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Body Count – BloodLust (2017)

Body Count – BloodLust (2017)

The band Body Count, fronted by rapper and actor Ice-T, is a band that flies under the radar most of the time in the metal scene. I mean we always knew about the existence of this amazing band; however, we don’t hear much from them year after year like some metal bands. So when they do drop a record, it’s something to put on constant rotation.

The new album BloodLust, like the previous five albums they’ve released since 1992 hits HARD. Something that I’m sure when they came out people were confused “Ice T? Metal?” Pffffft, he took it and he owned it. I honestly put Body Count up there on a pedestal with many bands in metal and hardcore. Their message, their talent, and their image is what influences the people of the world to think and look at the actions of the government, ourselves, the world in general. The respect Body Count deserves in music needs to raise up, and this album will show you why.

Body Count - BloodLust / Image: Fair use doctrine.

Here’s a track by track view:

  • “Civil War”: Not only does it come out political from the get-go, the message in the song gives you a feeling that the current state of the country is real. The shit seen by blacks, whites, Latinos, by everyone in the world is real and here’s the response Body Count is speaking for US.
  • “The Ski Mask Way”: A nice little number, rhythmic, and keeps your head moving. Also shows that Ice T is true to where he came from. He may be a cop on tv but my dude is still more gangsta than anyone on the market today claiming they’re street.
  • “This Way We Ride”: Body Count, as I mentioned, gives us a view into street life, into the reality of the world that’s out there. This song does just that. The lyrical content and perfect flow of a rap style vocal pattern over the extreme talent of the band gives us a look into what’s out there. A harsh reality in song, that even in the short time it plays, if you just listen it’s like watching a 2-hour movie of the streets. This is a deep fucking song.*
  • “All Love is Lost” (with Max from SoulFly/Sepultura): Boy..let’s just say this is a heavy damn song. Get fucked over, you’re dropped. Period.
  • “Raining Blood/Postmortem”: Yep, these mother fuckers cover the almighty Slayer on this piece. There’s a little backstory at the beginning of the song on Body Count and how they got their sound. Slayer was a big part of that. This really took me by surprise and I must say I loved every second of this.
  • “God, Please Believe Me”: The guitar line….that’s all I’m gonna say. Sets the tone for the lyrics that are deep on a personal level for Ice-T, I’m sure. At only 1:25 seconds long, it’s one where the words touch you and make you look at things a little differently.
  • “Walk With Me” (with Randy from Lamb of God): You know this mother fucker is heavy with Randy on guest vocals. Just listen and let it fill you with fear.
  • “Here I Go Again”: No it is not a White Snake Cover..I was sad too. BC shows us what metal is all about with this song. A bloody image instantly crawls in your mind with a CLASSIC horrorcore vibe lyrically. Metal music behind the super dark lyrics. This is horror.
  • “No lives Matter”: A response to all the “lives matter” issues opening of the song explains what it’s all about. How everyone who says “All lives matter” really doesn’t care about anyone but themselves. Just listen, and you’ll understand.
  • “BloodLust”: A little history lesson in what’s wrong with the human race. We love murder apparently, vengeance, etc. This is a damn fine song and I love how they give it straight about who we are as people. Everyone wants to point to this or that as the issue. It’s all of us, it’s in us we are the problem.
  • “Black Hoodie”: We all remember the several stories of police officers shooting kids just rollin’ down the street just had a hoodie on, had his hood up. The police shoot without just cause, and then it became a trend. Body Count gives it to us, on what the issue is.
SIDE NOTE:
There’s racism all over the place, and I know there’re people out there in the metal world giving grief for a band like this. Let me say this: even the haters can learn from BLOODLUST, learn what other people outside of their race go through. IF it’s the music that speaks to you, then let this album speak to you. Let this album show you what’s out there that you may not be dealing with. Ice-T said once on stage:
You ain’t gonna make niggas listen, nobody listen, singin’ about how much money you got, singin’ about shakin’ yo ass. That’s bullshit. Hey, you do an album. Okay, one song, I’m rich. Now you got nine fucking songs to talk about some real shit. Music, fuck music, just leaders. Sisters. I’m talking about young white girls, young white boys, black… I don’t give a fuck. Open your motherfucking mouth and say something, man.

This whole album is a look into a life that a lot of us do not live, and really eye opening on a lyrical level. Musically, Body Count delivers something that metal music lost a long time ago. I’m really glad to see that this style and this sound is still in the veins of these guys. BloodLust is an amazing album, and I suggest it to everyone into music to buy this record and listen to every millisecond of it.

Body Count Official




Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Darkest Hour – Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora (2017)

MUSIC REVIEW: Darkest Hour – Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora (2017)

If you have never listened to Darkest Hour, I would recommend grabbing this record, checking it out, and seeing what all the fuss is.

I saw these guys a few years ago live in Indianapolis, IN, at the Emerson Theater if memory serves correctly. I believe Himsa and Acacia Strain were the other bands with them, and that was one hell of a show. That was my introduction to Darkest Hour – a live performance, you know the old-fashioned way of finding new music. For that time period, something like that was a welcome style. When the whole melodic metal thing was breaking out, these guys put a new twist on it though they weren’t whining with their vocals. They come out screaming ready to kick ass and this new album is no different from that moment. Sure, they’ve progressed musically, but the style never changed, and they’ve stayed true to the first second I heard them.

A lot can be said about Darkest Hour. This band is just all out heavy, heavy, heavy, fast, and to-the-point Metal. With their classic thrash style guitar solos and blast beat drums, you would think it was a band from the mid-80s or early 90s. This force-to-be-reckoned-with of a band brings us their ninth studio album: “Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora”.

This album has really shown what kind of skill Darkest Hour has in the music business. In a time when metal music isn’t particularly all the rage anymore and things seem to be slowing down in the music world (and, to be honest, I thought metal had been docile for too long), it’s good to see a band still out there keeping true to their roots.

This album starts out with a song called “Knife in the Safe Room”, and as it comes at you as just a blast of metal madness. You cannot beat that. Then we slide right into “This Is the Truth” with a smooth transition. Straight up..this album is the truth. The melodic metal sound that they bring is mostly in the music. There’s none of that clean vocal, housewife metal style; it’s all hard and growly and heavy, so when you listen to the harmonizing guitars and expect some cleanliness, you will be surprised to hear that there is none of that happening. Starting extra hard, and not slowing down till the end when there are a couple slower numbers, Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora is a damn fine record that definitely needs to be a part of your collection pronto!

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Argyle Goolsby-Darken Your Door Step

Argyle Goolsby-Darken Your Door Step

The long awaited Argyle Goolsby album “Darken Your Door Step” Record hits the streets and we are all welcomed by something hard hitting and very much not what I personally expected.
I’ve known Mr. Goolsby for many years of my life, like 16 years to be exact, and always admired his ability to transition between genres. Since the disbanding of Blitzkid, a celebrated band in the scene that really paved way for the hardworking horror punk scene it’s plain to see that Gools hasn’t lost his mastery. This is a very versatile musician and he truly knows his way around any genre from 50’s croon style to thrash metal, and heavy hitting punk rock. His name is a staple in the horror punk community. The release of this album was a showcase to what he is actually capable of.

What I expected honestly was something more digital/synthesized and maybe almost slower and on the death rock side. Not sure why, but that’s what I expected and not at all what I was handed with this record. However what I did expect were songs about movies. Of which is a common thing in the horror punk genre, it’s rare if there is ever a song that isn’t titled or reference to a horror movie somewhere in it.

The opening is a bit confusing, but what intro isn’t? A number called “Midnight Approaches”. Then we get into “The Uninvited” right from the get go it’s heavy, fast and makes you start bobbin’ your head, and you know you want to fist pump in a live environment, odds are you’re doing it while cruisin’ in your car. Slide this right into “Ghost Light Waltz” another banger, that is straight to the point and punk as it gets. Listening to the lyrics, you can automatically tell what movie it’s about (Carnival of Souls). I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just predictable in most of the horror punk world.

I won’t do a track by track analysis you can do that yourself. It’s a pretty solid record, with a lot of catchy songs and they all go together so well that I listened to it 3x in a row and didn’t even realize it. Some say that’s bad, some say that’s good. I personally enjoy an album that can go and go and go. Because you know it’s decent album and the catchy demeanor of it keeps you there no matter how many times you listen to it consecutively. With all this said, check out the record it’s well worth it, and Goolsby showed that he is unstoppable and will carry on his own musical endeavors from the ashes of Blitzkid and keep doing what he’s doing. No matter what though it cannot be denied that this is a solid horror punk record.

Argyle Goolsby official site
Argyle Goolsby-Darken Your Door Step Full Album

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Dead Cross – Dead Cross

MUSIC REVIEW: Dead Cross – Dead Cross

Dead-Cross-Dead-Cross_Cover / Photo Courtesy of Kings Road Merch.Every so often a band is formed of forces that are too powerful for real words. Dead Cross is one of these bands. Made up of Mike Patton; Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Faith No More and like 400 other projects. Paired with Dave Lombardo; Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Grip Inc, Fantomas and like 400 other bands. Now add these two super powered, talented musicians with two more brilliant musicians Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox, Head Wound City and more) and Michael Crain you have Dead Cross. A damn fine mixture of metal, weirdness, punk and whatever else they wish to call this project.

With the release of the self-titled album Dead Cross brings us a hard hitting thrashy, power house. With guitars that are just as thrashy as anything from the mid 80s, and of course the god father of double bass on drums, makes it all the more thrashy. Vocally and lyrically Dead Cross is another positive force with Mike Patton, the almighty vocalist of many levels and range. If you’ve listened to his bands Fantomas or Tomahawk then you’ll understand what’s going on here. Eccentric is the best word to describe what’s happening with Mr. Patton’s style. It fits, it works and Dead Cross has proven to be one of the best projects that has come out in a long time of this kind of combination of musicians.

Song by song flow right into one another as if it’s just “Ok guys we have a 25 minute set. Make this work.” Flawless transitioning from track to track, the self-titled album is something that I urge every metal and punk fan to listen to. There’s no influence here on what could be compared to if anything. It’s a standalone record that needs its own category honestly and that my friends is something that has been lost in the music world for a very long time.




  • Seizure Desist – The opening track to the album is the perfect introduction to the band and what this album has to offer you, from start to finish.
  • Idiopathic – A thrashy number throwback to the classic styling of the early days of thrash metal. Mike Patton shows a lot, not all but a lot of his vocal range on this track. Weird as usual that’s how he rolls.
  • Obedience School –Thrashy, yet harmonizing. You really hear that Lombardo style on this bad boy. Powerful and demonizing guitar styling that is to admired heavily.
  • Shillelagh – CIRCLE PIT!!
  • Bela Lugosi’s Dead – A slower number, very goth and dark as you would expect with such a title. I did not expect this honestly, and it’s great! Again though, showcasing the range and talent that each member brings to the table for Dead Cross.
  • Divine Filth – If Mike Patton sang for Slayer. Man, can you imagine? I love Slayer but let’s be honest Mike Patton would have made something a lot different there. This song is downright amazing.
  • Grave Slave – An evil number. Solidly strange and lyrically marvelous!
  • The Future Has Been Cancelled – More of the that Crossover style, circle pit music. Getchya’ Doc Martens on and get down to business. But then stop for some weirdness that makes no sense at all.
  • Gag Reflex: – A vocal heavy track, slower than all others on this record again though showing what Mike Patton is made of.
  • Church of the Mother Fuckers – The final track on the record. Starts out like some apocalyptic metal break down song, then ends just the same. Honestly the perfect ending to such a beast of a record.

Over all if you’re going to listen to something that is fast and full of energy then this record is for you. If given the chance to see Dead Cross live, I have zero doubt in my mind that it will be everything there needs to be in a live performance. I’d say you need to really get your pit shoes ready because this throwback to the way things used to be has brought back a sound that has been long forgotten to everyone in the rock and metal world washing away true talent with style. Dead Cross stay true to the roots of heavy music, and produced a record that to me sits right next to the classics as one of the best albums to ever hit the scene. Doing things in DIY fashion, Dead Cross is on bandcamp.com. See the link below, purchase this record and enjoy every millisecond of it. You will not be disappointed.

Dead Cross on Bandcamp.com

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

CONCERT REVIEW: GHOUL/GWAR RAMS HEAD LIVE 10/26/17

GWAR has been one of my favorite bands for the past 30 years now. Known for playing on or around Halloween in Baltimore I took every opportunity to grab some passes to see them now that I’m back in Maryland after many years of being gone from the area. Rams Head Live in Baltimore was the venue on this Thursday night. A good sized club always brings in big acts and is a pretty cool venue with pretty much not a bad seat( all general admission) in the place. GWAR is one band that to see live is one that I would HAVE to cover for a story. My wife Steff had never seen GWAR before, that alone was almost reason enough to go.

By the time we got there GHOUL was just about to go on stage. GHOUL is a fun mix of GWAR, MENTORS, MISFITS with a touch of MOTORHEAD! Keeping in touch with the Halloween spirit with a horror punk sound. I don’t think Gwar could have found a better band to hit the road with. Both lyrically and their stage presence oozes horror. As for starters, if your not familiar with GHOUL, they all wear burlap sack, masks with bloody mouths, have stage actors that they behead and spray blood out on to the crowd and sing of death and graveyards while they have the look of just committed a nasty home invasion. GHOUL ARE  FUCKING AWESOME!! What a great live act and a great bunch of guys as I was fortunate enough to have run into a few of them after the show.

                                           

Finally,…after a bit of a wait from what seemed to have been some technical issues, GWAR makes their way to the stage. By this time the crowd had started to fill up, sadly it wasn’t to overly packed, but then again it was a Thursday ….and the general age of the crowd…well, we aren’t as young as we once were. GWAR come out on stage and its always something new, every tour. The stage show is creative, overwhelming at times, oh..and bloody violent. Kind of makes you feel like your mixing a Lloyd Kaufman film to shock rock extreme music, in one live nightmare!

This was my first time having seen GWAR since the passing of the late great ODERUS URUNGUS, it was hard waiting to hear some of the old classics, and yet only one was done, Black and Huge. It was actually kind of nice that the band left it alone. Regardless, the stage show over the top as always, and for the club only charging $20.00 tickets, makes you wonder how these guys are making a penny because they really do put a lot into it!

Of course, they always touch on a few big media items such as government and religion, that the boys are always more than welcome to slay and befoul on stage and spray gallons of blood and other bodily fluids on to the audience. From a decapitated priest to Blothar ejaculating on the crowd, it was a wet floor, to say the least!

   

 

It was the same day as the show that the heart-wrenching news surfaced about guitarist Michael Derks, best known to the world as Balsac the Jaws of Death. I had noticed from the get go that he wasn’t on stage. So, just kind of assumed that with the recent medical news that maybe he had decided to take the rest of the tour off…I was wrong. It must have been the third song that Balsac made his stage presence, and what a crowd response he was given, and seemed as if he really played his heart out that night.

                                                      
GWAR played for over an hour and a half. For these aging gentlemen, those costumes, props, lighting, stage theatrics and pure energy, I’ve got to give them credit cause most of the people in the crowd were winded. The last song came around, and how suiting, it was a cover of AC/DC’s If You Want Blood. Not only did they do a great job of the song, they also did a great job of making a complete mess of the venue and everyone that was in it! If you were one of the fortunate ones who hadn’t got spewed or gutted on, you were about to! I honestly don’t think there was a dry place in the club by the end of the song.

As I mentioned earlier, my wife had never seen GWAR before. When they came on stage she and I got split up, I went up to the stage to take photo’s and she went front and center stage in the crowd with old friend of mine who catches them every time they roll into town with his daughter no less. So the band exited the stage, house lights came on, ..and they were, the three of them, all blue and red and I do mean from head to toe soaked in stage spray! The smile on my wife’s face was priceless, she had been GWAR’d!!

GHOUL and GWAR thank you both for the passes and thank you both for such a great show, you guys are the goods!!

Visit Gwar on their website and see all the great things you’ve been missing: Gwar-Official Site of the Gods also check out the almighty and amazing GHOUL on their official site..I’m telling you this band is something to look out for. Ghoul-Official site!

                                                                    
Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in EVENT REVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
CONCERT REVIEW: Michale Graves at The Irish Wolf Pub

CONCERT REVIEW: Michale Graves at The Irish Wolf Pub

What: Michale Graves - Live

Where: The Irish Wolf Pub
503 Linden St., Scranton, PA, 18503
When: October 8th, 2017

Michael-Graves-01 / Image: DCScranton, Pennsylvania, is known primarily for its association with the NBC TV show The Office and not much else. People from the area also remember the once booming coal industry that employed miners for generations. Scranton is not known for having a prominent musical scene, but Peter Kelly, owner of The Irish Wolf Pub, at 503 Linden St. Scranton, PA, has spent the last 7 years trying to change that by hosting traveling bands and local acts on a weekly basis and booking bands from the horror genre like The Independents, Cut Up Naked Teenagers, and Redneck Nosferatu. On December 3rd, 2016, Michale Graves graced the area with a stripped down acoustic set at Ale Mary’s (126 Franklin St. Scranton, PA) ,and on October 8th, 2017, The Irish Wolf Pub hosted Michale Graves as he returned with his full band.
The Irish Wolf Pub is a small venue across from the courthouse in downtown Scranton. This is the type of venue people remember visiting because the crowd is as much a part of the show as the band is. The small stage raises the artists only a few inches above the crowd, which keeps them in the center of the madness and creates an intense and intimate way to experience a concert. The friendly staff and open stage and bar area allow patrons to always be in the middle of what's going on. No backstage means the band walks through the mob of fans to reach the stage allowing everyone to interact on a level most venues don’t offer.

The show started around 8 o’clock and featured incredible performances by local acts Death Wish Birdie and Black Hole Heart, both definitely worth checking out. After a brief sound check, bassist Christopher Dean, guitarist Loki, drummer Tony Baptist and front-man Michale Graves work their way through the crowd towards the stage. Donning his skull paint Michale Graves kicked the show off with a powerful rendition of his track Bedlam, from the 2016 record When Worlds Collide, easily one of my favorite albums to date, before breaking out the expected Misfits classics.

Michael-Graves-02 / Image: DCListening to the Michale Graves band’s renditions of The Misfits' American Psycho / Famous Monsters era hits in this setting, pressed close to the stage with the mosh pit in full swing behind me, I felt more involved than I did standing in Douglas Park watching the original Misfits. This wasn’t a show for money or to sell out venues, this was strictly talented artists performing music they love for fans who couldn’t get enough. No one threw water at us for trying to get pictures, and Michale didn't break off the show to ramble about his hatred for the Kennedy family. (“It's 2017, Glenn, there's got to be, like, only one Kennedy left alive at this point and I doubt he cares what you think.”). The Michale Graves band covered the gambit of his musical career, performing songs from Punk Rock Is Dead (2005), Return To Earth (2006) and Illusions (2007) as well as the track “Seasons Of The Witch” (2003) from their Gotham Rd days. The highlight of the set list for me that night was watching the band perform “3 Days ‘til Dawn”, also from When Worlds Collide.
As the show began to wind down, Michale announced to the crowd they would play three more songs and end the show. He stated their egos didn’t need boosting from the walk back onstage and finish their set. The very real approach was refreshing and different from the typically portrayed rock star persona. The show came to a close with powerful versions of “Helena and Dig Up Her Bones”. and the band walked off stage to the back of the bar to sign autographs and meet the fans. Just like when I saw him in December, Michale Graves seemed genuinely interested to interact with his fans. The rest of the band hung around to bullshit with those of us who had attended. Michale Graves is an expert frontman and has crafted an incredible backing band and I, on behalf of Scranton, PA, would like to thank them for taking the time to give this area one hell of a show and let him know that we hope they come back through again.
Be sure to follow the band online:
And if you're ever in the area, stop by The Irish Wolf Pub for a killer time!Michael-Graves-03 / Image: DC
Posted by Dom Calzola in EVENT REVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: JasonXVoorhees – Horror Edge (2016)

MUSIC REVIEW: JasonXVoorhees – Horror Edge (2016)

These dudes really know how to bring forth a record that is HARDCORE! Extremely influenced by black metal, hardcore, punk rock, and pretty much everything bloody all the while being a straight edge band, these guys fucking hit it hard!
With an ominous intro dark and divine as you'd expect from any horror based band, it lays precedence to the album ahead. With an obvious metal and horror influence, they let it shine through. Some of the mixing with the gang vocals could have been mixed and maybe reverbed out to sound like there were 5,000,000 people instead of five, but whatever to that. It doesn't take away from the fact they get what they want to say out there and as hard and heavy as can be.
Track by track it kicks you in the face with the hardcore sound. "What's Your Favorite Scary Movie" is probably hands down my favorite song on the record. The punk rock vibe is definitely what I'm used to and what I listen to on a regular basis with the upbeat "skanking" style that you can easily dance to, or stand there like an emo and just bob your head while looking at your shoes. No matter what your secular division of life or who you are, it will get you moving. Then "Still Following" comes on, and it's the same ordeal — fast hard and punk rock...except with a break down that's heavy and catchy all at the same time. You can't beat this style of music they're going on with. The mixture of metal, punk, and hardcore is just fantastic with a perfect combination of all that gives you something for all walks of the underground world. Want them to play a punk show? No problem. Hardcore? Easy. Metal? For sure. They can achieve all and perform to every crowd with ease.
Like all horror punk or horror-influenced bands, song titles and references are there for the songs either in title or lyrics. The true sound of their influences shines through everything from AFI and Misfits to Leviathan, Slayer, Mayhem and even more punk style. It's clear that JXV knows what they want, and their sound all over the spectrum conveys what's what with this band. Working closely with Rikk and Cal of JxV on a few projects artistically and accompanying them on some comps put out by Optimist/Pessimist records which is run by Rikk, I can say they're amazing cats all around. Being a fellow straight edge myself, it's awesome to have a family like this in the horror world. The first time I saw their title "Horror Edge", I knew these guys were either going to be cock suckers and not worth befriending or they're going to be brothers. Lucky for me, the latter was the case. I highly recommend that you listen to Jason X Voorhees and support them in every way. Even if you're not into straight edge life, if you're a music fan, metal head, hardcore, punk...what the fuck ever. This band is for you.
JxV on Optimist/Pessimist Records - Bandcamp
Posted by Schock in HALLOWEEN, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Schock’s Top 5 Albums for the Halloween Mood

Schock’s Top 5 Albums for the Halloween Mood

I’m going to run through five albums to put you in the Halloween spirit. We all love music, and we all have stuff we are used to. I’m always on the hunt for something new and fresh, so let me help you out this Halloween season. You cannot go wrong with my Top 5 Albums That Scream HALLOWEEN when listened to any time of the year.
Misfits — Collection 2: This one in particular because A) It’s got the song “Halloween” on the album. It’s the original incarnation of the Misfits and a staple in any horror fans collection.Misfits_-_Collection_II_cover / Fair use doctrine.

Mister Monster — Over Your Dead Body: This album is so fucking good. The whole vibe of the record gives you a cold chill and makes you want to just sit by a campfire to warm up while crooning your way into your partner’s pants.Mister Monster-Over Your Dead Body / Fair use doctrine.
AFI — All Hallow’s EP and Black Sails in the Sunset EP: There was a time when AFI was absolutely amazing and these two albums... (I’m using two here because there are only 4 tracks on the All Hallow’s EP.) These two albums set a nice relaxed vibe that always, for some reason, get me thinking about walking around, kicking leaves, and enjoying the cool air. The song “Fall Children” on All Hallow’s EP is, by far, my favorite Halloween song ever written.AFI-AllHallow's and Black Sails / Fair use doctrine.
Silent Horror — Self Titled: This is a record that is from start to finish spooky and fun and screams horror and Halloween all the way through. I put this next to Mister Monster’s OYDB as one of the best horror punk records ever.Silent Horror - Self Titled / Fair use doctrine.
The Spook — Some Like It Dead: A band from the land of Germany. The Spook is another horror punk band that not only needs to be listened to, also needs to be understood. This album gives you the feeling of horror and Halloween – from the super scary factor right down to the whimsy and fun of Halloween. The Spook delivers this on this record.The Spook-Some Like It Dead / Fair use doctrine.
So there you have it the Schock TOP 5 Albums to put you in the mood for Halloween. Find them, listen and enjoy.
Posted by Schock in HALLOWEEN, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
CONCERT REVIEW: Danzig (2017)

CONCERT REVIEW: Danzig (2017)

In late 2015, Glenn Danzig said he would no longer tour.
My first and only time seeing Danzig had been about a month before he made that announcement. The security at the show was over the top; the performance was underwhelming. I was still grateful to have finally seen the heavy metal legend and punk rock deity.
At a festival in 2017, Danzig played Danzig 3: How the Gods Kill in its entirety. Afterwards he announced a short fall tour for his new album, Black Laden Crown, with Corrosion of Conformity. There was a date at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia, half an hour away from me. The forces of evil had showed benevolence. I couldn't believe my luck.Danzig ticket
The local opener was MOROS, an apocalyptically bleak heavy metal band from Philadelphia. Like Shining from Sweden, suicide is the motif of their music and merchandise. They were abysmal in a good way.
Next was Mutoid Man. Two members of the trio are in renowned metalcore bands but the songs they played were equal parts hardcore punk and doom metal. Singer/guitarist Stephen Brodsky's stage presence is like a toned-down Devin Townsend singing for Red Fang.
Corrosion of Conformity reunited with vocalist Pepper Keenan two years ago and their set was mostly made up of the southern rock-influenced sound that he brought to the band when they were originally hardcore punk. They played four songs from Deliverance, their most successful album and their first album to feature Keenan on lead vocals, as well as the exuberant single “Who's Got the Fire” from America's Volume Dealer. In the middle of their set, they did revisit their punk sound and attitude when they played “Vote With a Bullet,” an aggressive, politically-charged song that didn't divide people but brought them together in the mosh pit.
Danzig autograph albumCorrosion of Conformity ended their set with “Clean My Wounds” and took down their banner, leaving the iconic horned skull logo snarling down at an eager audience. The band took the stage and started things brutally with “SkinCarver.” A mosh pit instantly broke out next to us. The audience responded with just as much intensity to “Twist of Cain,” a classic from the first Danzig album. After that was “Devil on Highway 9,” a fast-paced song from Black Laden Crown that grabs you and drags you along with it. You can hear Danzig's age in his vocals on the new album but that was barely noticeable at this show. He followed the new song with “Her Black Wings” from the second album and five songs from How the Gods Kill, including the chilling title track, with Danzig sounding just like he did on the recordings. After the sinisterly catchy live staple “Dirty Black Summer,” he played “Last Ride,” the somber single from the new album. There were several older songs before his most popular song, most inescapable song, “Mother.”
The band left the stage but quickly came back. The encore was the darkly sensuous “She Rides” and biting, blasphemous “Snakes of Christ.”
Danzig autograph pictureWe went outside to wait by the bus afterwards. Danzig is almost impossible to meet anymore but we decided to test our luck along with about thirty other people. Maybe a half an hour after the show ended, Glenn came outside and went to his bus but waved to the crowd and said he would sign soon. His bodyguard explained that everyone needed to line up and then he would take people two at a time to the bus where he would take their items onto the bus for Glenn to sign but he wouldn't be meeting anyone. That system worked fairly efficiently and we met Danzig's drummer, Johnny Kelly (formerly of Type O Negative), while waiting to get our stuff signed.
All of the bands put on great shows and it was an amazing experience made even better since it was an opportunity I never thought I would have.
Posted by Laura D. James in EVENT REVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MEMORIAL: Dave Brockie

MEMORIAL: Dave Brockie

Dave Brockie was born August 30, 1963, and passed away on March 23, 2014. We knew him best as Oderus Urungus, lead vocalist of the shock rock extreme metal band Gwar, but he also assumed the role of vocalist and bass player in bands such as X-Cops and Dave Brockie Experience (DBX).
Dave Brockie/Oderus UrungusDave Brockie left a legacy that took Shock Rock and turned into something of a spectacle. In the beginning of the conception of Gwar, the band saw a lot of flack from the music. Bands like Alice Cooper, Kiss, David Bowie, and Black Sabbath had long embraced their dark sides and employed theatrics in stage performances. Gwar, though, took it to a level that defied all that had been seen before. Gwar literally redefined the concept of theatrical musical performances designed to shock and entertain people. Remaining as the only original member of Gwar before his passing, this legacy truly brought fans something to anticipate and admire whenever the name Gwar was uttered.
Personally, I have seen Gwar 13 times in my life, and I’ll see them every time they come around. During Dave Brockie’s time on earth and as Oderus Urungus, he seriously was the best front man of any band I have ever seen live - and believe me I have seen a LOT of bands in my time. He had a charisma that immediately inspired the crowd to go wild. Not only could he actually sing and had an amazing voice, his on stage antics brought weren’t just for the audience’s amusement. Gwar and Brockieincluded fans in the show, and the fans loved it. From the decapitation of presidential figures and celebrities to jerking his cuttle fish and covering, no…layering the audience in blood, bile, and whatever else they come up with, Gwar always left the audience satisfied. This, partnered with the giant earthworm that ate an audience member (and who knows what happened after that), guaranteed a truly memorable show.
A Gwar show was purely amazing on multiple levels, but when I reflect on all the times I have seen Gwar, I realize the extent to which Oderus fueled that. Gwar, both as a whole and as individual artists, are extremely talented, and original Beefcake, Michael Bishop, ultimately assumed the role of the lead vocalist as Blothar – knowing full well that he had some big shoes to fill after Brockie’s untimely death. Having seen Gwar with Blothar on lead vocals three times now, I can say with confidence that they are still Gwar and are making Dave/Oderusproud. Speaking of which, they have a new album coming out soon titled The Blood of the Gods set for release later this year. House of Tortured Souls will, of course, be reviewing it, so don’t forget to check back for that.
Dave Brockie Experience - Diarrhea of a MadmanBack to Dave Brockie. I also recall getting the opportunity to see DBX live many (many many MANY) years ago at some hole in Muncie, Indiana. Being low key like that, without the entire hullabaloo of Gwar, was a real treat. It was just Dave Brockie and the rest of his band in action - the stripped down, punk rock, roots style. It was an honor just to be in the audience - the jokes didn’t stop, the talent was immense, and the showmanship was godlike. Dave Brockie was not only immensely talented, the best showman in all of rock n’ roll, and a lyrical genius, he was also a genuinely nice guy to everyone he met. I had the opportunity to shake his hand during this DBX performance, and that was better than meeting any other famous person. His friends loved him with a love that could move mountains, which can be seen if you watch the Gwar-B-Q following his death. Just watching through the computer touched my heart with some super strength as the love for Davewas evident and overwhelming. We can say that he was not only loved and cherished, but he was also idolized for his music, his art, and himself as a human - and as an alien overlord who brutally murdered the Republican party and the douche bags that plague this world.
Today, we here at House of Tortured Souls celebrate the day that Dave Brockie/Oderus Urungus was gifted to the world. We encourage you to pop in a Gwar, DBX, or X-Copsalbum and bask in the beauty that was Dave Brockie’s amazing talent. His legacy and creativity will never die as long Gwar keeps going, as long as we not only support the underground music scene that Dave Brockie held close to his heart, and as long as we keep the horror alive! Dave/Oderus, we in the underground love you, brother. You inspired us all to be creative and to push boundaries in what we do. I can honestly say that without you here, life is not the same. We miss you, we will always miss you, but you are still alive in our hearts.
If you wish to follow Gwar, buy merchandise, or see them on tour and whatever else going on in the world of the Scumdogs of the Universe, visit GWAR ONLINE.
Posted by Schock in EDITORIALS, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, TRIBUTE, 1 comment
CONCERT REVIEW: Slayer (28 June 2017)

CONCERT REVIEW: Slayer (28 June 2017)

SLAYER...SLAYER...SLAYER...SLAYER...

Slayer 01 / Image: John RoislandDid I mention SLAYER? Anyone who has ever seen the band live knows this chant oh so well! Many, many months ago, I was fortunate enough to have interviewed BJ McDonnell on a House of Tortured Souls Live podcast. McDonnell, aside being a great guy, was also the director of Hatchet 3 and most recently helmed the Slayer trilogy of music videos, which are combined make a short story and are INCREDIBLE! Well, after the interview, I had mentioned that I wanted to try to interview Slayer for the website, and after a little pushing, he gave me a few names to try. So try and try I did - for months on end. At last, word of Slayer touring surfaced. Long story short, from one name to another name, from one email to a different phone number, I landed my first photo pass for Behemoth, Lamb of God, and FUCKING SLAYER!!!!!! The days couldn't pass quickly enough!!
Friday, July 28, 2017, was the day of the show. Fortunately, I had a pretty decent day at work, so getting out on time was going to be no problem. All I would have to do is get home, get dressed, and head into downtown Baltimore. Just one small problem: FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS! The entire tri-state area got hit with downpours all day. Their promoter kept in touch with me all day, assuring me the show would continue. Guess I should have mentioned, the show was being held at a pavilion on the inner harbor, so weather could have had a huge impact on the show.
So after getting into downtown and saying FUCK YOU to the pavilion parking ($50.00! Ha!), I parked two blocks away in Little Italy (for $3.00). I then walked my ass through the now heavy mist of rain, got to will call, and there it was - my beautiful pass. I had seen Slayer many times growing up, but it was this show, at this moment, that my knees actually shook for a second.
Slayer 02 / Image: John RoislandBy the time I got in, Behemoth had already finished their set, so I pulled out my camera and lined up in between the stage and the barrier that surrounds the stage. Lamb of God came on and put on one HELL of a show!! I’ve always enjoyed them, but truth be known, I wasn't really familiar with a lot of their work. The show they put on made a fan out of me! With photo passes, you’re allowed in a designated area for the first three songs, then out you go so the front row people can enjoy the show without folks in the way.Slayer 03 - Lamb of God / Image: John Roisland
About an hour later, Lamb of God was off the stage, and Slayer’s crew was setting up. The rain stopped, the darkness took over, a cool breeze whipped through the pavilion, and you could hear the chant - ”Slayer! Slayer! SLAYER! SLAYER!!” The other cameramen and myself all lined up to get into our photo op area. The house lights went out, the roar of the crowd grew louder, and the spotlights projected pentagrams on the ceiling. At last - SLAYER had taken the stage.
The entire time I was in the photo area, I had this smile plastered on my face that couldn't have been beaten off my face with a baseball bat. There I was, standing in between Tom Araya and Kerry Fucking King, snapping pictures like a crazed tourist eager to document every moment! I was there...at the stage...closer than anyone else. The music blared, yet I heard nothing. As I mentioned, this was my first opportunity in a photo pass situation, and it was surreal. I’ve been up to - and even on - many stages for many bands through the years, but this was different. Only a few were allowed to go beyond the barrier, and I got the chance to be one of them.
After our songs were over and it was time for me to head out, I did stop and manage to take a selfie of me and Tom Araya as he was singing. I had to! I walked out and stood outside of the crowd on side stage and watched the show, walking around in awe of what I had just achieved - not only for House of Tortured Souls, but also for myself.Slayer 04 / Image: John Roisland
Slayer fucking killed it...as always. The light show was incredible, the sound was awesome, and the line up they played...well, you name it and they slayed it - from new to old. Man I couldn't have been happier. The crowd sang along to all the happy little ditties about God, Satan, war, hatred, violence, and death. I watched over the crowd and saw heads banging, arms flying, and not a single ass in a seat. As I said before, I’ve seen Slayer many times over the years. I am a HUGE fan! Years back, I would have been down in the pit, crowd surfing, or you name it. This time I was glad to have my camera with me and had the chance to watch them for who they are. I was not let down at all.
In between songs as I watched alongside the stage, the crowd screamed, but the band just stood still. Then Tom walked to the mic, hands crossed over his bass, and waited for silence. Watching him stand there, it wasn't a look of arrogance he wore but one of power. And everyone got quiet. It’s hard to explain the powerful presence the band has, but it’s truly amazing to see up close.Slayer 05 / Image: John Roisland
For over 30 years, Slayer has remained true to who they are, and it’s safe to say they ain't never gonna change! Say what you will about other metal bands – bands who may have just tour, but Slayer still reigns. Indeed, they are still the best heavy metal band of all time.Slayer 06 / Image: John Roisland
Will I continue to go see Slayer if they come back around on another tour you ask...YOU BET YOUR ASS!!
Keep it Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in EVENT REVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Doyle – Doyle II: As We Die (2017)

MUSIC REVIEW: Doyle – Doyle II: As We Die (2017)

Doyle — Doyle II: As We Die

Released: 2 July 2017
Label: Monsterman Record
  • 1. Kiss Me As We Die
  • 2. Beast Like Me
  • 3. God of Flies
  • 4. Run For Your Life
  • 5. Darkside
  • 6. Witchcraft
  • 7. King of the Undead
  • 8. Virgin Sacrifice
  • 9. We Belong Dead
  • 10. Show No Mercy
  • 11. Dark Gods Arise
  • 12. Blood on the Axe
  • 13. Night of Sin
Admittedly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first Doyle album, Abominator (released on Monsterman Records July 30th, 2013). Though the combination of Alex Story and Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein was, to many in the horror community, the union of two mega talents, it felt flat and forced to me. With as much respect as I have for Doyle’s musical body of work, nothing about the first album connected with me. Alex Story was a musician that I, shamefully, wasn’t ever able to fully appreciate either. His live performances with Cancerslug seemed to be his strong point and without ever seeing one in person I had to base my opinion off the select pieces of his extensive musical catalog to gather some type of opinion. Even though I wasn’t a fan of the first album, I joined the numbers of people that preordered the group’s second release Doyle II: As We Die, and I am ecstatic I did so.
Right from the opening number, “Kiss Me As We Die”, this album felt different. The band felt full and less compressed. Doyle’s guitar was prominent and heavy and led the charge while Alex Story delivered a powerful vocal performance. Accompanied by Alissa White-Gluz and Michael Amott, both of Arch Enemy, the opening track left me feeling ashamed for not realizing the genius and talent of this group of musicians sooner. The addition of They Live bassist Brandon Strate and Black Flag/ Ho99o9 drummer Brandon Pertzborn helped fill out the overall sound of the band and the working relationship between the four artists is immediately palpable. The album continues on with “Beast Like Me” and “God of Flies”. Both tracks attack the listener with a blasting, relentless, and unique style of metal that is convincing only in the hands of these musicians. Listening to Alex Story croon about offering sacrifices to the god of the flies and violence rooted deep in the horror genre over Doyle’s wailing guitar riffs gives the listener chills and could make any corpse head-bang along.
I’ve never been much of a metal-head and the genre, though never appalling was never entirely appealing to me, but three tracks into As We Die and I found myself wholly enveloped in the music these four had crafted. Without a misstep, the bands most notable track from the album, and first single, “Run For Your Life”, kicks off. This track satisfies the horror junkie in me, and it simultaneously adds a new flavor to what is already an incredible disc. Starting off on a stomp along riff reminiscent of “Gorgeous Frankenstein” (“Gorgeous Frankenstein”) or “The Abominable Doctor Phibes” (The Misfits) the song quickly releases one of the catchiest hooks on the album with Story screaming “run for your life, fight to survive, your only hope is to die!”. The frantic energy continues into Darkside before segueing into my favorite track of the thirteen offered, Witchcraft. This song encapsulated everything I had always hoped to hear from an Alex Story vocal performance. The chugging walk along guitar and bass lays the perfect platform for Story to croon over. “Witchcraft” stands as a song that could’ve fit into the catalog of nearly any group Doyle’s been a part of (or any era of said bands).
King of the Undead”, though not a favorite of mine, helped re-solidify the band’s horror roots with dark lyrics delivered with an aggressive growl over howling guitars. The album’s eighth song, “Virgin Sacrifice”, is another high point feature a vocal performance from Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God. The song benefits greatly from the vocal coupling of Story and Blythe with a chorus as reminiscent of” Valley of Shadows” (Abominator). The album continues on delivering quality metal tunes one after another with “We Belong Dead”, “Show No Mercy” and “Dark Gods Arise”. Again, for someone not really involved in the metal scene, I was surprised to find myself enjoying the album as much as I was. At no point did it feel like the band slipped up, and any track could’ve been a lead single with the same force as “Run For Your Life”. Doyle was able to flourish after crafting himself a rock solid back bone with Pertzborn and Strate.
The album nears closure with another strong entry in :Blood On The Axe”. The song hits like a blow to the chest as Story channels an ax murderer piling up bodies. The album’s final track, “Night of Sin” starts off with more of Doyle’s signature stomping guitar style and ghastly howls before tearing into a fast paced verses leading into a huge release in the chorus and in total being a satisfying album closer. Listening to Story scream “one night of sin” before the band pounds out their final notes that fade away felt like watching the closing credits to an epic film. After listening to As We Die I have jumped on board the bandwagon and decided that both Doyle and Alex Story have earned their rights to be hailed as forerunners in both the metal and horror genres. I can only hope that Pertzborn and Strate stick around for the third album. Throughout the first album I felt the connection to the horror side of the music was thinner and more of an vague undertone whereas the theme is shoved to the surface in As We Die without being so bold as to scare away the metal masses. Listening through the record gave me a new respect for the music these artists have made together and individually. If you haven’t heard the album yet head over to Monsterman Records and order yourself a copy!
Doyle II: As We Die / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Dom Calzola in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Redneck Nosferatu – Self-Titled (2017)

MUSIC REVIEW: Redneck Nosferatu – Self-Titled (2017)

Redneck Nosferatu — (Self-Titled)

Good Ass Studios

  • 1. Momma
  • 2. Love & A .45
  • 3. Papa Kills Babies
  • 4. Father Curtis
  • 5. Son Of 100 Maniacs
  • 6. Dead Girls
  • 7. Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
  • 8. Silver Bullet
  • 9. Stalker
  • 10. Otis
A majority of the bands in my collection come from random purchases. Generally if a band pops up on my Facebook feed, and they have physical albums for sale, I’ll buy for the sake of collecting. I love supporting the small time bands and even if they don’t end up being an act I fall in love with, they earn a spot in my collection. Sometimes though, I find a band that completely floors me and that’s the case when I opened my copy of the Redneck Nosferatu self-titled debut album. Hailing from Tulsa, OK, this self-proclaimed “killbilly trash punk” quintet combines crusty punk rock with metal and layers it all under an air of backwoods horror. Consisting of guitarists and vocalists Clovis and Rowdy Riter, bassist and vocalist Lola and drummer D-Bone, they produced a 10 track album fit for hardcore and horror fans alike.
With the opening track, “Momma”, the listener is treated to an audio sample setting the mood and tone for the remainder of the disc. Edmund Kemper’s confession about beheading is mother is heard over a backing track of dripping water, muffled cries. and inhuman moans. The 83 second introduction lays the groundwork for the no-frills, in-your-face sludgefest that you’re about to endure during the next 23 minutes. The first song on the album, “Love & a .45” tears in and delivers in less than 2 minutes. What made this group immediately interesting was the gnarled female vocals that brought to mind groups like Circle Takes The Square. With the crack of a beer “Papa Kills Babies”, the album’s third track, kicks off. Distorted vocals shout “they don’t go in the woods at night” over an aggressive thrash rhythm. The vocals jump between belched barks and strained screams creating a sense of menace.
The album continues with “Father Curtis”, chugging along on a crust punk beat, breaking the cycle and adding another layer to the band and album. “Son Of 100 Maniacs” is one of the discs strongest offerings. With back and forth vocals, a fast beat and unsettling overall tone, the song pounds away and builds up to an ending of sporadic guitar squeals and static noise fading out pleasantly, all in 93 seconds time.
Starting the album’s second half is the album's most easily digestible track for newcomers, “Dead Girls”. Starting on an acoustic guitar riff the band crafts a spooky atmosphere before kicking everything into gear. The lead vocals are delivered with less of a snarl but more than enough attitude. The bass, drum, and spoons breakdown in the track shows off that the groups roots and influences stand in other places besides punk and metal. “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things” is easily my favorite song on the album. The guitar tone over such a driving riff with the vocals spewed out in a steady stream, this track plays like a theme song to a killing spree conducted by backwoods cannibals high on meth. This is a song coated in total chaos and energy and one of the album’s longest entries.
Silver Bullet” ramps up the energy considerably as the group delivers an anthem style head-banger primed to fire up any pit. The verses build up in intensity until chorus rushes in like a welcome release. Rounding out the album are the tracks “Stalker” and “Otis”. “Stalker” plays out as a sludgy metal track with an enticing vocal performance, which initially reminded me of Daniel Hell (Dr. Hell), and holds the title as the disc longest play at 3:10. Modest and moving, “Stalker” keeps the anxious and claustrophobic tone of the record moving along before “Otis” closes everything out. Starting out with a Black Sabbath intro and the “Frailty” movie quote, the album's grimy metal ending continues. The chant of “I got bored with the Lord, now I’m skating for Satan” drives home where this band hails from and what they’re about, a preachy punk piece that wraps everything together.
Running about 23 minutes total, the album offers little to dislike though the high points sometimes feel rushed along. Overall, this is an incredible debut by a band that, perhaps literally, crawled out of the woodwork and I’m really looking forward to what follows. Dark, grimy and aggressive, Redneck Nosferatu have left their mark on the neck of the horror genre.
Follow Redneck Nosferatu on their Facebook.
Or pick up a copy of the self-titled album from their Website.
Redneck Nosferatu / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Dom Calzola in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Danzig – Skeletons (2015)

MUSIC REVIEW: Danzig – Skeletons (2015)

We all know and love Mr. Glenn Danzig, the man behind the almighty Misfits, Samhain, and Danzig. What most suspected and read in past interviews is that he was heavily influenced by the likes of Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison. I mean, he’s like the evil version of both that’s wrapped into a ball of energy that, honestly, after seeing him live a couple of times, I think cannot be matched by a lot of people in his age bracket. So he brings us now Danzig Skeletons.
For many years we all waited for an album to come out in which Danzig would cover some of heaviest influences. Finally, as of 2015 he did, and it’s a glorious record. Listening to Glenn speak in interviews and with the unexpected reunion of the Misfits 2 Riotfest gigs, you can see he’s really getting nostalgic and so an album like this is pretty cool to have on his resume, paying homage to some things and introducing fans of his to music they may not have heard prior. A couple of tracks from some B film biker flicks really threw me off, but when you listen to the original versions, it makes sense as to why he would throw his particular style into it.
Danzig - Skeletons / Fair use doctrine.
So let’s get down to business:
Devil’s AngelsThis was taken from the theme song of an old biker movie. Straight up I had hopes that maybe he would revisit the O.G. punk rock sound of The Misfits with some of this, and this one did it. A very well done number with some throw back punk rock that made us all fall in love with Mr. Danzig.
SatanAnother number that has that old time biker film jive to it. I had never heard of this, so I researched the original and found it to be mega slow, and, I don’t know, I always thought bikers were supposed to be hard and mean, and this didn’t do it for me. However, good ol’ Glenn really threw in some of that bluesy metal vibe and smashed it. Definitely made it more convincing to the reader.
Let Yourself GoAn Elvis number that isn’t very well known unless you’re a die hard fan and not just a fair weather Presley fan. Really, there’s no difference. Danzig nailed this one PERFECTLY.
N.I.B.By far my favorite Black Sabbath song, and I’ve heard many people cover this one and even considered covering it myself. I can’t say it’s my favorite version, but it’s definitely in the top 3. It’s slowed down a bit, and Danzig puts his own spin on it, of course, and really turned it into a Danzig song. If you hadn’t known Sabbath was the original artist, you’d think it was a Danzig tune for sure.
Lord of the ThighsAerosmith... uh, yeah, you read that correctly. An older Aerosmith number that was great originally, and then Glenn gets a hold of it and adds that metal flair and really gave it some justice. I’m sure anyone who knows the original and then hears this will absolutely love it. Putting that Danzig twist to it really makes a difference in the song’s dynamic.
Action WomanAnother song I had never heard prior to this, originally recorded by some band called The Litter. I felt, after listening to the original, that if Danzig wasn’t in the punk scene, this would have been his band. No doubt about it, he took this song and again made it a tune of his own with the carried out notes and guitar squeals. It has Danzig 1 all over it.
Rough BoyWhat’s funny about this whole record is there are songs by bands that you’re not going to expect. This one is brought to us by ZZ Top. I was not expecting to hear this; again, though, it’s very well done and perfectly arranged, really paying great homage to the original. I don’t care for ZZ Top, but to see what’s up, I listened to it and found it a good representation.
With a Girl Like YouDanzig frequently can be incoherent in his lyrical projection. When I listened to this one, I thought that’s what was going on here, but nope, the original has the same vibe. I’m not so stoked about this one as the others, the distorted bass really throws off the vibe of the song and kind of gets annoying after 45 seconds.
Find SomebodyThis is another tune that sounds as if they were dying down towards the end of writing. Not very well arranged and sounds as if the whole band may be falling asleep. I’ve heard this one in original form a few dozen times, and it doesn’t really pay homage as well as they could have.
Crying in the RainOriginally recorded by The Everly Brothers, it was an amazing song then, and the way Danzig recorded it is fantastic. Light instruments and some echoed out vocals. It’s a fantastic way to end this album.
Overall, Danzig did a fantastic job with this record. A few songs could have been represented better, but who am I to say? They stayed true to a bluesy but metal style and picked songs that represented the Danzig sound.
Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Wolfman Chuck and the Spookalele of Doom – Another Confession (2017)

MUSIC REVIEW: Wolfman Chuck and the Spookalele of Doom – Another Confession (2017)

Wolfman Chuck and the Spookalele of Doom / Fair use doctrine.
Another Confession / Company: Ukulele Horror Records
  1. 1. Dance With The Devil
  2. 2. Wolfman Chuck
  3. 3. They Pray, My Prey
  4. 4. When You Die
  5. 5. Another Confession
  6. 6. Gore To The Whore
  7. 7. Rotten Pumpkins
  8. 8. Lucille
  9. 9. Ballad Of Ronnie
  10. 10. Yup, It's Rape Again!!!
Promoter, host and musician are just some of the words used to describe the Massachusetts based Wolfman Chuck. Whether leading his band of Brimstone Boys or working solo, this genre staple has made a career out of crafting music based around his morbid sense of humor. Chuck has previously unleashed two full length albums and a slew of split EPs on his label Ukulele Horror Records. With the Brimstone Boys, Chuck focuses his sound on a heavy punk and metal feel, but with the “spookalele” he tends to stick closer to love songs filtered out through his twisted mind. Chuck spent most of 2016 working to unleash The Brimstone Boys, his full band project, with Dave Sage and Zack Zombie, to the world but managed to find time to write and record his best effort to date. Titled Another Confession, Wolfman Chuck and the Spookalele of Doom bring 10 haunting, dark tracks to the table in an album that entertains from start to finish.
The disc opens with “Dance With The Devil” a track that helps set the album’s overall darker tone. In a conversation regarding the writing process, Wolfman Chuck explained that this album would contain more personal tracks than in previous recordings and, from the start, there’s a noticeable difference. Continuing with the theme established on the previous song, Chuck segues into “Wolfman Chuck”. With a nod to the Brimstone Boys and boastful lyrics about his preference of women, alive or dead, Chuck portrays himself as a repulsive and diabolical deviant through a hauntingly mellow track ripe with his standard gore and violence.
Track three, “They Pray, My Prey” sticks out as a song that expresses Chuck’s ability to add depth and layers to music consisting only of a man, his beard, and his ukulele. A uniquely haunting and distant opening riff leads into a mid-tempo track about the sinister woodsman toying with his victims in lyrics like, “You can cry all you want, but you’re mine.” Track four is the most outright hostile track on the disc as the Wolfman barks lyrics like, “what you see is what you get, I’m not a fake motherfucker like you” and “I’ll be there when you die. No angels gonna cry." "When You Die" is a comfortable norm for longtime fans of Chuck, poppy, friendly riffs with aggressive punk vocals. Tracks like this prove the Wolfman can be a well versed artist while maintaining loyalty to what got him immediately recognized. The macabre mountain man is a master at his craft, successfully fusing the stark contrasts of violent lyrics over the top of a happy and upbeat ukulele. The album’s title track, “Another Confession” is the standout of the bunch. Packed with emotion and a long build up to an incredible chorus, this is the best Chuck has sounded all around in vocals, playing, and writing. On my one hundredth play through, I still get goosebumps as he segues into the songs hook “What was wrong with you is now right with me and your dead and buried.” If you know nothing of his extensive musical history, this track is a perfect starting point and the highlight of an album full of incredible songs. It's not uncommon to see fans of the genre bypass acoustic acts as nothing more then an artist doing less than others, but those with that elitist mentality generally miss the creative genius of artists like Chuck. The album’s title track alone would be perfect for showing what acoustic solo artists have to offer.
With “Another Confession” being as powerful and moving as it is, I would’ve been satisfied if the record ended there. Fortunately, the second half of the album is as equally enticing as the first. Track six, “Gore To The Whore”, shows Chuck flexing the romantic muscle he’s know for with a song of death, blood, and guts crooned sweetly over a track fit for any make-out point rendezvous. If I haven’t brought attention to it before, it’s important to note how well Chuck wrote these songs and fit them together to keep a mood flowing from track to track without breaking its hold. The next song, “Rotten Pumpkins”, features Brimstone Boys bassist Dave Sage lending a backing vocal track. While the majority of the disc is a more honest form of horror expressed in a way Chuck pulls off convincingly, "Rotten Pumpkins" is a return to a more fun form of horror. The track was originally released in 2016 as a single recorded with the Brimstone Boys and is, as the majority of the album, one of the strongest songs penned by the bearded butcher. Without breaking the streak, the album continues on to another recognizable track, “Lucille”. Yes, a track written about the blood drinking bat swung into the skulls of his victims by Negan in Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead comic books and the AMC TV series of the same name. A fitting topic for a man destined to offend everyone to some extent, Chuck portrays the violence of the show in a spoiler-ridden track too good to skip. Just like “Rotten Pumpkins”, “Lucille” can be heard with The Brimstone Boys backing, but to garner the true essence and malice of the song, the version from this album is more fitting.
“Ballad Of Ronnie” is the ninth entry on the disc and another showcasing Wolfman’s ability to write a catchy hook. Most notable about this track is the almost western feel injected into the playing - a fresh turn if you found yourself of the minority needing a change of pace. Chuck croons about Ronnie, a street walking transgender meeting her demise at the hands of a violent John. The song strums along as Chuck delivers lyrics in the form of a tall-tale fit for the most macabre. Chuck has remained adamant that his music is written because he enjoys it and it's not penned for snowflakes, and "Ballad of Ronnie" is a strong example of just how little he cares about offending listeners. The disc closes with the song “Yup, It’s Rape Again”. Premise, title, and delivery of this track display what Chuck is most noted for bringing to the scene. He garners the ability to spew out violent offensive lyrics with no difficulty over riffs that, in the hands of anyone less sinister, would be coated in happy and uplifting words. As a finale, this song wraps up Another Confession in a neat bow. Complete with memorable hook and all, Another Confession ends on a strong note.
Clocking in at just short of 30 minutes and available with full color art for only $5 from the label’s Big Cartel page, the disc is worth the time and money spent. Described by Chuck as being “less campy but still fucked”, Another Confession is a audible splatter-fest that assaults the senses and calms the nerves. Aggressive, offensive, and fun as hell, Wolfman Chuck has been an artist I’ve enjoyed watching evolve. If you’re a fan of home grown and unique acoustic horror, this album is a must. This is entirely my take on the music this album has to offer. I wanted to briefly touch base with Chuck to see what his thought process was going into this and what he foresees himself doing next.
House of Tortured Souls: To start off, could you describe your music in general and what you would like your listeners to get from hearing you?
Wolfman Chuck: I play a ukulele. My play style sometimes sounds punk, rock & roll and a little traditional uke sound, this is all I've been told in feedback. I really don't know how to describe it... I just play what I feel. As for what I would like my listerners to get from my music... well, nothing. I make music as a release. If someone like it then... OK, right on, glad they dig it... if not, I don't really care. I make music for me. It's my therapy.
HoTS: I bring up The Brimstone Boys, could you describe that band? How does it differ from your work with the spookalele?
WC: With the Brimstone Boys I don't play my spookalele at all. I am the front man, throwing blood and tossing body parts and fetus's while singing my spookalele tunes as a well as originals to the band. Wolfman and the Brimstone Boys is another release but this time I share the stage with friends of like mind.
HoTS: As a solo artist and with a backing band, you've perfected the art of taboo themes. Have you ever worried that your content would scare away potential fans?
WC: I don't do what I do for fans, no, nope.
HoTS: I honestly hope it stays that way. Moving onto your new album, the record in total has a different vibe. The same content and the same old Wolfman. Could you explain the different approach, if any, you took in crafting this disc?
WC: Writing this album I was in a dark place for a while. I feel it tells with the lyrics and tone. I have also been listening more to some folkish bands lately. I'm sure that influence shows through as well. I feel it has more of a serious feel and is less campy, yet I still have my dark humor.
HoTS: Of the 10 songs on this album each one seems to show you writing at the top of your game. Do you have a favorite song from this record or at least one that you feel would be the most widely accepted by your fans?
WC: Nope, can't say that I do.
HoTS: We talked before about the use of different ukuleles on this record, can you explain how that benefited this disc?
WC: I have many ukuleles and they all have their different tone and personality. When I use a certain one to write a song it is created with that ukulele. Feel, tone and soul. So to use a different ukulele for a song that was written on another... you just lose the songs essence.
HoTS: Is that a technique you've used on your other albums?
WC: Yes. My other two albums, I use the one uke I wrote the songs with. It's just this time I used more then one uke.
HoTS: Do you have plans for what you're going to do next?
WC: I have been tossing the thought around about maybe forming a full band again. This time with me fronting ON the ukulele... Wolfman and the Hounds of Hell... we will see.
HoTS: And in conclusion, Chuck you've written an incredible record, easily one of my favorite releases. You've got plans for the future, anything else you'd like to say to the readers?
WC: Glad you dig it, and I would like to conclude with telling the readers to get out there to the local clubs and support local music. Don't just go to shows with national acts. So many good bands to be discovered. Get out there!!! Also check out Ukulele Horror Records, my label. It supports lots of great local acts.
If you found the foul-mouthed, ukulele-wielding mountain man to be entertaining, then be sure to follow him on Facebook and pick up a copy of his latest CD Another Confession at the Ukulele Horror Records web store.
Posted by Dom Calzola in INTERVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Darkness Visible – Australian Horror Rock

MUSIC REVIEW: Darkness Visible – Australian Horror Rock

Every once in a while I’ll stumble upon a band that differs from what’s out there in the midst of the horror rock community. Darkness Visible a band from Australia is really one of those bands that has shown they are far different from the rest of the horror rock bands that are circulating.
With a visually appealing musical act, the artistry is very well done, like a tamer version of Genitortures. Less sex than the Gen’s of course. Definitely a band that would be a lot of fun to see live. The musical aspect of Darkness Visible is eclectic as it is not just one set genre. They kind of jump all over the place as far as style goes and that’s not a bad thing. Simple people, want simple music: “If it’s not this one genre, I don’t want it”. So if you’re a simpleton don’t bother listening to Darkness Visible. I say that with the utmost respect because one minute it’s a slow death rock style song, and then you’re taken into a world of pianos and almost jazzy, swing-style forte, which I absolutely love.
The female vocals are KILLER on every song she sings on. If this were my band, I’d stick her on vocals and never touch a mic again. In the Horror Rock world, females always shine through, and this is no different.
With a new video out for “The Truth Hurts” set in a silent film kind of style, very unique and well put together. Musically it’s like if a Danzig meets Alice Cooper vibe. This particular song features male vocals. The darkness, and artistry really shows through on this video.
Let’s not stop there, I can’t seem to find any music online other than videos, and that’s really a good thing because the visual aspect of this band is pleasing to the eyes. The song “Flesh” and the video for it is quite the visual horror freak show. If you’re going to listen to a band with a different sound and different way of doing things, this is the band to check out. You can do so by visiting their Facebook page where you can find their videos and more information about them.
Darkness Visible star / Image: Darkness Visible
Darkness Visible star / Image: Darkness Visible
Stay tuned for more and, as always, keep it creepy! -Schock
Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Ratbatspider – Night Of The Sharksquatch (2014)

MUSIC REVIEW: Ratbatspider – Night Of The Sharksquatch (2014)

  • 1. ...And I'm All Out Of Bubblegum
  • 2. Inward Skeleton
  • 3. Last One Out Close The Coffin Lid
  • 4. Dead Girls Don't Say No
  • 5. Night of the Sharksquatch
Sometime in the latter half of 2015, I was first introduced to the Martian rock monsters Ratbatspider. Hailing from the angry red planet but currently residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this horror punk outfit blends the obvious standard scene influences of The Misfits, Glenn Danzig, etc., with a heavier, more metal-influenced style that’s rare to see with bands who identify as Horror Punk. The four piece machine features vocalist Ryan Remains, bassist Chris Rat, guitarist Jack Bat, and drummer Doug Spider. The first impression this band made on me was in form of their 2014 release, Night of the Sharksquatch. The album cover shows a hulking Sasquatch with a shark’s head superimposed on it. Between the cover art, album title, and band name, I had no idea what to expect from the group and went in with zero expectations.
From the start of the album, it was obvious this was a group willing to pave their own way in a genre over-saturated with copy artists trying to emulate groups that came before them. The first track “...And I'm All Out Of Bubblegum” opens with the Rodney Piper quip from They Live where he threatens the alien invaders and then tears right into the music. Front man, Ryan Remains’ aggressive vocal track soars to drummer Doug Spider’s blasting beat as he shouts about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The track ends with a shotgun blast before the album’s second song, “Inward Skeleton”, begins. The group slows down slightly for this track and falls into a tighter groove while Remains demonstrates his capable vocal abilities as he jumps back and forth between a croon and shouting.
The third track is the disc’s longest play, coming in at 3:13. “Last One Out Close The Coffin Lid” has the characters playing a game of Russian roulette. Chris Rat’s bass line prominently carries this track as Remains barks the lyrics like, “one is six chance I’ll wind up dead, paint the room with insides of my head”. Overall, this was my favorite listen on the album. The fourth track “Dead Girls Don’t Say No” starts with Jack Bat playing a thrash-style introduction before Doug Spider starts in with another breakneck pace drum beat. This track showcases the groups plethora of influences as collectively they sound like something straight out the late 80s thrash metal scene. The band works at double time as Remains’ vocals change shape again into a more powerful howl.
The album closes with the title track, “Night of the Sharksquatch” a powerful and heavy closer centered around a Kaiju-style beast created when toxic waste fuses the infamous Sasquatch and a shark together. The light-hearted song premise shows a band that can have fun and still write incredible, gripping, and powerful music. Ratbatspider has proven time and again on each of their more current releases that they are a band with confidence in the direction they are going and the raw talent to get them there.
Follow Ratbatspider on their Facebook page.
And check out more from them at their Bandcamp site.
Posted by Dom Calzola in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Beheaded – Beast Incarnate (2017)

MUSIC REVIEW: Beheaded – Beast Incarnate (2017)

Earsplit Public Relations is really bringing back the true meaning of Death Metal with some …dare I say it, ear splitting metal bands that simply murder what we hear from the big wigs of metal these days.
On this label there is a healthy mix of Death, Doom, Grind, Black and Thrash Metal. First up for my listening pleasure on this label is the band Beheaded of the album Beast Incarnate.
Straight out of the gates with this one it’s a barrage of blast beats and growls. Ya know, the way Death Metal is suppose to be. The first song, “Beast Incarnate”, really gives the album title its meaning and brings to you what the rest of the record holds true. The songs to follow are no less brutal, and unlike some modern day more well known Death Metal bands, there’s nothing clean about this record. It is gritty, raw, and killer to the point of being terrifying.
Song by song there is seriously just no stopping this band. The brutality of the drums, let’s focus here for a moment. The drums are so on point, 30000 bpm (slight exaggeration) and clean with a flawless Death Metal precise landing. You might fall in love with the just the drumming alone on this record. This isn’t to take away from the rest of the band, I’m just saying this is something I noticed right off the bat.
Beast Incarnate, right from the beginning of the album, I mean as soon as you hit play, will have you head banging – even if you’re driving down the road. You will NOT stop until the record is over this I can promise you. So wear a helmet and be safe while driving and listening to this record. Each song is a supreme example of what Death Metal truly should be. This is my first listen of this band and I’m in awe at how precise and solid this album has been executed. Lyrically, vocally, and musically, this album is truly something to buy today!
When I listen to metal bands, a lot of times some of the music is sloppy and a bit simple for the style of music. You’re asking yourself, “Who are you listening to?” I listen to the underground world, and some of the more popular bands as well, and if you listen close, you can hear some rushed recordings and who is just trying to be one of the cool kids. This is not the case here. This whole album should be in rotation in any TRUE metal head’s collection. Warning: This is not for people who think Five Finger Death Punch is a metal band. No no, this is the real deal.
Until next time... Keep it Creepy, Schock
Follow Beheaded on Facebook
Check out Unique Leader Records on the web
Follow Unique Leader Records on Facebook
Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Optimist/Pessimist – Compilation HOPE

Optimist/Pessimist – Compilation HOPE

The HOPE compilation is a compilation put out by Optimist/Pessimist (O/P) records to raise awareness and funding for Planned Parenthood. O/P is a label hell bent on raising awareness and funds for charities and organizations. Doing an impressive job so far with They're Not the Last, a tribute to Minor Threat for which the proceeds all went to the American Cancer Society, and Edge for Autism, an all straight edge compilation in which all proceeds went toward the awareness and education of autism.
Optimist/Pessimist records is trying to make a staple on the world through positive movements and music. The HOPE compilation is put together consisting of an impressive 36 different bands and solo artists. With a genre range from HipHop/Rap, Punk, Horror Punk, Hardcore, Surf, Gothabilly and Metal. Such bands as Ghoultown, Mummula, Sugar Virus, Sunrot, SE Frank, Jason x Voorhees, Shadow Windhawk and the Morticians, xSCHOCKx, Bloodbather and Many many more! A wide array of artists coming together to help support the Planned Parenthood organization. All proceeds of the compilation will be donated to the Planned Parenthood organization. With rumors in the midst that it may be defunded, Optimist/Pessimist put together this compilation to distribute digitally and raise funding as well as awareness of the importance that Planned Parenthood's medical examinations, education and programs hold for the American People. So let your voice be heard, and if you're in a band and interested in future projects from Optimist/Pessimist Records just check them out on bandcamp.com. The link below will take you right to the page. Where you can also download/purchase Edge for Autism as well as They're not the Last, and the Jason x Voorhees album Horror Edge.
Some people see the horror community as something scary and to be feared, but let's be honest, we have families, friends and hearts. We care about the world, too. So it's pretty awesome that we can all contribute in our own ways. Rikk, the guy running the show of O/P records has the biggest heart of us all. Let's all together make this one count and then make way for the next compilation that gets put out.
For more information on Optimist/Pessimist Records visit: http://www.optimistpessimistrecords.bandcamp.com.
Posted by Schock in EXCLUSIVE, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Calabrese – Lust for Sacrilege (2015)

MUSIC REVIEW: Calabrese – Lust for Sacrilege (2015)

Image: Rock Revolt Magazine
Over the years since I first started listening to Calabrese, I thought they couldn’t get any better. Their E.P. Midnight Spookshow (way back on MP3.com) made me fall in love with this band. They were campy, fun, and cartoonish with some hard-hitting yet almost poppy rhythms that really brought something different to the scene at the time. Then 13 Halloweens comes out with the same flavor, and you could tell it’s a great band that would – and has – just kept getting better. So, skipping past the rest of the albums to the latest, which I’m going to talk about here, I’ll say those first two defined them with some of us in the early 2000s punk rock scene.
The following Calabrese expressed a lot of growth and experience from this band of three brothers. I just finally had a chance to listen to the latest record, Lust for Sacrilege, and it is definitely a solid, one hundred percent different feel from where they were until now.
The talent in the music is very present in this album. It’s slower than the previous albums, however, as after 13 Halloweens they did kind of slow it down and evolve into more adult-themed with their brand of horror rock. Lust for Sacrilege is an album that I would put in a category with bands like Sisters of Mercy and The Cult - the super dark death rock that is great to listen to and just admire the marksmanship of the lyrics, harmonies, and music that really shows what kind of band can come from the land of campy cartoons to the big screen adulthood of rock n’ roll.
I would not classify this album as Horror Punk because, like horror, there are many subgenres. In the beginning, Calabrese got straight to the point with songs like “Blood in my Eyes”, “Midnight Spook Show”, and “Backseat of my Hearse”. Moving on to the albums III-Touch of Death and Born of the Scorpions Touch, we saw that their style was evolving – maturing. Lust for Sacrilege is the ultimate mature album for a truly talented band that is strong in everything they do that each song glides smoothly from one to the other.
The album opens with “The Dark Is Who I Am”, and, man, you CANNOT get a better opening song than this as it really sets the tone for the rest of the album. It’s a bit slow and different from the Calabrese signature sound they started with. It really sets the dark tone of the album. The following tracks are a little harder and faster as they move on to “Teenage Crimewave”, which showcases some of that old school Calabrese guitar riffs and driving tempo. Still, it’s not campy and is very lyrically pleasing, a solid song from start to finish that serves as a great throw back number for them musically. The rest of the album, like I said, has some really heavy vibes of The Cult, which is a fantastic band to be compared to. “Wanted Man” is probably one of my favorite songs on the album. When I first heard it, I could practically feel it actually resonating through the speakers. In short, the whole song gives off a vibe that is just amazing and needs to be felt not heard. Some slower songs on the album, such as “Serpent Flame” and “Drift into Dust, I couldn’t really get into. I don’t mind slow songs but these just didn’t do it for me, and I skip over them. On the other hand, you, the reader, may prefer such numbers. The beauty of music is there’s always something for everyone. This album exemplifies that.
For a band that came from some punk rock, campy, horror roots, Calabrese evolved and transformed their signature sound to create something marvelous with Lust for Sacrilege , a solid album with something for everyone and really keeps you listening. I highly recommend this album, and, while you’re at it, please show Calabrese some love and pick up their other albums as well. If you have a chance to see them live, let me assure you that you should. Calabrese is something you will want to experience live, and you will not be disappointed - I promise you that.
Don’t forget to check out the official Calabrese website.
Keep it Creepy
-Schock
Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments