Blood and Ashes
Let’s just talk fantasy football for a moment, shall we? How about a loose confederation of black metal musicians forming a Samhain/Misfits cover band and then deciding to stay together to write original songs that drink deeply of the well of the Misfits and especially Samhain’s peerless trilogy? Um, count me in! Devil’s Whorehouse (yes, you spotted another reference there) grew out of Marduk guitarist Morgan’s obsession with Glenn Danzig’s gothic-blues band, Samhain. Y’know, the one that came between Misfits and Danzig (better than both, in this reviewer’s opinion), the band that was drenched in blood on their first album cover, the ones who ALL sported devilocks and whose shirts Metallica religiously wore. Yup, that one. This obsession was so consuming that Morgan formed a Misfits/Samhain cover band with some like-minded musicians, including Marduk’s B War. All involved had such a good fucking time that they decided to stay together and pen some songs on their own, kinda like Samhain B-sides that never got released. And this, their first album with new vocalist Maelstrom, is horror business at its finest.
Imagine all the good bits from November Coming Fire and Danzig I smooshed onto one blood-encrusted mix tape. They nail all the WHOAH-OHS of Danzig and Co. vocally without sounding too pastiched, and they add just enough modern extremity to update it just the necessary touch. Their dedication to evoking the darker moods of New Jersey horror-art-punk frees them from any pressure to unnecessarily innovate and they just let fucking rip. Fun. Fun. If you’re looking for any hints, hat-tips, or connections with Morgan’s day job, fucking forget it, Blood and Ashes is tunnelvision in its intent — to craft a 21st century take on Danzig’s B-movie spazzouts. Black metal need not, and does not, apply. In these respects, Devil’s Whorehouse succeeds in exceptional fashion.
Regain Records: www.regainrecords.com