Macabre / Grim Scary Tales

Grim Scary Tales

Macabre is an extreme metal band from Illinois. They were formed in 1985 in Chicago, Illinois, and have never had a line-up change. They blend thrash metal, death metal, and grindcore (sometimes with nursery rhymes and folk melodies) to form their own unique style dubbed murder metal. Lyrically, they have a strong focus on serial killers, mass murderers and a touch of sick gore humour. Most lyrics are based upon true stories and are about real infamous personalities. The content of the lyrics is historically accurate, and band members actually have known and met with convicted serial killers such as John Wayne Gacy on a personal level. They also have a side project called the Macabre Minstrels that play acoustic camp fire songs. Their current label is Decomposed Records.

Macabre’s music was strongly influenced by US and UK hardcore, grindcore, and death metal acts, ranging from The Accüsed and Cryptic Slaughter to Possessed and Napalm Death. Macabre’s sickening sense of humour alienated casual metal listeners. However, it helped to gain a small but strong cult status among gore metal fans.

The Analysis:

Locusta—-This is so familiar and nice to hear after such a long time with no new material. The sound is consistent…the swirling and heavy lead guitars…the high hats on the drums….and that damn voice…which still manages to sound as demented as hell. The energy is incredible…the leads are wire filled and remind me of classic King Diamond. Nice!!!

Nero’s Inferno—-Returning to the campy sound that this band is known for, this takes of the fun of a campfire song….resplendenat with almost theatrical vocals. This is such great fun…until you really listen to the lyrics and then you are led down a road questioning your sanity since you found such a song so much fun. This is classic Macabre…..I would expect nothing less!!!!

The Black Knight—-Taking on the subject of the last Cradle release, the band delivers an aggressive yet still fun track that conjures up the darkest days of Giles De Rais…..the guitar solos on this track are incredible…the bass is masterful and the drums have a nice share of cow bell sounds. the voice is deeper in tone, but still brings about a fun sound…until you really listen!!!!

Dracula—-Deep and bass heavy as you would expect, there are some chords in this song that are just massive. The drums, combined with the bass provide all the darkness you need. The vocal enters with a demented delivery…taking you to an even darker place. This is pretty phenomenal…I’m always so impressed with this very long-standing grim band!!!!

The Big Bad Wolf—-Delivering what should perhaps be the theme song for this band, this is a pretty apt title. Taking the predictable Nursery Rhyme route that you would expect, that does not last forever. The drums on this track are literally incredible and the vocal delivery is full of dementia. This is energetic, dark and scary as hell. this is one of my favorite tracks on this release…just because it is so HUGE!!!!

Countess Bathory—-Beginning with a huge lead guitar sound, the song is almost crisp and clean at the onset. When the vocal enters, I am almost shocked…sounding like early Metallica or a pre-pubescent Mustaine!!! This is thrashing, metallic and full of a unique energy I have not heard from this band in a long time…masterful…another favorite!!!!

Burke And Hare—-Much deeper and more in tune with what i expect from this band, this is stellar from the onset. the lead in is long and drawn out…the drums are huge! Just when you begin to lose interest in the whole thing, there are chord changes and the entrance of a pretty maniacal vocal. This is classic Macabre…just what I needed to hear at the time…even injuecting the track with a nice sing song dose of humor…classic!!!

Mary Ann—-Wow…..I’m impressed by the rhythmic quality of the song from the very onset….not just the usual thrash that you recognize with this band. The vocal is damn pleasant and accessible….you could hear this damn thing on the radio…until you read the lyrics….LOL!!! This is perhaps one of the most accommodating songs this band has ever made…still brutal in content, but damn pleasant to listen to!!!!

The Bloody Benders—-Another bit of a surprise to me, this has a remarkable ‘countrified’ delivery that makes me laugh out loud to myself. This is freakin’ fantastic….I would expect nothing less from this band…how fantastic is this? BLUEGRASS METAL!!!!!

Lizzie Borden—-Returning to a much more familiar ground and sound, this is truly classic Macabre!!!! The driving lead guitars and the machine gun drums all laid over the vocal that seems to be driven by mania. Gosh, I would love to sit down and talk with this guy…I bet he is a fountain of information. This is not a disappointment…exactly what I would expect just from the title of the song alone!!!!

The Ripper Tramp From France—-Beginning with a huge Maiden drum trample, the song dissolves into complete mania. The only thing that stays consistent is the trampling beat that comes from the drums. The vocal is indiscpherable….but the song is as evil as you would demand from the band….thank God for lyric sheets.

Bella The Butcher—-Returning to the nursery rhyme rhetoric that the band has become famous for, this is no disappointment for the true fans of the band. this spoken word track is remarkable….the lesson is learned and you just laugh your way into the mayhem of music that occurs mid way through the song. The fat lady kills the men after the act….come into my web says the spider to the fly…..fantastic!!!!!

The Kiss Of Death—-Delivering really nice drums and bass sections at the onset of the track, this is a loud and aggressive track. The leads enter the scene and the song really begins to move at an incredible pace. The vocal is so erratic that it almost impossible to catch a word…but you cannot turn away from the aggression. This is fantastic for me…I love this!!!!

The Sweet Tender Meat Vendor—-Layered with sound and aggressive drums from the first note! I don’t think this drummer gets near enough mention in the evolution of this band. The vocal is what you would expect……dissolving into that familiar sing song delivery that you are accustomed to and at times reminding me of Gwar. The musicianship is tight as hell though…and that has really captured me on this release…much more than the content or vocal!

**** 1/2 out of 5



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