Armed For Apocalypse will release their new record Ritual Violence on October 7, and we’re streaming guitarist Cayle Hunter’s new playthrough of the single “Hourglass” below. Pre-orders are available here.
“Hourglass is a special song for me because I wrote it during a time when I was down bad and it gave me that spark I needed to get me through,” said Hunter. “Musically I wanted something that forced people to bang their heads when they heard it. I literally closed my eyes and imagined a long haired kid in the front row banging their head along with us and set my tempo to it. From there the main riff sort of instantly presented itself and I built the song using that energy.
“The bridge is funnest part from me because it sort of teases a stoner riff then goes straight in to a dissonant chuggy part instead, so when the stoner riff eventually does kick in it feels like a massive payoff.”
On his gear, Hunter offered the following: “One of the many reasons we wanted to work with Kurt Ballou on this album was to attack our tone from a different perspective. We’re a sludge band and we use a ton of gain and we’ve always gotten that sound by going straight in to a 5150 iii and/or an Engl Powerball with no overdrive or distortion pedals. That setup has served us incredibly well, but it lacks a little bit of that warm bottom end when playing our more doom influenced parts, and the gain can get a tad buzzy at times. As we all know, no amp can do everything perfectly.
“Kurt helped us get the best of all worlds by using two amps in conjunction with each other, and we had never even heard of either of them before walking in to his studio. The bulk of the guitar tone is coming from a Dean Costello HMW 100w, which we can’t say enough about. It’s an absolute beast of an amp. Huge bottom end and great clarity on the top. In front of the amp we used a God City Instruments Riff Child distortion pedal to add some boost and the dirt. We loved this setup so much it’s what we play live now!
“To supplement that tone we settled on a Sparrows Son head which, to my understanding, is an extremely rare independent build from Russia. It added a focus to the mids, which we had cranked, and brightened up the top end. In combination those two rigs gave us that perfect balance we were looking for. I can’t remember the exact models of the cabinets we used but I attached pictures of our set up. This is a lot of rare gear and would be very tough for the average person to recreate at home, but thankfully Kurt added a model of our exact guitar and bass sounds to his STL Tones signature pack. It’s sounds awesome and it’s what I use for all of my Armed For Apocalypse demos now (and what I played along with in this video).”