ARTIST: WEDNESDAY 13
LABEL: NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS
WORDS: BECTON SIMPSON
Wednesday 13, possibly best known as frontman of Murderdolls, has just released his brand eighth full length album under his solo moniker. ‘Necrophaze’ is “heavily influenced by the real life night terror occurrences of Wednesday himself, historical serial killers, and a slew of 80’s horror films.” Featuring guest appearances from the likes of Alice Cooper and Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour), one only has to look at the artwork on the front cover to know what kind of music to expect and ‘Necrophaze’ doesn’t disappoint.
Opener and title track ‘Necrophaze’ sounds like it could be straight out of Rocky Horror Picture Show with a dramatic and theatrical voice over introduction, with spoken word lyrics encouraging us to “enter the necrophaze” before the song breaks out into heavy rock guitars and a head banging verse. The build up is long and satisfying. It’s not till nearly two minutes in that the proper vocals begin, with the spacey sound effects and creepy voice over continuing occasionally underneath. It sets the tone perfectly for this horror themed and theatrical heavy metal album and although the repetition on the intro track starts to wear thin by the time it get to four minutes in, second track ‘Bring Your Own Blood’ switches up the pace and brings the listener back in again with this Manson-esque song with an upbeat chorus and synth drenched rock that makes you want to groove as well as rock out.
“one only has to look at the artwork on the front cover to know what kind of music to expect and ‘Necrophaze’ doesn’t disappoint”
‘Decompose’ was apparently one of the first songs written for the album, a “graveyard singalong” according to Wednesday, and indeed, it does already sound like a classic. It has one of those familiar but extremely satisfying riff hooks that really gets under your skin and makes you feel like you’ve heard it before somewhere, and is one of the stand out tracks on the album.
‘Zodiac’ is a dirty, grimy horror-rock telling the story of the infamous Zodiac killer, unsettling and evil with the occasional voice clips from news stories about said killer. ‘The Hearse’ is a similar story-telling epic, invoking horror movie imagery of dark misty nights and evil going’s on with scary half spoken vocals and the music to match.
“Tie me a noose so I’ve got something to hold on to,” Wednesday gruffly sings on aptly titled ‘Tie Me A Noose’ which is surprisingly catchy with more of a classic rock vibe to the instrumentation thrown in with the usual dark lyrics. Similarly, ‘Life Will Kill Us All’ is a stomping classic rock number which actually sounds kind of upbeat and happy despite the title, and certainly musically it’s an uplifting one. Less evil and sinister, more rocking out at a sunshine drenched rock fest celebrating how shitty life can be but still embracing it. The sentiment behind the songs is a positive one and, like ‘Decompose’, is one of the stand out tracks.
“perfect for some Halloween listening and should remain in your October soundtrack this year.”
Almost feeling like a horror movie in an album, the whole thing is brought to a close by penultimate track ‘Necrophaze Main Theme (End Credits)’ which brings back the same themes and samples from the opening track. It’s a spooky instrumental lasting just over a minute long then bursting into ‘Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)’ which is the actual last song on the album, ending on a high.
While there’s nothing particularly new or unexplored on this record in terms of musical style or subject matter covered, it’s delivered in such a fun, tongue-in-cheek kind of fashion that it doesn’t really matter, and there’s definitely a few moments that shine through the rest. Overall, ‘Necrophaze’ is an album that’s really perfect for some Halloween listening and should remain in your October soundtrack this year.