The arena of death folk is woefully underpopulated. Perhaps not “woefully.” If this particular field were to expand past Current 93 and presumably a handful of other bands I’m not aware of (Mumford & Sons want in), it would cease to be a fascinating sidebar and just become a pretentious irritant instead.
Fortunately, very few artists have grabbed an acoustic guitar and stared resolutely into the abyss, thus leaving King Dude to be an anomaly in a house full of witches. Slaves, his duet with White Ring’s Kendra relies more on atmosphere than strumming, resulting in a langorous bit of nightmarish dreamscaping, not entirely removed from various This Mortal Coilers 4AD’s dropped over the years.
King Dude – Slaves (featuring Kendra of White Ring)
Witch’s Hammer is more upfront with the deathfolk angle. Nothing but King Dude and his guitar crafting a foreboding ode to a Satanic nemesis. The track seems to be much larger than the sum of its parts, a lot of which has to be attributed to Dude’s vocals which range from Black Mass High Priest in mid-portentous proclamation to a slightly-above-stage whisper. No twee harmonics here, just pitch black Death:Unplugged.
King Dude – Witch’s Hammer
[It is definitely just me but Dude’s voice made me want to capitalize every “His” and “Him” in this post. But I resisted. Get thee behind me and etc.]