Simon Wells – Journalist, Author, Broadcaster and Musician. BBC, Mojo, Record Collector and The Guardian
As summer wallows in its peak, the days are long and the body yearns for solace against the heat and sun. Sitting down with a cool, tart glass of cider, I draw in a deep breath and take in the scene around me. Requiring an aural soundtrack, I reach for this new recording by The Horses of the Gods – the altruistically informed “We Wish You Health.”
Instantly I am transported to another time, a better time and one not dictated by the haste of future and the taint of grubby finance. Instantly, I can hear the sound of the thresher slowly winding down, the weary tillers making a slow trudge through the wheat fields as sundown finally gives way to night. The hungry crows ready to pick clean the carcass of the stray corn discarded over the fields. The church bells chiming in the distance and the dusk chorus about to put to bed the day that has passed.
Yes, this is a good album, a very good one at that. If you wanted to chart a line with the Wicker Man soundtrack and the best of Pentangle and the 70s English folk crowd, the album won’t feel out of place here – but it’s refreshingly new and alert in places too.
Be reassured, these are not sounds designed to placate the short attention spans of the digital new millennia, this is palpable, tangible and real. It’s a manifestation of a better time, a revelation for some and a revaluation for many. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed my time with The Horses of The Gods – I hope you do as well.
Pete Paphides – played on Soho Radio 05/1/2021. Email review.
It sounds wonderful. For an album that took 15 years to finish, it coheres remarkably well. You’ve got those modal harmonies down to a tee. I really do feel like I’m standing in a bog in 1471 eating a turnip, but in a good way. Echos of old favourites like Forest and Midwinter, from the days when bands sought to warn you what you might be getting into by naming themselves accordingly. Deiseil is a particular standout for me, as are Midsummerset and Digger’s Song.
Vinay Gupta – Humanitarian designer and CEO of Mattereum
The Horses of the Gods have absolutely nailed a particular kind of English folk-spiritual-creepy: it’s like Wickerman from 12 directions!
Julian Crawley Rebellious Jukebox Frome FM
The album We Wish You Health by The Horses of the Gods is excellent and is one of my favourite albums from 2020.
Darren Warrow from Devizine
“I’ve rushed out this review to make you aware of it, and because I’m so utterly astounded by its uniqueness, but fear I’m only teetering on the edge of its fascinating historical references myself. Thus, is the general nature of folk music, to dig out lost fables which once would’ve entertained young and old, and bring them to new audiences, and The Horses of the Gods does this in such a way, the negative confines and stereotypes commonly associated with folk music just melt away.” ****
Jeff Penczak Terrascope Online
“It’s perfectly clear that these musicians take their work very seriously, starting with Wiltshire’s own Horses of The Gods (Mike Ballard and Matty Bane) and their earthy, acoustic interpretation of the set’s namesake. If you only know Traffic’s version, this one will surprise you, as the fairly sparse arrangement seems bettter suited to relating the story than Traffic’s (admitedly transcendent) psychedelic, electric version.”