Review: Gunned Down Horses Take Haifa

Haifa’s Gunned Down Horses recently returned from a brief stint abroad with legendary rockers Deep Purple. On the 50th Anniversary Tour, the GDH performed as Deep Purple’s opening act for over 40,000 concertgoers at two shows.

Upon returning to Israel, the Horses held a welcome show at Beat, located in Israel’s Northern District. What I experienced at the show was nothing short of countless hours of tireless work – and some pretty well-timed theatrics.

This night was filled with talent, from the bright and playful art of Claire Weisberg to the dark and ironic art of 29-year-old artist Zohar Ben Eli, who both sold their art at the show.

Gunned Down Horses

As usual, the foursome graced the stage with rage in their eyes. This time, joined by two guest vocalists Avital Tamir – lead singer of Israeli rock band OSOG, and Nimrod Eldar playing the keyboard. Eldar is best-known for his role in the female-fronted metal band ‘Venus in Fear.’

There were more special guests on the ticket than usual. Two others that stand out immediately are Noa Lewin as well as Haifa vocalist and local badass Denise Scrofits

The Gunned Down Horses performed many of their past songs. To name a few, there’s Runaway Bride, Smoke, and Blue Sky. The latter was inspired by Irving Berlin’s ‘Blue Skies but has a more swing-like metal feel.

‘Runaway Bride’ featured a haunting harmonica solo played by the group’s lead guitarist, Adam Uriel Burstein. Both Burstein and frontman ‘Vidi’ Dolev say they wanted to channel the 1968 film ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ in the bone-chilling solo.

In the film, the protagonist has a harmonica tied around his neck, which he uses to communicate rather than talking.

The Horses also debuted a new song titled, ‘Traum, Traum, Trauma’ which can only be described as terrifyingly beautiful. To get a better sense of what I mean, check out this excerpt from the song’s opening passage:

My Sofie is dancing on a frozen sea
All the horrors of the ocean are beneath her…

Gili Portal

Not to forget – the exceptional musicianship of opening act vocalist Gili Portal. The sound of the threesome’s music is filled with harmonies that help you to reach a trans-like state. Portal achieves this through a minimalist electronic approach and with the use of a few hand-held instruments.

Portal released her first single in early 2018, and the song played on major radio stations in Israel. The single did so well, it even reached the top three on the Indie/Alternative charts on iTunes in Finland.

Final Thoughts

The performance was well-executed, although there were some technical issues, completely out of the band’s control. What is consistent about the GDH is their ability to create a good energy, ensuring everyone in the audience is on the same wavelength.

The guys always manage to achieve an important bond of trust, vulnerability and a sense of ‘we’re in this togetherness’ with the audience. As always, this is made clear by Dolev’s ability to tell interactive stories through music and his unnerving vocal range.

You can sense the passion and even see the sweat of each musician in the GDH, wherever they play. Every sixteenth note run, the screams, and each crescendo packs a massive punch of energy.

The group has a show this Friday in Tel Aviv with more special guests in store.

About the Author
Moshe Beauford is a freelance journalist, copywriter and blogger. Beauford’s work has appeared in publications such as GeekTime Israel, PasteMagazine, Times of Israel, Property Casualty 360 and Claims.
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