There are a lot of bands who merge punk rock and metal with campy horror imagery and pitch black humour. Some bands do it well, others not so much. One such artist that seems to rise from the pile of putrid corpses to consistently entertain in the most ghoulish way possible is Wednesday 13.
Most folks would associate the dashing cadaver as frontman of the now defunct Murderdolls, but Wednesday 13 has carved out a set of impressive solo albums since splitting with them in 2011, and his latest blood-soaked abomination, “Condolences”, continues this tradition.
Imagine if Alice Cooper and Billy Idol decided to go on a rampaging murder spree and write a record about their deeds, then you might have an idea of what’s in store aurally on the 13 track disc that covers family-friendly topics such as serial killings, necrophilia, and worshipping the devil.
One major, noticeable aspect when jumping into this album is that the more tongue-in-cheek aspects of Wednesday 13’s previous works have been toned down in favour of a more heavier, straight up metal sound. While this might seem to be a bit of a warning bell, fans should not be afraid as the songs contained within are of absolute quality, and the trademark black humour hasn’t completely left the building yet.
Beginning with the intro track, Last Rites, which sets the tone with spooky synths and disembodied voices, we are launched head first into the single, What The Night Brings. With its crushing guitars, grisly lyrics, and dark waltzing rhythms, it’s evident these maniacs are out for blood.
From there on out, Wednesday 13 guides us through the horror show personally. There are quite a few standout tracks such as the pulsating Cadaverous, which recalls the best songs of White Zombie. Featuring a crushing four-to-the-floor drum beat, chugging guitars, and a catchy-as-all-hell chorus, this will surely be a live staple from now on. Another great track is the punk-infused, Lonesome Road To Hell. With its simple chord structure and no-nonsense drumming, it sticks in your head and simply refuses to leave.
For an album that rockets along at a breakneck pace, the final two cuts are a welcome left turn. Condolences and Death Infinity can be really seen as one massive 11-minute song, encompassing moments of slow, almost dirge-like rock and metal; to sections of quiet tranquillity layered with a general sense of spooky melancholy. It might possibly the most epic piece of music Wednesday 13 has put out thus far.
By the time you come to the end of the 46-minute album, your neck muscles will have most likely been left quivering from the intense headbanging and your room suitably trashed from all of your thrashing about. Somehow, I believe this is the exact reaction Wednesday 13 would want from his legion of fans. Listen loud, listen proud, and listen with those devil horns raised up high.