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Premiere: Sandworm – “Desert Warfare” + Catch This Tour

It’s surprising how few black metal bands have mined the desert for songwriting material. Outside of the omnipresent heat, you can’t get much bleaker than a desert: hardy kill-or-be-killed plants and animals heavily armored to protect their meager takings, whirling dervish dust devils that sting when meeting skin, the on-the-surface absence of life-preserving elements belying an intricate ecosystem. To outsiders, the desert is a rarely-pardoned death sentence. Your invitation to the landscape is annihilation. The sun cooks you until you’re crazy, dehydration sets in, and you’ll soon join the sand as the first big grain of a new dune or a big splash of vulture crap. Bleak. Black metal.

And with that, in wiggles Sandworm, a raw and violent USBM duo from Providence, Rhode Island. Vocalist/guitarist Ben Eberle and drummer Pat Reilly (and occasionally Virusse’s Mindy Stock on drums) are influenced by the desert, mainly its sun-baked nihilism and its lack of watered-down bullshit. In Sandworm’s world, the shimmering Morricone mirages, bong rips, or rumbling muscle cars that other genres use to dab their tunes with oranges and browns don’t exist. Sandworm are straight and to the point, almost punk-like with their arid production and lack of adornment. But under the grit and within the valleys of these concise compositions, there’s much more here than what first meets the ear.

Check out “Desert Warfare” from Sandworm’s forthcoming split with the Body. On this track, Sandworm are black metal simplicity and ingenuity incarnate: a few good riffs, a steady beat, and fried vocals. Yet “Desert Warfare” is also teeming with ideas, be it the meter-shifting digressions or the way the guitar crashes around the mix, creating a charged atmosphere presaging bolts of lightning. In under two minutes, Sandworm nail the black metal particulars while also forming a universe that opens up on closer inspection. You lose yourself in the replays. Neat. Also, yeah, bleak.

Along with the split, Sandworm are heading out on the road with the Body. Former Providentians the Body — the boundary pushing duo responsible for this gem earlier in the year — actually require your assistance on this one. They need a van. A legit one. They’ve set up a crowdfunding page with some cool perks to help fund a ride that isn’t a Final Destination plot device. If you can, give their Indiegogo a click. Then, catch both duos in the flesh: the full Body/Sandworm tour dates are below.

“Desert Warfare” appears on the Sandworm/The Body split. The album will be released October 21 by Thrill Jockey and it’s available for preorder now.

— Ian Chainey

Sandworm/The Body Tour Dates
9/23 NYC – The Acheron *
9/26 Columbus, OH – The Summit * w/ Cosmic Moon, Slave House
9/27 Grand Rapids, MI – The Bunker *
9/28 Chicago, IL – Emporium * w/ Unmanned Ship, The Hanging Gardens, Crown Larks
9/30 Minneapolis, MN – The Rat Hole *
10/3 Seattle, WA – Highline #
10/4 Vancouver – The Astoria #
10/5 Portland, OR – Slabtown #
10/7 Oakland, CA – Night Light #
10/8 San Francisco, CA – El Rio #
10/9 Fresno, CA – Love Captive #
10/10 Los Angeles, CA – Hippie Desert #
10/11 Los Angeles, CA – Hippie Desert #
10/12 Los Angeles, CA – Hippie Desert #
10/13 Los Angeles, CA – 5 Star Bar #
10/14 Las Vegas, NV – Cheyenne Saloon #
10/15 San Bernandino, CA – Black Flame #
10/16 San Diego, CA – Che Cafe #
10/17 Phoenix, AZ – 51 West #
10/18 Tucson, AZ – Southwest Terror Fest ^
10/19 Albuquerque, NM – Burt’s Tiki Lounge #
10/20 Denver, CO – Mutiny Info Cafe #
10/21 Salt Lake City, UT – Shred Shed ^
10/22 Boise, ID – Crazy Horse ^
10/23 Austin, TX – The Boneyard *
10/25 New Orleans, LA – Community Records Block Party *
10/27 Greensboro, NC – @ Fantasy U.L. *
10/28 Philly, PA – Mill Creek Tavern * w/ Worth

# – The Body & Sandworm
* – Sandworm Only
^ – The Body only

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