YES was the first thought I had when I first heard Kentucky. Finally the Gods have answered all of my prayers and deepest, darkest hopes. Because, just for the record, there is now a bluegrass/metal album in existence and everyone should go and marvel in its beauty. It is about as goddamn amazing as your wildest dreams could possibly have cooked up. If one was to listen to track one and two on separate occasions, then you would have no idea they are from the same album. That is how much of a transition there is between songs. The jangle of a banjo and southern twang in the vocals lead any listener to believe they are about to embark on a nice little southern comfort album, complete with a whole lot of “yippie ah yays” and things of that nature. Then track two comes crashing through the speakers and the loudest death metal sound imaginable assails the ears. The driving guitar seems to be going at the speed of 64th notes at least and the scream is just a dire contrast from the southern vocals of track one. The tracks are so different in fact, there has to be a different vocalist (there isn’t). It’s an album that juxtaposes two of the most opposite sounding genres in the musical world and it is down right stunning how well it works.
The theme of the album is probably what sets it apart from many other albums released this year, and gives a reason for the addition of bluegrass to metal. This album is about the plight of the coal miners in Kentucky and how they were abused in their working conditions and suffered greatly at the only job available to them. The bluegrass helps show the emotion of sadness and hopelessness that the coal miners felt without a union and with their cousins dying all around them, all in the name of making some capitalist a little bit richer. When the metal hits, it’s an example of how angry the miners are, and having the screaming helps incredibly with showcasing the fury they had at their mistreatment. Theme oriented albums are normally hit or miss with me, but this album totally hit.
I just am so excited that something this awesome could possibly exist. Its new, its complicated and its impressive to say the least and I feel like it deserves to be noted simply for what it means for the genres of metal and bluegrass separately. Even if someone does not like metal or bluegrass, the fact they were combined so well is cause for celebration.