KING BUFFALO - Acheron
Genre: Heavy psych-, prog rock
Release Date: December 3rd, 2021
Label: Self-released in North America, Stickman Records in Europe
While their recent album “The Burden of Restlessness” got a lot of well-deserved attention over the past months, New York based trio KING BUFFALO didn’t slow down and announced, that this was just the first part of a trilogy, with the second, “Acheron”, being set to release on December 3rd, 2021. The writing process for all three records was the result of the pandemic-forced touring shutdown, impressively showing that even in a grim time, there still can be daring to hope for something better.
For "Acheron", KING BUFFALO started a very unique approach and went “underground”, as they recorded the four songs live in a cave, accompanied by trusted engineer Grant Husselman and videographer Adam Antalek to document the day-long session. The stunning cover artwork was created by Ryan T. Hancock.
Gentle splashing of the cave’s brook guides us to “Acheron”, named for the “river of woe” in Greek mythology, with the music starting to flow, slowly building up tension to take the listener on an atmospheric ride. KING BUFFALO develop the song in waves, that grow and descend with light variations, capturing the vibe of the past months with melancholic harmonies and a distorted guitar tone. The vocals offer a melodic and warm, yet a bit monotone style without too much change in expression, which fits well to the music and concept. The sound is full and smooth at the same time, and deserves good headphones to grab the diverse effects, as the band evolved their sonic offering once more. The trio works with these ingredients over the whole album, delivering three more songs all around 10 minutes. While “Zephyr” comes along with a bit more tempo, “Shadows” slows things down, so does the closing track, “Cerberus”.
Even though my proggy heart likes their previous release “The Burden of Restlessness” slightly better because of the more varied song-writing, I’m fascinated by the intense atmosphere KING BUFFALO create on “Acheron”. With a consistent concept, they fully convince visual, music- and sound-wise. This is a special piece, which holds the strange mood of a time lost in the wasteland, but nevertheless full of live, longing for more. And since - according to the band - the story isn’t over yet, I’m really looking forward to hear the third chapter next year.
Written by Katha
Sean McVay – Guitar, Vocals, & Synth
Dan Reynolds – Bass & Synth
Scott Donaldson – Drums
Acheron - 2021
The Burden of Restlessness - 2021
Dead Star - 2020
Longing to Be the Mountain - 2018
Repeater EP - 2018
Orion - 2016
Electric Ladyland Redux compilation - 2015
Split w/ Le Betre - 2015