Brown Sabbath is the alter ego of Austin-based psych-funk collective Brownout who delve deep into reinterpreting the catalog of metal godfathers, Black Sabbath. “Hand Of Doom,” featuring The Black Angels’ Alex Maas on vocals, is their debut single to be released May 27 as limited edition, colored splattered 10-inch vinyl with “The Wizard” as the b-side from Ubiquity Records. The full-length album, Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath, is set to follow on June 24.
“The Brown Sabbath idea started out like everything else we do, half inside joke, half psychotic. It was an overly ambitious attempt at challenging ourselves as musicians,” says Brownout guitarist Adrian Quesada. “Bridging the gap between our music and Black Sabbath is not as far of a stretch as it might seem though. Sabbath was not only heavy, but soulful and funky in their own dark way. Half the band grew up as metal heads too, so it came naturally. The experience is already beginning to influence our next album of original music.”
An 8-piece outfit formed ten years ago by members of Grammy Award-winning Latin revival orchestra Grupo Fantasma, Brownout has evolved into a musical force all its own. After garnering their third Austin Music Award last year, the band has continued to produce music that is unflinchingly progressive, while evoking the classic influences of artists such as WAR, Cymande and Funkadelic. They’ve performed at events including Bonnaroo, High Sierra Music Festival, Pickathon, FFFFest, Bear Creek Music Festival, Utopia Festival and Pachanga Fest, while regularly touring the U.S. Brownout’s also served as a highly in-demand backing band for artists including Prince, Daniel Johnston, GZA and Bernie Worrell.
With its latest recording, Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath, they remain true to the darkness, bombast and fuzz of Sabbath’s sound, while re-imagining the music with greasy Afro-Latin horns, hypnotic percussion and psyched-out, rare-groove improv. Crushing Vinyl blog called a recent performance “magical,” while OkayPlayer wrote, “frantic horn squeals but up against the restless rhythms of the band, paying deep respects.”
Brownout has released three albums including Homenaje (Freestyle Records 2008), Aguilas & Cobras (Six Degrees 2009) and Oozy (Nat Geo 2012). Tour dates to support the release of their fourth studio effort, Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath, will be announced shortly.