounds like a
sweeping tribute to the 1950s but done by a horror-movie specialist,
the dark overtones sinking the
grand ballad You Can Break My Heart as well as the
raw rockabilly stomp I Know You're Mine, all the way to the
twisted gospel hymn Lord I'm Coming Home.
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