Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, bluegrass folk metal musical collective Blood & Banjos have released their eponymous debut full-length album on November 18th 2014, available both as a free digital download at their Bandcamp page and in physical CD. Blood & Banjos is an ambitious musical endeavor that tells the tragic story of Abram Stone — an urban legend born in northern Michigan — through the clever conduit of Blackgrass, a genre-hybrid which highlights an unlikely kinship between metal and bluegrass through their shared emphasis thematics, storytelling, and of course, their penchant for intricate string compositions. The concept originates from the legend of a lonely mason who gruesomely murdered his family following a visit from Jesus. The result is the tale of Abram Stone, an Appalachian family man who’s been tricked by the Devil into a path of violence and tragedy. In Abram’s poisoned mind, only he and his 5-string banjo can prevent the coming of the Anti-Christ and the resulting apocalypse.
Director and creator Mike Lindsay recruited over a dozen musicians from around the U.S. and Europe to form the collective. Additionally, a select few Kickstarter backers were invited to provide their own contributions to the album in the form of background voices, character creation and more. The musicians — who have never played together (and in some cases, have never even met) — combined their talents remotely to blend classic bluegrass instrumentation (mandolins; fiddles; banjos; etc.) and metal-leaning electric guitar solos and blast beats. The album was produced over the past year via recording sessions in New York, Michigan, and California. Creator / director Mike Lindsay comments: “Involving so many people with different backgrounds continually brought new and unexpected facets to the music. It was near impossible for anyone to imagine what the final album would sound like, not until each of us had recorded our final parts in the studio, and we dropped them into the mix to listen for the very first time”.
More information on Blood & Banjos, the musicians and artists involved, the album’s development and the story of Abram Stone, as well as the public album download link, can be found at their official pages, following the links below.
1. Regenesis ( 01:34 )
2. Anti-Annunciation ( 04:01 )
3. The Binding ( 02:58 )
4. Draw Down the Moonshine ( 03:28 )
5. Of Burial ( 02:39 )
6. Judge, Jury, & Executioner ( 03:38 )
7. Sons of Darkness ( 03:43 )
8. Of Birth ( 00:57 )
9. Anti-Assumption ( 05:41 )
10. Kings ( 14:26 )