Over the past few years, Grupo Fantasma has developed a reputation as being among a small group of outstanding, independent Latin bands – and perhaps even rarer, among a group of truly unheralded funk bands, despite the fact that they’ve not only been nominated for Grammies several times, they’ve actually won a Grammy for their 2011 effort, El Existential. They’ve also developed a reputation for some rather interesting live and recorded collaborations with Gina Chavez, and the GZA.
As you can imagine, with Grupo Fantasma being a rather large band – there are currently 10 full-time members – the members of the band occasionally split off into a variety of side projects, including a band which focuses on 70s Turkish pop and Brownout, a funk and rock-based act that has become in many ways an independent touring unit.
And as Brownout, the members of Grupo Fantasma have been touring with a unique concept – they play a set of their own original compositions and after a brief break, they follow it with a set of Black Sabbath covers re-imanged with Latin funk arrangements. So imagine some of your favorite Black Sabbath tunes with horns, congas and the like. Yeah, seriously. And it’s honestly pretty fucking awesome, as it adds an unexpected nuance and a different interpretation on songs that have long been familiar — without ruining the song’s intent and spirit.
The folks at Ubiquity Records released Brownout’s full-length Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath a few months ago, and the album’s first single is an equally funky and psychedelic rendition of Black Sabbath’s “The Hand of Doom” which features Alex Mass of the Black Angels on vocals. Interestingly, Brownout’s rendition manages to retain the sense of dread, doom and paranoia that the original possessed but funkier and somehow even larger, as though it could rumble and rock a large club or an arena.
And the official video or the video is absolutely fitting as it’s splices footage of the band playing the song with Alex Maas with images of men losing their minds, violence and more.