horror rock

MUSIC: Sinister Fate – Blood Pact (2016)

MUSIC: Sinister Fate – Blood Pact (2016)

Horror rock is still kickin’ these days. For the longest time, it was all I ever knew and by far the most fun subgenre of punk and metal. Nothing was off limits in horror rock, and what made it more of a fun time than most other genres was the actual all-inclusiveness of everyone. Not saying other genres/subs don’t. You go to a hardcore, metal or OG punk show, you’ll see 90% white males…even though we don’t hate…that’s what’s there…the other 10% is scattered among women as well as other ethnicities so with horror rock/punk how it differs is a wide rainbow of a crowd as well as on stage. Did you know there are also Christian horror punk bands? That’s…odd. Yes, it is; however, it’s a testament (no pun intended) to how this particular subgenre is pretty open to anything. I guess no more odd than Christian black metal now that I think about it, but we’ll discuss that later.

The Chicago-area band Sinister Fate came to us with their album BLOOD PACT. I didn’t listen to the album at first; I did a little research on the band and watched some videos. My first impression was far from what I normally get from horror bands. Their videos are very reminiscent of the 90s style Gwar videos. Ya know, handheld shaky camera, choppy editing, Tromaesque splatter effects. So I instantly fell in love with this style. I also was impressed that there are female participants in the band. Again, this is rare for a lot of other genres but in horror rock, it’s very normal.

What really sealed this band for me was the guitarist. This chick really wails on this thing. Her playing is absolutely amazing, from just riffs down to solos. She really takes it and shows what’s up with guitar playing.

The music begins and this is definitely horror rock. BLOOD PACT is just an EP-style, 6-track short album. However, it gives you what you need to know about this band. The album as a whole is executed beautifully. I can say that if you’re a fan of any horror business, then this is a band to definitely check out.
Sinister Fate - Blood Pact
Track by Track (not in order as they appear on the album):

  • The Monster Within: This track is like a solid break down style track, a lot of palm muting and kind of a slower pace. However, it gets the point across on what the song’s feel is all about. Lyrically very dark, and a nice look into the writer’s head, that guitar solo though…Just listen and enjoy this.
  • Trust/Obey: Another slower, heavier/slow paced track. Vocally reminiscent of older Frankenstein Drag Queens, lyrically super intense and “demanding”…yeah we’ll say demanding. Very catchy and fun.
  • Decay: Starts out very spooky sounding musically, almost like they’re going for an epic battle in a back alley. Not like “Beat It” style, but more like A Clockwork Orange vs. The Warriors type of battle. Then carries on in the same fashion, maybe my imagination just sees images too much I don’t know, but this is what I get from it.
  • Kill the Pain: I don’t care, I love this guitarist. This track is pretty straightforward, I listen to lyrics and wonder if there’s more of a personal meaning behind them or if someone is just trying to fit the genre. However, it sounds very personal and has the same feeling through the music.
  • Six Feet Under the Big Top: Oh circus style and creepy on the intro, then some crunchy heavy stuff happening. A very cool number that, tells a fun story of murder and mayhem
  • Sympathy from the Devil: A more upbeat almost poppy tone with this song, and catchy as all hell, If you’re going to listen to this band then listen to this song first.

Overall, BLOOD PACT is great to listen to, the band as a whole are all talented and know their stuff very well. About the album: It runs together from track to track a lot of them being so similar it’s hard to tell them apart musically and vocally. By this I mean, musically it’s the same arrangement, not the same notes and so forth but the same blueprint for each track. Vocally flows the same way, same influx like before a chorus and so forth notes carried out, blah blah musical mumbo jumbo. This works well for some bands, and if it works don’t fix it, is the common consensus. However, I can see a lot more coming from this band maybe some faster tunes and a bit of a change in arrangement from track to track. This would really send this band into outer space and put them up there in the horror world.

Sinister Fate - band

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
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
The Haunting Sounds of CALABRESE

The Haunting Sounds of CALABRESE

By John Roisland
 

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Hailing from the hot dusty plains of Phoenix, Arizona, the three blood brothers of Bobby, Jimmy and Davey Calabrese are a hard-hitting, ghoulishly-sounding, straight from the grave, in your face rock band known as Calabrese.
 
Calabrese self-released their first EP Midnight Spookshow in 2003, which brought them higher acclaim and huge positive feedback in the underground and independent music scene, and has been on the move ever since with no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
Since their first release, Calabrese, has brought us other great albums as:
 

-13 Halloweens
-The Traveling Vampire Show
-Calabrese III: They Call Us Death
-Born with a Scorpion's Touch
-Lust for Sacrilege

 
The band has once stated having been influenced by The Dead Boys, Stooges, and even Motörhead, among many others, all of which do come out within their music along with their own style and sound.
 
Calabrese's music conjures up scenes of early monster movies - a graveyard under a full moon - the feeling of Halloween in the air. Having a love for monster movies and horror from a very young age, Calabrese holds true to this in their lyrics and image.
 

Their music is tight and comes with a great production value, which is a rare treat among this style of music. Many other bands try to deliver but fall short on the sound quality. Not these guys! Even the sound samples they often use to open some songs with is all top quality. This is grade A horror rock-n-roll!
 
That leads me to what i think is the  greatest thing about Calabrese. These guys drive a horror sound with them and are they a horror band, but they are also punk, rock, rock-a-billy and more.YES THEY ARE! The boys bring you the best of it many rock genres!  Because of this, Calabrese is actually hard to narrow down and  categorize. If you run a general search online, they're called a punk band; yet if you search the music website Pandora, they're hooked up with other artists such as the The Misfits,  Blitzkid, and other horror-based bands, including many with a rockabilly style. I really admire that Calabrese doesn't limit themselves or feel that they have to live up to certain labels.
 
Don't get me wrong, they do deliver  great sounding horror rock n roll...but they reach beyond their own tombs to bring you great music!
 
Calabrese has been holding true in my top personal favorites for some time now. My only disappointment by them, was having missed them playing in Baltimore last winter, only would have been about a 30 minute drive for me. So do your self a huge favor, find out where these guys are playing, go to their show... and get me a 3X t-shirt from them... I'M NOT KIDDING!!! And while you're at it, get yourself one. Support the band, they will love you for it and you'll love the music of Calabrese!
 
Keep It Evil.
Posted by John Roisland in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments