HUNTSMEN have today unveiled details of their upcoming new album, titled Mandala of Fear, as well as announcing a run of tour dates in support of the release. The recently expanded Chicago quintet have premiered the first track to be taken from the album – Ride Out – along with an accompanying video, animated by Seth Whitehurst of Shadow Puppet Horror Theatre. Pre-orders for Mandala of Fear are now available and Ride Out is available on all streaming platforms.
Of the track vocalist, Chris Kang, comments: “Ride Out simmers with the adrenaline and gut churning dread of the dawn of battle. As one of humanity’s final wars ravages the land, sea, and air, a young soldier feels the coming storm in her bones and wonders if, when faced with taking a life, her rifle will be an extension of her will, or a lead weight in her hand.“
With Mandala of Fear, HUNTSMEN have returned to add a dynamic new chapter to the rich and varied tradition of great American storytelling. Massive in scope and spanning two full LPs, the album explores themes of trauma, recovery, and – ultimately – survival, through the lens of a fully formed sci-fi-esque tale set in the near future as unending desert war crumbles into apocalypse. The story is further told through a 32-page graphic novel that accompanies the 2LP set. Having enlisted Aimee Bueno to provide vocals for the final track of previous album, American Scrap, her role has since evolved into being an equal participant in the HUNTSMEN adventure.
Whilst storytelling has been – and remains – at the core of all that HUNTSMEN is, they continue to dissolve the boundaries between metal and the more traditional modes of folk and country. Mandala of Fear marries melody and progressive elements to create an undulating foundation to layer its dystopian missive on atop.
Recorded at Decade Studios in Chicago with Sanford Parker occupying the producer’s chair, Parker’s own love of true American storytellers such as Waylon Jennings further imbued the spirit of the tradition into every crevice of the album, while his leanings toward icy electronic music provide a chilling and gut-wrenching counterpoint.
As well as the already announced show supporting Om on the day of release, HUNTSMEN will hit the road in the days after, several shows will feature labelmates Snow Burial. The band will also head to Europe in May to play Desertfest London. More live shows will be announced in due course.
Drummer, Ray Knipe commented: “We wanted to play some of the cities that have been supportive of us in the past, alongside some of our favorite local bands and friends. As we plan for the rest of what will be a busy year, it seemed appropriate to keep this run of shows short and to the point to make sure we celebrate our album release tactically.”
3/13 – Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago, IL*
3/14 – Mag Bar, Louisville, KY
3/20 – Mulligans Pub, Grand Rapids, MI *
3/21 – Metal Monkey Brewery, Romeoville, IL *
3/26 – Barley Pop, Madison, WI
3/27 – Blu Room, Dubuque, IA @ Blu Room
3/28 – Part Wolf Upstairs, Minneapolis MN