Band Line Up 2022
Playing: Saturday, 13th August 2022
Stage: Ronnie James Dio Stage
Band Photo Gallery
The American frontier: where burning skies meet sandblasted mesas. Where lost highways stretch into darkness and undisturbed deserts speak a language as ominous as it is otherworldly. This is the tableau of SPIRITWORLD. SPIRITWORLD is also the aural vision quest of Stu Folsom, a Las Vegas native who has taken the intensity of that blasted desert heat and given it voice, howling through the Slayer-like chug of his band’s Century Media debut, Pagan Rhythms.
Tied into a series of bloody vignettes that comprise the Folsom-penned book, Godlessness (originally self-published and recently picked up through L.A.’s Rare Bird Press), Pagan Rhythms is the soundtrack to this DEATH WESTERN. Conceived entirely by Folsom, whose songs like “Comancheria” or “Ritual Human Sacrifice” brim with an undercurrent of Western and Native American themes. Imagine a south of heaven event horizon where Hatebreed meets Cormac McCarthy. Folsom states: "My great grandmother was Cherokee & my grandfather was a rodeo cowboy and ranch hand...There was a mix of George Jones, Slayer and 7 Seconds blasted in the family car and I fell in love with all of it.”
That upbringing provided the hitching post to which Folsom anchored SPIRITWORLD’s sound and rustic vision. Produced by Sam Pura (The Story So Far, Self Defense Family), Pagan Rhythms growls with a raw-and-real production that explodes on tracks like the blast beat propelled “Unholy Passages”, courtesy of drummer Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta/Trash Talk) who plays on half the album with ex-Apiary skinsman Adam Elliott playing on the other. That said, extreme metal isn’t the only hand SPIRITWORLD deals when Stu sits down at the table. The band's early demos and recordings focused on elements of punk and outlaw country; sounds that still exist alongside Folsom’s metallic predilections. “It’s about trying to write classic songs and craft a classic record,” says Stu, whose love for the likes of George Jones or the legendary L.A. band X runs as deep as his metallic roots. “With Pagan Rhythms, I chose to focus on my love for hardcore and metal and really dug deep to make that record knowing it was different than a lot of my past stuff. If you make great records people are a lot more willing to embrace your weirdness and come along for the ride.”
It was that purity of Folsom’s vision that immediately won SPIRITWORLD international acclaim on the limited 2020 self-release of Pagan Rhythms. Daniel Carter, influential BBC 1 DJ and curator of The Rock Show with Daniel P. Carter gave the record almost immediate attention. Metal Sucks premiered the record with an immediate rave: “SpiritWorld makes the kind of metallic hardcore that sounds like it might actually summon Satan from the lowest depths of Hell.” Even the likes of Exodus/Slayer guitarist Gary Holt and Former Sepultura/current Soulfly leader Max Cavalera raved about the album on social media. Stu and SPIRITWORLD had staked their claim like firebrands and outlaws coming off the deadlands to shoot, ride and speak their truth. “I am making the records that I long to hear,” says Stu. “I know they will land somehow in the arms of loners, outcasts and working-class folks like me who need them."
Band Line Up 2022
- ALL HAIL THE YETI
- MERCYFUL FATE
- DIMMU BORGIR
- BURY TOMORROW
- SACRED REICH