Black Math Horseman have re-emerged from the fog of time and memory with a stunning new self-titled comeback EP, set for release on October 21st, 2022, via Profound Lore Records.
In 2009, Black Math Horseman released their debut album, “Wyllt”. The band’s music was unlike almost everything that existed at the time. It was hypnotic, heavy, sonic alchemy that seemed to emanate from another time, another place. The members — vocalist/bassist Sera Timms, guitarists Ian Barry and Bryan Tulao, and drummer Sasha Popovic — had somehow tapped into heavy music’s collective subconscious. A European tour, along with appearances at Roadburn and Primavera Sound, solidified Black Math Horseman’s reputation as a mesmerizing live band. Then, just a few years later, they were gone.
Thirteen years later, their follow-up to “Wyllt” makes it seem as if the band never stopped playing together. A trance-inducing journey to the center of humanity’s inner turmoil, Black Math Horseman is meant to be listened to as a single, continuous composition.
Conceptually and lyrically, the record continues the storyline from “Wyllt”, which follows the mysterious character known as the Black Math Horseman. “This is where the character really comes into full bloom with their ‘black math,’ which is aggressive, manipulative reality shaping”, Timms explains.
“The essence of the album is overcoming a great enemy, a great adversarial force, and reaching a place of harmony that has never been found before”, she continues. “You go to a dark place and destroy relationships that you love, all based on ego. Eventually, you have nothing. And when you have nothing, you have to find a new way of doing things. That’s where we’re at now as a band and family, and that’s also the theme of the record”.
Much of Black Math Horseman was recorded in the band’s rehearsal space with engineer Manny Nieto. Covid lockdown kicked in the very next day, so Timms didn’t track her vocals — this time in the studio — until five months later. All subsequent overdubs and mixing were handled by Ian Barry, with guidance from Ben Chisholm.
Though the album was composed as one long song, the band divided it into chapters to accommodate today’s listening habits. Gorgeous centerpiece, and first single, “The Bough” captures a moment of clarity in the main character’s trajectory. “‘The Bough’ is essentially that moment when you realize you have been courting an illusion”, Timms explains. “You’ve put every bit of your heart and soul into courting this illusion, but when you realize that there’s nothing behind it, you want to destroy everything — not only the illusion, but reality and yourself. It’s that lightning bolt of clarity that comes through destruction — that’s what the song is”.
View the band’s captivating video for “The Bough”, directed by Travis Shinn and Jeremy Danger, below.
Black Math Horseman will be released on vinyl and digital formats. Find preorders here.
1. Black Math Horseman
2. Boar Domain
3. The Bough
“When we came together initially as a band, we had no goals aside from seeing if we could make beautiful music together”, Timms explains of the group’s beginnings. “We made a demo, which turned into an album because it was liked. And then we became a working band that was being asked to play shows and tours. But we had never discussed what the long-term goals of the band were. There became a schism between some members wanting to become a professional band and others wanting to remain in the creative center of the rehearsal space. Those disagreements led to the band dissolving”.
In 2018, the members of Black Math Horseman reconvened. “At first, the conversation was about how we were all in different places now, and could we even go back to being that band that we were?”, Timms offers. “It feels like it’s been a thousand years since we wrote that music. Since then, I’d gone in a very different direction and barely even listened to heavy music anymore. So, initially we just got back together as friends to see what would happen. Maybe we’d write completely different music now — and we were all open to that”.
But that’s not how it worked out at all. “When we started jamming again, we didn’t sound any different”, Timms says. “We discovered that the music that comes from us four together is something that we have no control over. It just happens. It’s a recipe that’s beyond us”.
Unlike with “Wyllt”, Timms chose not to play bass on the new offering. Instead, multi-instrumentalist Rex Elle graciously filled in. “Rex played everything that I wrote and added a few parts of her own, but I didn’t play bass on the album because I wanted to just focus on singing”, Timms explains. “I’m going to be performing without playing bass, and I don’t want my vocal parts to be limited to what I can do while I’m playing bass”.
Ultimately, Black Math Horseman is so much more than a reunion release. It’s a celebration of familial bonds and shared history. “The core essence of the band is the family that we have, and the music we make within that family”, Timms concludes. “There’s nothing else”.