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Background information
Origin Worchester, Massachusetts, USA
Genres Doom Metal
Years active 1996 - 2005,
2019 - Present
Labels Ellington, Southern Lord Records
Associated acts Conclave, Grief, Come To Grief, Benthic Realm, Goat Felch, Afterbirth, Infestation, Gozu, Cheap Leather, Mabbus, Dahlia's Dead, Obsidian Halo, Second Grave, Faces of Bayon, Engorged, Sufferage, Rancid Christ, Desolate, Sin of Angels
Band Logo
Warhorse Logo.jpg

Warhorse (Sometimes abbreviated as WarHorse) is a doom metal band originating from Worchester, Massachusetts. Active between 1996 - 2005, this power trio gained an underground following early on in their career, leading up to the 2001 cult classic As Heaven Turns To Ash... released via Southern Lord Records. Their lyrics dealt in visions, dreams and death, along with some fantasy influences (an example being the mention of King Osric from Conan the Barbarian in "Doom's Bride"). The band would eventually reunite in 2019.

The band's name actually derives from another band. According to a Pit Magazine interview, Warhorse got their name from Deep Purple's Nick Simper's Warhorse. Apparently there was no copyright on the name Warhorse and they believed there would be no confusion among the two as the original Warhorse LP was out of print. Notably the name also shared a name with a moniker Wino referred to his band as before ultimately deciding on The Obsessed, along with a Michigan-based heavy metal band that was active in 1989.

Their motto at one point was "Doom on, Drop out".


WarHorse was created in October 1996 out of a need to pay homage to their influences, which include everything from Sleep, Cathedral, EyeHateGod, Entombed and Autopsy to Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad, Led Zeppelin and of course Black Sabbath. Consisting of founding members Vocalist/Guitarist Krista Van Guilder, Bassist Jerry Orne and Drummer Mike Hubbard, this original line-up also included a second guitarist, but was quickly reduced to a three piece and would remain a trio for the duration of their existence. In March of 1998 WarHorse's debut self-titled demo was released. It went on to accomplish critical acclaim in both underground and mainstream publications at the time, putting the band on notice in the doom circles.

In August of 1998, Krista left and second Vocalist/Guitarist Matt Smith joined the band. Matt's varied array of musical tastes added a new element to the punishing sound of WarHorse. This second version of WarHorse composed Lysergic Communion, released in March 1999 (With an MP3 release in September 1999). The band was now getting the attention of labels and offers to play shows were becoming steady. WarHorse accepted an offer to play the Stoner Hands of Doom festival in August 1999. Prior to that event the band was also scheduled to perform at the first edition of the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts in May 1999. The band had also set up a small tour of the East Coast leading up to the Worcester date when, Matt decided to quit the band to pursue a solo career. This left the band in disarray and forced them to cancel several shows and were even taken of the bill for the "Stoner Fest." Matt did however fulfill his obligations to play the Metal & Hardcore festival, which was his last show with the band.

In May 1999 Guitarist Todd Laskowski joined WarHorse. Todd had played in Jerry's former band Desolate and with his various musical influences, was the sort of guitarist the band was looking for. With only two months to prepare they had to regroup in time to play a "pre-show" party in Washington D.C. and Stoner Hands of Doom once they were re-added to the bill. Both shows ended up being great successes and the WarHorse was back on track. With the addition of Todd on guitar and Jerry taking over as vocalist/bassist, the band has been playing shows all around the North Eastern part of America in 2000. The band would perform in support of the then recently released 12" EP The Priestess from Ellington Records, further pushing them in the doom metal circles with it's over-the-top The album sat on the shelf for over a year while the label relocated to California, which caused many fans to question the stability of the band.

The band's brand of apocalyptic stoner doom would reach it's apex with the release of their debut album upon signing to Southern Lord Records. Released on 15 January 2001, As Heaven Turns To Ash... was widely praised by doom critics and fans of the genre, later heralded as a major cult classic in the genre.[1] The album showcases the band's unique style of bludgeoning doom mixed with soothing trance-inducing interludes. What would follow would be the band's biggest tour of their career in Apocalypse Now, a five-week tour of the United States with UK doom brethren Electric Wizard in March/April 2001. Despite a couple near-disasters the tour itself would be a major success for both bands. The band would follow with a short string of shows with Spirit Caravan and an appearance at Emissions from the Monolith.[2]

In Early 2002 the I Am Dying 7" was released as part of Southern Lord's Seven Inches of Doom series. Shortly after it's release WarHorse once again went on the road with Electric Wizard, this time throughout Europe and the U.K., spanning three weeks. A short tour of Canada would follow with Khanate as the band had begun work on their second studio album. However in 2003 it would be announced that Laskowski would leave the band, with former Grief guitarist Terry Savastano taking over on guitar duties.[3] The band would perform sporadic shows throughout 2003 and 2004, with at least two new songs worked into the live sets. The band would also make an appearance at Templars of Doom in 2004. However by 2005 no new album would come and Warhorse would disband. Hubbard would move on to play with Gozu while Orne would perform in a new band known as Conclave (Also eventually reforming Desolate in 2012). Savastano would move to a host of different bands, eventually becoming one of the founding members of Come To Grief.

On 24 February 2015, Southern Lord would reissue As Heaven Turns To Ash... on vinyl and digital with the I Am Dying EP as bonus tracks. This limited re-release would be on black and gold vinyl.

On 19 May 2018, Todd Laskowski would pass away, aged 46.

On 31 November 2018, it would be announced that the original lineup of Warhorse would reunite for a one-off, career spanning performance at The Maryland Doom Fest in 2019, both to celebrate the 20th anniversary of appearing at Stoner Hands of Doom and as a tribute to Laskowski.[4] A second reunion performance would be announced in February, announcing an appearance at Psycho Las Vegas.[5] Following both reunion performances, Warhorse would announce their first local show in fifteen years on 30 August, being at Dusk in Providence on 28 September 2019.[6] On 3 September 2019 the band would announce they had signed with Nanotear Booking, implying more shows in the future.[7] On 23 September 2019 it would be announced that Warhorse would be performing their first European show since 2002, participating in an exclusive live performance at the 2020 edition of Roadburn Festival. However this performance would be canceled due to The CO-VID19 Pandemic.



Current Lineup[]

  • Jerry Orne - Bass, Vocals (1996 - 2005, 2019 - Present)
  • Mike Hubbard - Drums, Vocals (1996 - 2005, 2019 - Present)
  • Terry Savastano - Guitar (2003 - 2005, 2019 - Present)

Past Members[]

  • Krista Van Guilder - Guitar, Vocals (1996 - 1998)
  • Matt Smith - Guitar, Vocals (1998 - 2000)
  • Todd Laskowski - Guitar (2000 - 2003) (Died 2018)


External Links[]