Merrill’s Musical Musings : Derision Cult

Macabre Musicians

Horror Addicts, it’s a new year, but is it a new you? Or are you just as cynical, melodramatic, and haunted as ever? Personally, the past year smacked me around even harder than the previous two years, and I’ve got my guard up for another year of challenges. The best way to stave off the doldrums? Good music. So let’s start this season off with some hard-rocking Macabre Musicians.


The band Derision Cult, described as “Chicago Industrial Metal for psychos charlatans and the age of regression,” offered up the supercharged album Mercenary Notes #1 in late 2022 and I’m here for it. There are many vibes represented here, but it’s a delightfully dark collection of hits that fits this week’s theme perfectly.

The album starts off with two industrial tracks that each had a strong groove, but then I got to “Deaf Blood,” featuring Chris Connelly and Reese Gabrels, and the hardcore punk-esque chanting had my lip curling and my fist pumping. “Slaves Rebuild” has a droning voice riffing about the doldrums of life and it sucks you in with its dry humor. “Bastards of the World” will appeal to fans of Rob Zombie with a hard-hitting rhythm and growly vocals. “Mercenary” gives a Bauhaus vibe, and I love the guitars on “Year Hope Failed,” which reminded me a bit of old-school industrial punks The Butthole Surfers. Mercenary Notes #1 is a solid effort and enjoyable through to the end. 

Ro’s Recs

Macabre Musicians are my favorite, so here’s a list of some of the best you should check out, if you haven’t already, along with my favorite tracks and some brand new tunes:


  1. Ghost – Danse Macabre
  2. Slipknot – Bone Church
  3. Everybody Dies – Billie Eilish
  4. Younger Hunger – Dead Inside
  5. Black Sabbath – Sabbra Cadabra
  6. The Misfits – Die, Die My Darling
  7. Metallica – Screaming Suicide 
  8. Judas Priest – Beyond The Realm of Death
  9. Iron Maiden – Be Quick or Be Dead
  10. Camille Saint–Saëns: “Danse macabre in G Minor, Op. 40
  11. Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into The Dark
  12. The Smiths – Suffer Little Children
  13. Harley Poe – I Wanna Die

Thanks to this article from 34th Street for some inspiration. I hope you discover some new Macabre Musicians on this list, and feel free to share with me some of your favorites! That’s it for this week, but Stay Tuned for More…


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