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Man’s Gin: Rebellion Hymns

More necro-country menace from the Cobalt cowboy

While fans of leftfield black metal torment themselves with thoughts of a follow-up to Cobalt’s magnificent 2009 album Gin, that band’s Erik Wunder has been pursuing alternative avenues.

Emerging for the second time, Man’s Gin dwell in the grubby Americana hinterland that has provided the likes of Nick Cave, Michael Gira and David Eugene Edwards with a creative home, but the dark undertones that inform Erik’s other work are still conspicuous, albeit expressed through acoustic guitars, clattering percussion and a fervent sense of adversarial evangelism.

In essence, these are simple songs, but the Man’s Gin ethos is one of subtle augmentation and eerie textural quirks, resulting in a quasi-religious atmosphere that is as unsettling as it is entirely compelling.

While certain modern bands out there toy clumsily with notions of ritual devilry, the fidgeting disquiet of Old House (Bark At The Moonwalk) and the skin-scorching drift of Sirens evoke a genuine sense of something wicked and pernicious lurking eerily beneath the surface of Erik’s words, resulting in an album that draws you in and pickpockets your soul as you surrender to the dusty, sun-ravaged void.