Portland metal rockers Gaytheist have just returned with the release of their 5th album, How Long Have I Been on Fire?, set to release April 10th via Hex Records. The record is the band’s first on the label as well as their first release in 3 years. Following several years of living on opposite ends of the country, the band reassembled in Vancouver, Washington and delved into a writing frenzy to create their newest body of work. The record blends metal, punk, hardcore and noise rock with a good sense of humor, proving that you can still make good metal music without having to take it so damn serious.

The band impressively recorded the entire album in one summer weekend in 2019 under previous collaborator and master engineer Stephen Hawkes, resulting in thirteen songs of “KABOOM rock, depression anthems, and various attempts at communication”, according to a statement. Full of feedback, rhythm and speed, it is an amalgamation of punk, hardcore, metal, and wild rock.

Gaytheist had planned to play a handful of Pacific Northwest shows around the release date this month, but these have now been cancelled. They were to be followed by more extensive North American dates in summer, but, due to the current situation, these dates are also up-in-the-air.

Lead single “The Dark Deep” is full of wild and untameable riffs and a wailing vocal delivery from frontman and namesake Jason Rivera, the band’s OG gay atheist. The song kicks off with a bang and doesn’t stop moving from there, only picking up the momentum that continues on and relentlessly propels the record forward.

If the name “Hornswoggled” wasn’t good enough in itself, the content continues to hold up its end of the bargain. Heavy drums and aggressive guitar rage along with a clunky bass line while the lyrics take on those who are easily confused and don’t always operate with their best interests in mind: the easily tricked, bamboozled, and, of course, hornswoggled.

“hashbrownsblessed” is in keeping with that keen sense of humor we mentioned. This firecracker of a track is laden with big riffs and no bullshit packed into less than a minute and a half, consistent with the type of energy only a band named Gaytheist could pull off. And to those not down for it? We’re breaking up with you. It’s not you, it’s me.

How Long Have I Been On Fire? is out now.

Madi Toman
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