It has been seventeen years since the Murderdolls debut album Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls. The title, a parody of the Russ Meyer satirical 1970’s movie was quite enough to grip my imagination. There seems to be a strong connection between Russ Meyer and metal, but I digress… Knowing nothing of Wednesday 13, but familiar with Joey Jordison (Slipknot) and Tripp Eisen (Static-X) my introduction has remained with me.
The Murderdolls disbanded, Wednesday 13 went solo and continued to spawn somewhat tongue in cheek, horror themed theatrical metal. Necrophaze is the eighth album, Wednesday 13 shows no signs of letting up on the core influences and all is well in the world!
Focusing on predominantly horror themes, the cover of the album has a spookily familiar hint of The Fog, while further album artwork is reminiscent of Creepshow, this is far more than a gimmick, and this love goes deep. The album channels an 80’s retro John Carpenter soundtrack vibe, with hints of retro shows and dark nostalgia with a return to a warm humour somewhat lacking on Condolences.
“We have re-built and Frankensteined an all new WEDNESDAY 13. This is the next chapter, the next experience, the next phase into our world…Enter the NECROPHAZE. This is the most elaborate, horror themed album I’ve ever released under the name Wednesday 13. We wanted to give the listener the ultimate listening experience as if our band was the soundtrack to a horror film. The artwork for the CD and vinyl is a visual guide to the songs, and the live show will be the living breathing horror movie version. There will be a WEDNESDAY 13 action figure, music videos, movie soundtrack trailers, commercials and more all on the way with the release of Necrophaze. The artwork and packaging is a tribute to the classic art and packaging from my favourite time of the 1980s. So welcome to the party…but bring your own blood.”
For Wednesday 13, ‘it always starts with a title’ and this is more than just a characterisation, this is sleep paralysis and the horror of being defenceless in the company of ‘shadow people’ which will attempt to steal your soul and leave within a consuming evil.
“A shadow is just a shadow until you put a face on it and you can’t move. Then it becomes pretty freaky. A lot of Necrophaze is my own nightmare, but we’ve worked some history in there as well, it’s not all fantasy.”
Opening with the self titled track Necrophaze featuring Alice Cooper,Wednesday 13 states
“The title track Necrophaze is one of my favourites on the new album, and not just because it features my shock rock hero Alice Cooper. Alice helps deliver the first brutal axe swing on this album, starting the record off and getting the blood flowing immediately. I like to compare Necrophaze to the movie Creepshow, as if every song is a different part of the story. This is the first part of the story and it cuts straight to the bone. Enter the Necrophaze.”
With a creepy voiceover and sublimely atmospheric synths (courtesy of Roy Mayorga of Stone Sour, who switches from drums to keys) the album opens with an industrial feel before embracing a more classically metal feel. Grippingly entertaining, with a theatrical leaning it’s not reinventing the wheel, but it is tremendous fun. Check out the music video here
Bring Your Own Blood is such a great title; I feel every Halloween invite from now on with BYOB (Bring your own BOOZE) may be misinterpreted by fans of Wednesday 13. “In every 80’s horror movie there’s always a party, so we wanted to get that vibe. The title made me laugh so we wrote a song that’s sort of a more violent ‘Monster Mash.’” With the atmosphere of an explosive teenage party, the opening ‘Come on, I just want to party’ has that ominous feel, regardless of the presence of blood-sucking physical vampires! A chimeric beast, mutating and evolving with elements of Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson: to form an engaging and upbeat anthem. ZODIAC, is unsurprisingly based on the psychopathic, cryptogram enhanced murders of the late 60’s in California. Despite the source material, this is a vibrant and discordant, disturbingly danceable number. The interspersed voice-overs have a touch of the metal Public Service Broadcasting spin, elevating the track still further.
Monster featuring Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) is an absolute beast of a track. Channeling a somewhat more NWOBHM feel and obviously outstanding vocal work it is accessible enough to appear in a teen movie!
Decompose was not only the first single, but it was the first demo brought to the Wednesday 13 table- by drummer Kyle Castronovo. Melancholic, kick ass rock and roll it is exactly what would be expected from the band with a message of “I know you’re dead, but I really wish you could be deader.”
Be Warned features Jeff Clayton, of the legendary punk bands ANTiSEEN & GG Allin’s Murder Junkies in a creepy mood piece and introduction to The Hearse. Heavy, with a deep groove it’s an absolute killer. Tie Me A Noose is delightfully dark, with an unexpected bounce and slightly punkier feel relative to the rest of the album (in the Wednesday 13/ Murderdolls vein) while
Life Will Kill Us All despite its delicate and upbeat start, metamorphoses into a beautiful 80’s themed classic rock school dance. You know the kind, where the guy gets the girl and a happy ever after ensues. Bury The Hatchet ups the pace once more in a thunderous rock ‘n roll anthem which may inspire a little pogo-ing. Necrophaze Main Theme (End Credits) effectively draws proceedings to an end. But there is more. With surprising sleekness and a more modern styling, the W.A.S.P 80’s classic Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)has been rebirthed for a younger audience. I was afraid that I would be unimpressed, but I am far from that. The surprising addition of Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom) takes this 80’s anthem to unprecedented heights. In all a great album and should make any party go with a bang!
- Bring Your Own Blood
- Be Warned
- The Hearse
- Tie Me A Noose
- Life Will Kill Us All
- Bury The Hatchet
- Necrophaze Main Theme (End Credits)
- Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)
Wednesday 13 are currently in the UK for a string of shows (dates below). Meet and greets will also be available through the Wednesday 13 website.
WEDNESDAY 13 Tour Dates:
w/STATIC-X, DOPE, SOIL
Oct 1 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK – Northumbria Institute
Oct 2 – Glasgow, UK – The Garage (Attic Bar)
Oct 3 – Manchester, UK – O2 Ritz Manchester
Oct 4 – Birmingham, UK – O2 Institute
Oct 5 – Magny-le-hongre, France – File 7
Oct 6 – Antwerpen, Belgium – Muziekcentrum Trix
Oct 7 – Hamburg, Germany – Markthalle Hamburg
Oct 9 – Koln, Germany – Essigfabrik
Oct 10 – Ma, Germany – MS Connexion Complex
Oct 11 – Zurich, Switzerland – Jugendkulturhaus Dynamo
Oct 12 – Cervia, Italy – Discoteca Rock Planet
Oct 13 – Munchen, Germany – Backstage Concerts GmbH
Each Monday The Metal Report sends out a list of all stories, interviews, reviews and features we’ve posted for the previous week. You can sign up for it here.