Kentucky based Greyhaven have just released Empty Black. The ten tracks from the collective that is Brent Mills, Johnny Muench, Nick Spencer, and Ethan Spray are clearly something I need to spend much more time hanging out with (based on my brief jaw-dropping listen). In the meantime, we wanted to give some love to the fifth track of the album and its first single: “Ten Dogs – Red Heaven”.
While it’s not blatantly spelled out, the track seems to be a dark exploration of the business of war. “Ten Dogs – Red Heaven” takes us metaphorically face to face with a smooth demeanoured and neatly suited businessman in grey, who has much more going on than meets the eye.
Dropping down into this person’s truthful reality, the loss of life is the cost of mission failure. It is seen as a matter of fact, with no cause for alarm. Blood and body bags are the dirty reality of war that the metaphorically grey suited folk have no connection to, in their unemotional ambition to progress, no matter the cost. And the cost turns out to be the lives of human beings.
The track is sonically potent, with strong declarations of disturbing fact while death hovers like a stench in the background.
“They fall out of the sky,
Make dust of your bones”
Our obedience to authority is pointed at here, uncomfortably, with climbing emotional intensity that pours out as the track progresses. Where disgust and rage could get centre stage in this song, the (mostly) clear statements echo the unaffectedness of those who choose ‘who we lose’.
There’s something mammothly intriguing here, inspiring me to want to pick the brain of the songwriter. “Ten Dogs – Red Heaven” is grabbing from the beginning onward, seeming to be in part because of the ferocity of message that’s being shared, without it being spelled out. Along with Greyhaven we writhe and shift through this magnificently structured exploration of the business of war.