Various Artists: Blood and Dust; A Gothic Western (Venus Aeon/digital outlets)

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Various Artists: Blood and Dust; A Gothic Western (Venus Aeon/digital outlets)

Given Elsewhere's unashamed affection for the Western genre (is The Good The Bad and The Ugly the best film ever made? A. Yes) and albums like The Unforgiven's self-titled sole outing we would naturally gravitate to this collection.

The best Westerns reference Greek mythology as much as gunplay mayhem, and so the darkness of Goth music works into the heroic nihilism of the genre.

The fact that none of these bands are household names at our place (Sonsombre, Black Angel, Caligulust, Guillotine Dream etc) actually enhances the effect, like going to the movies when the film has no familiar stars (“Isn't that the woman from . . .?”)

So you just take these twangin', atmospheric sounds (Black Angel's She, Dust Ryde's downbeat Doors-like Gunslinger) as they come at you in the backstreet, Mexican village or on the open plain.

Or the Ghost Town, as on Silas J Dirge's Morricone-influenced c'n'w parody.

Shadows on the ceiling, Shadows on the Floor by Raven Said should appeal to anyone who loved the despair and bleakness of early Cure or Tubeway Army.

So here “Western” is given a fairly free-range interpretation but that's okay.

The genre is one always ready for reinterpretation and reinvention.

Patchy, as all Various Artist collections are, of course. But sometimes gripping and a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun..

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You can hear this album on Spotify here



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