Band/Musician Interview : Lia Hide

 

  1. What singers or bands inspired you growing up?
    Kate Bush, Dead Can Dance, Violent Femmes, Tori Amos, Smashing Pumpkins, Guns n Roses, Annie Di Franco, Cranberries, NIN, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley
  2. If you could be any TV or film horror character, who would you be? Why?
    I’d be Jack, from The Nightmare Before Christmas, cause I adore, simply adore Danny Elfman!
  3. What non-musical things inspire your music?
    Films, Books, Food, Sunsets, bad relationships, Alcoholic nights, Sleep deprivation
  4. If you could write your own soundtrack to a horror film already out there, which film would it be?
    Donnie Darko, although it’s not really a horror film, so let’s try The Beyond (L’Aldila) – E tu vivrai nel terrore! L’aldilà (1981) although that film’s soundtrack is a true gem, a masterpiece
  5. Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?
    a. in a roof apartment in Antwerp, with 3 Chinese fluffy chicken. b. in Utrecht, after a gorgeous show we played in an old medieval monastery’s basement theatre.
  6. What are your favorite horror movies?
    I used to love zombie movies, cause they were fun, and I always love the latex effects. After seing the SAW series (up until III) I got disgusted at almost everything that contains torture, and now I only watch vampire or mystery or historical stuff.
  7. What was the scariest night of your life?
    Watching Nightmare on Elm Street 3 – the puppet scene. I still have nightmares about it.
  8. If you could bring back greats who have passed on, who would be your undead opening band?
    Layne Staley with Mark Lanegan and Christ Cornel with an Ennio Morricone conducted orchestra
  9. Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the Horror Addicts?
    I sometimes lay in bed and think I soak into the mattress all the way to the earth’s core and can hear everyone’s thoughts while descending. I swear I heard your voice, too, one day .. (just kidding.. or not?)

To find more about Lia Hide:

https://www.facebook.com/liahidemusic

 Video YouTube link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnW057t3RGw

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Bourbon House

Ro’s Review

Bourbon House is one of the most exciting bands to come across my Horror Addicts Music Desk and their new album Into the Red is not to be missed. They are described on their website as “Forever passionately in love with the classic ’60s and 70’s hard rock sound of pioneering artists like Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath, bourbon house are on a mission to create music that is timeless and infectious.” 

Oh, yes! Give me all the female-fronted grungy bluesy hard rock please and thank you. Fans of The Dead Weather, Dorothy, and The Kills will dig tracks like “Devil On My Heels” and “Dead In The Water.” These tracks would have fit right in on the True Blood soundtrack and are perfect for road trips, whiskey drinking, and good times with your friends. I look forward to more!

This week’s Shoutout is for Neonpocalypse and their new EP -Ish. This is the first-ever solo project by Then Comes Silence frontman Alex Svenson. It’s an apocalyptic EP for the ambivalent set. “Lips” is a gloomy jam that stands out from the rest of the tracks. 

Ro’s Recs 

Dream Widow is the metal band you’ll die for, but have never heard of…

Foo Fighter’s frontman Dave Grohl never does anything halfway, so when the band recorded their 10th album, Medicine at Midnight, they rented a house that allegedly had some extra ghost hosts living in it, and apparently, the band had some interesting experiences—which led Dave to decide, “we’re going to make a horror movie!” Studio 666 was born, and Horror Addicts, believe me when I say you will not be disappointed. I’ll work up a review for the film, but it was this strange appearance of a new artist on my YouTube Music recommendations that had me wondering…who is Dream Widow? The answer is, you guessed it, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. They recorded a full-length super heavy metal album to go along with the film and I am so in love. They drew on all of their influences dating back to Black Sabbath, Ozzy, and Motorhead but the sound is refreshingly new. Yes, you can tell the Foos are behind it, and sometimes you can recognize Dave’s voice, but just like they did with their Bee Gees tribute album The Dee Gees Hail Satin, they went all in to make a fantastic record. I highly suggest you check out the movie and the Dream Widow album. What better way to honor the memory of recently deceased drummer Taylor Hawkins? It was tough to watch as my heart is still hurting for the band, but I laughed and cried along, and I’m sending a big hug to the band and all of the fans missing Taylor.

That’s it for this time. Check out this week’s tunes on the Playlist and Stay Tuned for more…

Nightmare Fuel : Hungarian Suicide Song

nightmarefuel

gloomy sunday 2Hello Addicts,

Music has a strange magic about it. It can make us smile, shed tears, or remember meaningful moments in our lives. Music also has the power to bring out some of the “not so pleasant” parts of ourselves, like aggression and anger. What if there was a song that affected people so much that they are driven to suicide after listening to it once? This week’s Nightmare Fuel looks at one such song, the Hungarian Suicide Song.

Originally titled “The World is Ending”, Rezso Seress composed the song in 1933 about the despair caused by war. The song became popular after a poet named László Jávor wrote new lyrics for the song and changing the name to “Gloomy Sunday”. Rather than being a song about war, the new version depicted the protagonist contemplating suicide following a lover’s death. In 1935, a Hungarian version of the song was recorded, followed by an English version a year later. Billie Holiday recorded the version most people are familiar with in 1941, although the BBC viewed it as detrimental to the war effort and banned during World War II.

Where the creepiness really comes in is the 100 suicides believed to have occurred after listening to the song. The reports range from suicides occurring during or just after listening to the song. Some people found either held the sheet music when found or quoted lyrics in their suicide notes. Perhaps the most notable suicide attributed to “Gloomy Sunday” was in 1968, when Rezso Seress leapt from his apartment window in Budapest.

While there are plenty of suicides attributed to “Gloomy Sunday”, many of the stories cannot be verified. Nowadays, people consider the song’s reputation as nothing more than a long-standing urban legend. Regardless of where your beliefs fall on the song’s reputation, it is one to listen to. If you do, listen with a friend.

Until next time, Addicts.

D.J.

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Sevit

Ro’s Review

The Texas band Sevit has a sound reminiscent of Joy Division and according to their Facebook page, their sound comes from “the influences of Pornography-era Cure and a decade of post minimalistic, monologic analog sounds with melodies, big beats, and dreamy vocal hooks.” They released a cover of and this nod to The Crow hits its mark. The accompanying tune “It All Comes Down To Me” is a slow haunting tune to complement the cover tune. It’s a promising collection from the band and we look forward to hearing more in the future.

This week’s Shoutout is for the band Black Angel, who appeared previously on HorrorAddicts.net. Their latest single “Breathe” is the first of four new tracks expected from the band in early 2022 and does not disappoint. Fans of The Cure and Peter Murphy will enjoy the twisted tale of love and obsession. 

Ro’s Recs 

Bring Me The Horizon has become one of my go-to bands for heavy mood times. Their song “Parasite Eve” I’ve shared with you before and it became my Pandemic Anthem. They have a new collaboration out with rapper Masked Wolf, “Fallout,”  and it is a total end-of-the-world creepy track you’ve got to check out. I’ve seen clips of the video and ohhh…Oli Sykes is such a chameleon. I love it.

Ice Nine Kills has also put out a video-game-adjacent track from PubG, “Hunting Season,” and I’m in love. Any gamers out there? I’d love to hear some of your favorite tracks?

That’s it for this time. All of the bands featured in Merrill’s Musical Musings are available on the Horror Addicts 2022 playlist. Stay Tuned for more…

Merrill’s Musical Musings : The Royal Ritual

Track: Gnossienne No. 1

Ro’s Review

The Royal Ritual is the artist name for David Lawrie, a UK-based, multi-talented musician. Gnossienne No. 1 is an ethereal piano performance with modern touches. According to Wikipedia, The Gnossiennes are several piano compositions by the French composer Erik Satie in the late 19th century. The works are for the most part in free time and highly experimental with form, rhythm and chordal structure. The form as well as the term was invented by Satie.

Lawrie’s take on Erik Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1 is the perfect accompaniment for reading your favorite tales of vampires or visiting haunted houses. The artist’s compositions can be found in TV and film as well.

This week’s Shoutout goes to Plastic Assault Network. “Soul Seeker” is the third and final single released by Plastic Assault Network on December 17th, 2021, and completes their EP.

Ro’s Recs this week features the Papa himself. Ghost’s latest release Impera features the catchy tune “Twenties” as well as the gorgeous track “Call Me Little Sunshine.” Ghost is considered a metal band, but fans of Blue Oyster Cult and Nightwish will love them as will true metalheads. Their music is strangely addicting and though it contains guitars, Papa Emeritus (Sweden’s Tobias Forge) has such a beautifully soothing voice, you find yourself singing along to lyrics about darkness, the devil, and dystopia-like a pop music earworm. I never quite understood why all of my musician heroes were obsessed with Ghost…until I saw them live. Then I, too, became a believer. Impera is a full-bodied, Satiric/Satanic feast of audial delight. Check it out.

All of the songs shared this season are available on the Horror Addicts 2022 Playlist. Stay Tuned for more…

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Crimson Brulee

Ro’s Review

NY-based Crimson Brulee released their promising EP Tragica, which brings us “words for the wounded hearts of the world.” Guitar-heavy licks laced with synthesizers give them a rich sound and the production quality on this EP is quite pleasing. The male vocalist channels his inner Peter Murphy while the female’s vocals add a soft melodic quality to their tracks. Crimson Brulee is definitely a band to watch.

The track “I Came Back To You” has an 80s horror movie vibe Horror Addicts will enjoy, and “Nothing Dies Forever” is a goth love anthem for the ages. “Where Tarantulas Roam” has a radio-ready hook that surprised me with its catchy vibe. Check out Crimson Brulee on YouTube Music

I’d also like to give a Shout-out to the band Cut Like This. Their track “The Boogieman” is like dancing with a nightmarish Gwen Stefani and I am here for it. Horrorpunk is such a fun genre and I recommend you check out this fun creepy lullaby.

Ro’s Recs:

If the Trinity of Terror tour happens to come to your town, you should totally check it out. Lilith Czar, Motionless in White, Black Veil Brides, and Ice Nine Kills? Yes, please! I caught the San Jose show at the Civic Auditorium, which is a gloriously old venue that had great energy and my black little heart was so fulfilled by their musical offerings. If Ice Nine Kills would just create a rock opera and bring it to the stage, the world would be a better place. 

Catch tracks from all of the bands I’m reviewing this season on the HorrorAddicts.net YouTube Music Playlist. Stay Tuned for more…

Terror Trax: Interview with Amulet by William Zimmerman

  1. Where did the project name, Amulet come from?

Stephanie Stryker: I’ve always wanted my band to be called Amulet. It’s mystical, fancy, and mysterious.

  1. Who are your main inspirations?

MJ Phoenix: Punk, new wave, reggae, and funk genres. Also, Stephanie herself.

SS: NIN and Manson are in my musical DNA, along with goth classics like Sisters of Mercy.

  1. What non-musical things inspire your music?

MJ: Heartbreak, each other, despair, general dissatisfaction, darkness.

SS: Beauty in darkness, esotericism, and occultism. Mysteries of the unknown and exploring those topics.

  1. What actor/actress could you most identify with? Why?

MJ: Leonardo DiCaprio he’s a great environmental advocate.

SS: She’s just a character, but Lily Munster. I love her dark housewife lifestyle and she cared deeply for her family and home. She’s got that take-no-shit sass to boot!

  1. Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

MJ: Small venue with a packed house and good vibe. Public Bar Live in DC was great, so was Ottobar in Baltimore.

SS: 100% agreed with MJ. The vibe of a crowd enjoying the music is the best part of a venue.

  1. What are your favorite horror movies?

MJ: Nosferatu. Not a horror movie, but I love Cat People.

SS: I love witch, occult, ghost, and vampire-themed movies. I also love all the dark fantasy classics with Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, and friends.

  1. What was the scariest night of your life?

MJ: When I was marooned on a roof rack of a speeding car going between Nepal and Katmandu. Long story…

SS: I saw Limp Bizkit in 1999 and was very close to dying in a mosh pit. Thankfully, someone pulled me out, but I lost my JNCOs and chain wallet to the pit. Can this story be any more 90’s?!

  1. If you could bring back greats who have passed on, who would be your undead opening band?

SS: David Bowie and Type O Negative, but we’d be okay opening for them ;).

  1. Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the Horror Addicts?

MJ: If you feel like writing a song, do it! Go with your inspiration.

SS: Be true to yourself. Authenticity is so valuable and it helps people relate to you.

Join our mailing list and follow us on social media to get updates on upcoming events and releases. We are coming out with new music, photography, music videos, live shows, and more.

Our website is amulettheband.com, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook at @amulettheband.com

(Fan contacts…)

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Bandcamp?

Music video for our track Vampire:

Terror Trax : Dave McAnally/ SYS MACHINE – Interview by William Zimmerman

Dave McAnally is the main driving force behind electro-industrial acts, SYS MACHINE, and DERISION CULT and is an extremely prolific artist/songwriter.  Graceful Isolation is the title of the new Sys Machine album available via Bandcamp.  We’d like to thank Dave for his time in this short interview.

You are the main guy behind the projects Sys Machine and Derision Cult.  What are the differences in terms of themes, inspirations, and otherwise?

I’m the main guy behind both of them, but I have different folks I collaborate with.  Gabe Wilkinson from the band Microwaved is involved in various ways on both Sys Machine and Derision Cult.  Kimberly of Bow Ever Down does vocals on 2/3 of the tracks on ‘Graceful Isolation’ and I worked with a number of remixers for that.  Derision Cult really started as sort of my platform to comment on what I felt were big themes in society.  It’s not so much political as is sociological.  I spent a lot of years in the advertising industry and saw firsthand how public perceptions have been manipulated and how big companies will seize on moments and movements to harness anger and anxiety to sell more products.  

Particularly on ‘Charlatans Inc’ I felt like those were important issues to address- especially with what’s all happened in the last couple of years with the pandemic and political agitation in America.  Some of that is more coerced and less altruistic than it appears.  So that’s more me talking about the world at large.  Musically, it’s industrial metal.  It’s me fusing my love of all things thrash, punk, and industrial and I am always fusing other things like blues, jazz, rockabilly, and reggae into it – which are also things I’m really into.   Sys Machine is a different animal entirely.  It started life as experiments with different sounds, synths, and arrangements, and ‘Graceful Isolation’ is really the culmination of a few years of that.  It felt like the right time with the tracks that became ‘Graceful Isolation’ to step up a bit, work with new people and really make something of those tracks and turn them into songs.  I take inspiration from what some industrial artists from the ’90s were doing in the early 2000’s – Van Christie with Eco-Hed, Chris Randall with Micronaut, Mike Fisher with Amish Rake Fight, etc.   There’s some really excellent stuff that got made.  

Can you tell us more about the specific themes behind “Graceful Isolation”, the new album from Sys Machine? 

 Kim’s lyrics deal primarily with isolation, revenge through rising above situations and chasing dreams even when they feel unattainable.   My tracks are almost entirely related to what I was going through while we were putting the tracks together.   I’d quit drinking a bit prior to that and wanted to say something about what that felt like.  I don’t have any point of view about what people should or shouldn’t do in their lives or anything like that.  But the experience of giving that up and sort of looking at the world with a fresh sober set of eyes is pretty profound.  Anybody who’s given up something like that probably knows what I mean.  You see how a lot of notions you had about joys in life are really illusions brought on by whatever vice in question.  So “Drowning in the Past” is sort of a hypothetical conversation I’d have with myself if I could go back and tell my former self what it’s like on the other side of that decision and how there’s really nothing to be worried about.   “Illusions” is pretty to the point about all the distorted realities you can create for yourself in the service of a vice.  

Since this is a horror site, we have to ask some horror-related questions…  What horror movie character would you identify with most and why?   

 Ha!  I was literally just having a conversation with my daughter about all the classic Universal monsters.  Some definitely aged better than others!  But I used to watch those all the time when I was her age (she’s going to be 8).  Anyhow- I think I’d say I identify the most with Dr. Frankenstein (not the monster, the scientist dude).  In the 1931 movie- they sort of touch on how myopic and obsessive he is.  He gets pretty single-minded about his projects, to the detriment of people close to him.   I don’t want to go raise the dead or anything,  I’m definitely somebody who gets tunnel vision and hyper-focuses on things– be it in music or in business or whatever. 

Do you have any particular favorite horror-related films, TV shows, and so on?  

Oh man, we love Stranger Things in my house!  Not sure if that counts.  When it comes to horror, I’m a total occult/satanism guy.  I still think The Exorcist is one of the freakiest movies even till.  There’s another movie from the ’70s that never became iconic like that, but it’s called The Sentinel and it’s another one of those 70’s occult horror films that had to rely on practical effects to bring the scary.  It’s got that same “the older it gets the scarier it gets” vibe the Exorcist does.  But exorcisms, possessions, ghosts, etc– those are my jam.  My wife likes the blood and guts stuff like Saw and the demonic stuff keeps her up at night so we usually watch horror movies in separate rooms haha. 

What’s been the scariest time for you over the past couple of challenging years?  

Definitely when the company I was working at basically buckled under the weight of Covid.  It happened pretty fast because we were so steeped in the travel industry and that was one of the first to grind to a halt.  Anybody who’s been in that position of having the rug yanked out from you career-wise knows what that’s like.  Unless you’re independently wealthy or something things like how you’re going to pay for groceries or the mortgage or whatever, let alone plan for the future become constant stresses.  But like most of those situations, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I ended up starting my own company and that’s been a huge success.  So much that I’ve since started another business that’s also coming together nicely.  So it was a scary time, but it had a happy ending. 

Thanks for your time.  These last words are yours.  

Thanks for the questions!  You can check out both Sys Machine and Derision Cult on Bandcamp, and we’re streaming everywhere!   Got a big year planned with new collaborations on both fronts! 

For more information:

https://www.facebook.com/SysMachine

https://sysmachine.bandcamp.com/album/graceful-isolation

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

William Zimmerman runs the blog noisebeneaththesnow.com and regularly does guest posts for the goth/industrial music arena.

Terror Trax: Cut Like This / Interview with William Zimmerman

 

 

Could you give us a brief background on Cut Like This?

We are an NYC Horrorpunk trio.

What’s the inspiration behind the new single, “The Boogeyman.”?

Freddy Krueger and Insomnia.

What character in a horror movie or TV show can you most identify with and why?

Ash from Evil Dead, he’s a mess but badass!

What are your favorite horror movies?

Evil Dead, The Thing, Aliens

What was the scariest night of your life?

Having emergency surgery!

What’s next for Cut Like This in 2022?

A music video for Boogeyman!

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the Horror Addicts?

We have a horror show on YouTube!

(Fan contacts…)

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Bandcamp?

www.cutlikethismusic.com

www.facebook.com/cutlikethismusic

www.cutlikethis.bandcamp.com

Insert one of your video YouTube links:

https://youtu.be/mT3jkImwMvs

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

William is a full-time publicist and blogger for noisebeneaththesnow.com.

Merrill’s Musical Musings: Night Terror

This month’s artist, Night Terror, has recently released their debut on Bandcamp titled Freak on the Inside. It is the product of the artist’s personal experiences and reflects the current darkness in our world. The tracks all consist of straightforward techno beats with some original effects and sounds. I can appreciate where the artist went lyrically and it’s obvious that he poured his heart into this project. Fans of Dark Pop duo Provision and Palace of Tears, who were both previously reviewed on HorrorAddicts.net, will vibe with Night Terror and appreciate tracks like “Falling Time” and “Get Out Of This Place.” Some artists are bravely taking on our pandemic world through their craft and Night Terror chooses to explore the reality we’re living in both literally and figuratively. Their song “Viral Attack” will appeal to those searching for answers during this dark time. 

Thank you all for continuing to support art and music. These uncertain times have forced many artists to re-evaluate their choice to pursue their passion and it’s my hope that most will make it through and continue to create and rebuild. If you like the music we’ve shared here on HorrorAddicts.net, please support the artists. Whether you purchase their work physically in stores or digitally by buying albums on Bandcamp or the iTunes store, it goes a long way toward ensuring we have their art to soothe us and challenge us for years to come. If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to comment below or contact me through HorrorAddicts.net. I love hearing from fellow music fans. Thanks for checking out my reviews this season and Stay Tuned for more Merrill’s Musical Musings…

Orion from Thought Beings on Finale!

Check out our season finale, #204, coming October 23rd, for an audio interview with Orion from the band Thought Beings!

Thought Beings is a Synthpop / Retrowave / Esoteric Funk / Darkwave band.

Their new album, Strange Matter is a mix of 80s Horror movie soundtrack, throwback beats, and a new 2021 sound. 

For more information, and to download music, go to: thoughtbeingsmusic.com

Merrill’s Musical Musings: Riot Legion

Greetings HorrorAddicts! Time continues to pass in stops and starts. The days blend together and are distinct only by the latest headlines or weather phenomenon, like what the heck even is an “atmospheric river?” It sounds to me like the next thing in darkwave music. As I write this, we’ve made it through Groundhog Day and that means we’ve passed the darkest time of the year. We have light at the end of the tunnel, and that can be interpreted in many ways. Thank goodness for music, I say, as we could all use a little pick me up. Today I’m here to bring you a new artist who might just get you through the next six weeks of winter that precocious Punxsutawney Phil predicted, the little furry bugger! We need the rain here in the West, but I’m sure folks would like a break from the cold. Hang in there and let’s meet this month’s artist, RIOTLEGION.

RIOTLEGION hail from Seattle and pack a hard-driving industrial sound. Whereas Seattle is known for its grunge musical history, RIOTLEGION breaks with tradition. The album Machine Liberation was released  23 June 2020 through Blind Mice Productions. The brainchild of Michael Coultas, RIOTLEGION is known for high-energy audio-visual performances in the area. Their lyrics delve into the chaotic political landscape we find ourselves in after the events of the past few months. 

Many of the tracks on Machine Liberation lean heavily on distorted beats and chants that might appeal to fans of previously reviewed artists JUSTIN SYMBOL or CELLMOD. “Out of My Head” hits with a hypnotic beat and a rhythmic chant and is a standout on the album and the creepy intro to “Liberation” piqued my interest. The artist relies heavily on flickering synthesized beats and static to add atmosphere to tracks like “Decimator,” and “The One You Deserve.” 

Check out RIOTLEGION if you’re looking for some angry club music to work out some of your aggressions. I’ll be back next month with more new music for you to feast your ears upon. In the meantime, be sure to follow me on Instagram @rlmerrillauthor where I post music recommendations in my stories. I can’t have my lovelies going without the best tunes to listen to, now can I? You can also find playlists on Spotify for my books and whatever mood I’m currently in. Stay tuned for more Merrill’s Musical Musings…


R.L. Merrill writes inclusive romance with quirky, relatable characters full of love, hope, and rock ‘n’ roll. You can find her at https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com and on the socials as @rlmerrillauthor.

 

Merrill’s Musical Musings: Dissonance

Greetings HorrorAddicts. This month we’re listening to the Dark Wave artist Dissonance. Cat Hall has a new maxi-single that’s perfect for fans of bands like GARBAGE, NINE INCH NAILS & INFORMATION SOCIETY. Precipice is a techno-moody piece that is very personal to Hall. Music helps us heal from the tragedies in our lives, and for Hall, it’s been a form of catharsis. After a serious health battle, she’s come out on the other side to share her emotional experience in these three pieces. With remixes by Joe Haze, Diverje, Junior Kain, and Machines with Human Skin all add layers to the composition. Reminiscent of Tubular Bells or early Depeche Mode, Precipice is music to sit with and contemplate. Each element woven together, whether it be effects or harmonies, all evoke feelings of loss and yet are ultimately hopeful. 

Thank you for joining me this month. I hope you and yours are well. I’d love to hear what kind of music is getting you through this tumultuous time. If you want to hear what I’ve been listening to, you can check out my #SpotifyWrapped. If you’re not on Spotify yet, you might want to change that in 2021. Getting a report on your listening habits can be…creepy, but also a great trip down memory lane. Stay Tuned for more Ro’s Recs and Merrill’s Musical Musings… 

______________________________________________________________________________

R.L. Merrill writes inclusive romance with quirky, relatable characters full of love, hope, and rock ‘n’ roll. You can find her at https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com and on the socials as @rlmerrillauthor. You can also find her at www.queeromanceink.com writing about Hope, Love and Queeromance. 

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Static – X

 

Greetings HorrorAddicts. This month’s review has one helluva backstory. There’s a rock band, a romance, a drug problem, and a resurrection of sorts. I had to do a deep dive to give the album a full critique and what I found was a story that tragically has a lot in common with so many bands who have lost frontmen to the excesses of rock ‘n’ roll, however, the surviving members of Static-X are determined to make their own way back in an unusual but compelling way. 

Static-X celebrated the 20th anniversary of their album Wisconsin Death Trip in 2019. The original lineup toured to commemorate the album…with a singer dubbed Xer0. Because Wayne Static died in 2014 of a deadly combination of prescription drugs and alcohol. News came out that the band was recording a new album using some of Wayne’s demos and compositions, a guest spot from Al Jourgenson of Ministry, and would feature this new, unknown, masked singer, which has been a controversial move for some of their fans. The band, on the other hand, maintains that Wayne would have found it hilarious. (https://www.loudersound.com/features/static-x-the-story-behind-that-controversial-wayne-static-death-mask).

And man is this album amazing. What a testament to Wayne and a reminder of the magic the original line-up had together. 

For those new to Static-X, their hit song “Push-It” has been a staple of the industrial rock/metal scene for years. On this new album, Project Regeneration, Volume I, there’s that same electronic-tinged in-your-face feel of their early work, but the melodic atmosphere of powerhouse bands like Korn, Rammstein, or even Rob Zombie can be heard in the mix. “Worth Dyin’ For” has a hooky chorus, and “Terminator Oscillator” is a hard-hitting tune with a chanting rhyme that is the metal fan’s version of INXS’s “Mediate.” My favorite track on the album so far—and that changes each time I listen because they’re all great—is “Something Of My Own,” a powerful, emotional jam that resonates with its lyrics about opportunities missed due to the loss of Wayne. 

The hard rock/metal scene these days has matured from the days of nu-metal when Static-X first set up shop, but Project Regeneration, Volume I fits in nicely with today’s sound. The album is a great tribute to a band that obviously has a lot more to offer, and it’s one I will be jamming to for quite some time. 

That’s it for this month. Stay Tuned for Ro’s Recs…

R.L. Merrill writes inclusive romance with quirky, relatable characters full of love, hope, and rock ‘n’ roll. You can find her at https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com and on the socials as @rlmerrillauthor. You can also find her hope-filled posts at www.queeromanceink.com.

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Ro’s Recs /Vision Video

Ro’s Recs – Vision Video

Greetings and Salutations! I’ve got a great rec for you this month and it all started with a bloody video. Like most 80s kids, I loved my MTV…so much that I got a job just so I could convince my mom we needed cable and that I’d pay for it so I could watch videos 24-7. It really “chaps my hide” when I think about how good kids have it today with YouTube and the like putting all this great music at their fingertips, rather than having to keep their fingertips on the pause and record buttons of their tape decks. But I digress. 

I received an email with a link to Vision Video’s new clip for “Comfort In The Grave” and I clicked it while preparing for a day of educating America’s youth. And whoa. It was an imaginative short film with gore and a great soundtrack. Score! I hit the sender back and replied, “send me more,” and much to my delight, I received an early promo copy of the band’s upcoming album Inked In Red. Fellow former and current goth friends, when I tell you you’re gonna love it, I mean you’re gonna love it. 

With jangly guitars, bouncy bass lines, and silky synthesizers reminiscent of Joy Division, New Order, and The Smiths, Vision Video has created an album full of delicious tracks. The Athens, Georgia quartet delivers a solid album that HorrorAddicts will love, especially after watching the killer video for “Comfort In The Grave.” Keyboardist Emily Fredock does a fantastic job with this moody track, taking the listener with her on a homicidal journey. Vocals from frontman Dusty Gannon give me a modern Killers-esque vibe and the lyrics are inventive and poetic in a refreshing way. Tracks “Static Drone,” “Run,” and “In My Side” are some of my favorites on first listen, but all of the tracks have the potential for repeat plays. While heavy topics like trauma and terror are covered in the tunes, there’s also danceability and hopefulness that make this album special. It’s a rare band that can bring nostalgia along with that fresh feeling of finding a new favorite. 

Discovering new music and other expressions of art during the pandemic has been so important. We need art to keep us motivated and determined to keep putting one foot in front of the other, now more than ever. I’m so glad I found Vision Video in my inbox. I am looking forward to watching this band grow and expand their reach and I hope all of my HorrorAddicts.net pals will join me in celebrating the release of Inked in Red with them. (Release date April 16) Stay Tuned for more Merrill’s Musical Musings and Ro’s Recs…

R.L. Merrill writes inclusive romance with quirky, relatable characters full of love, hope, and rock ‘n’ roll. You can find her at https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com and on the socials as @rlmerrillauthor. 

Press Release: I YA TOYAH Unleashes New Single

Electro/Industrial Artist I YA TOYAH Unleashes New Single & Video, “Out Of Order”
Chicago-based one-woman industrial army, I YA TOYAH has unleashed her highly-anticipated new single & video, “Out Of Order.”  The song comes from the upcoming EP of the same name due out in March.

“Out Of Order” – The Video:
The video is a surreal story of a gradual mental breakdown, caused by an isolation and misinformation fed by media.  It was inspired by the film art of David Lynch and the pandemic.

Video Production &  Scenography: Joel Lopez of Lumbra Productions.
Music: Composed and performed by I Ya Toyah.
Produced by I Ya Toyah and Nick Palazzo.
Mixed and Mastered by Nick Palazzo at Evolution Recording.

“Out Of Order” – The Song:
A pandemic song, “Out Of Order” is expressing the quarantine moods of isolation, uncertainty, chaos and inner distortion.

“I wrote it feeling these emotions and being unable to share them as we all used to- through the togetherness, a hug, and live music experience. In the future the pandemic will be over, but the need for this connection will remain- I hope this song will be a reminder of how we survived this dark time, and how fragile yet strong we all are- even when we are out of order.” – Ania (I Ya Toyah)

Merrill’s Musical Musings: Riot Legion

Greetings HorrorAddicts! Time continues to pass in stops and starts. The days blend together and are distinct only by the latest headlines or weather phenomenon, like what the heck even is an “atmospheric river?” It sounds to me like the next thing in darkwave music. As I write this, we’ve made it through Groundhog Day and that means we’ve passed the darkest time of the year. We have light at the end of the tunnel, and that can be interpreted in many ways. Thank goodness for music, I say, as we could all use a little pick me up. Today I’m here to bring you a new artist who might just get you through the next six weeks of winter that precocious Punxsutawney Phil predicted, the little furry bugger! We need the rain here in the West, but I’m sure folks would like a break from the cold. Hang in there and let’s meet this month’s artist, RIOTLEGION.

RIOTLEGION hail from Seattle and pack a hard-driving industrial sound. Whereas Seattle is known for its grunge musical history, RIOTLEGION breaks with tradition. The album Machine Liberation was released  23 June 2020 through Blind Mice Productions. The brainchild of Michael Coultas, RIOTLEGION is known for high-energy audio-visual performances in the area. Their lyrics delve into the chaotic political landscape we find ourselves in after the events of the past few months. 

Many of the tracks on Machine Liberation lean heavily on distorted beats and chants that might appeal to fans of previously reviewed artists JUSTIN SYMBOL or CELLMOD. “Out of My Head” hits with a hypnotic beat and a rhythmic chant and is a standout on the album and the creepy intro to “Liberation” piqued my interest. The artist relies heavily on flickering synthesized beats and static to add atmosphere to tracks like “Decimator,” and “The One You Deserve.” 

Check out RIOTLEGION if you’re looking for some angry club music to work out some of your aggressions. I’ll be back next month with more new music for you to feast your ears upon. In the meantime, be sure to follow me on Instagram @rlmerrillauthor where I post music recommendations in my stories. I can’t have my lovelies going without the best tunes to listen to, now can I? You can also find playlists on Spotify for my books and whatever mood I’m currently in. Stay tuned for more Merrill’s Musical Musings…


R.L. Merrill writes inclusive romance with quirky, relatable characters full of love, hope, and rock ‘n’ roll. You can find her at https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com and on the socials as @rlmerrillauthor.

 

Merrill’s Musical Musings: Dissonance

Greetings HorrorAddicts. This month we’re listening to the Dark Wave artist Dissonance. Cat Hall has a new maxi-single that’s perfect for fans of bands like GARBAGE, NINE INCH NAILS & INFORMATION SOCIETY. Precipice is a techno-moody piece that is very personal to Hall. Music helps us heal from the tragedies in our lives, and for Hall, it’s been a form of catharsis. After a serious health battle, she’s come out on the other side to share her emotional experience in these three pieces. With remixes by Joe Haze, Diverje, Junior Kain, and Machines with Human Skin all add layers to the composition. Reminiscent of Tubular Bells or early Depeche Mode, Precipice is music to sit with and contemplate. Each element woven together, whether it be effects or harmonies, all evoke feelings of loss and yet are ultimately hopeful. 

Thank you for joining me this month. I hope you and yours are well. I’d love to hear what kind of music is getting you through this tumultuous time. If you want to hear what I’ve been listening to, you can check out my #SpotifyWrapped. If you’re not on Spotify yet, you might want to change that in 2021. Getting a report on your listening habits can be…creepy, but also a great trip down memory lane. Stay Tuned for more Ro’s Recs and Merrill’s Musical Musings… 

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R.L. Merrill writes inclusive romance with quirky, relatable characters full of love, hope, and rock ‘n’ roll. You can find her at https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com and on the socials as @rlmerrillauthor. You can also find her at www.queeromanceink.com writing about Hope, Love and Queeromance. 

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Static – X

 

Greetings HorrorAddicts. This month’s review has one helluva backstory. There’s a rock band, a romance, a drug problem, and a resurrection of sorts. I had to do a deep dive to give the album a full critique and what I found was a story that tragically has a lot in common with so many bands who have lost frontmen to the excesses of rock ‘n’ roll, however, the surviving members of Static-X are determined to make their own way back in an unusual but compelling way. 

Static-X celebrated the 20th anniversary of their album Wisconsin Death Trip in 2019. The original lineup toured to commemorate the album…with a singer dubbed Xer0. Because Wayne Static died in 2014 of a deadly combination of prescription drugs and alcohol. News came out that the band was recording a new album using some of Wayne’s demos and compositions, a guest spot from Al Jourgenson of Ministry and would feature this new, unknown, masked singer, which has been a controversial move for some of their fans. The band, on the other hand, maintains that Wayne would have found it hilarious. (https://www.loudersound.com/features/static-x-the-story-behind-that-controversial-wayne-static-death-mask).

And man is this album amazing. What a testament to Wayne and a reminder of the magic the original line-up had together. 

For those new to Static-X, their hit song “Push-It” has been a staple of the industrial rock/metal scene for years. On this new album, Project Regeneration, Volume I, there’s that same electronic-tinged in-your-face feel of their early work, but the melodic atmosphere of powerhouse bands like Korn, Rammstein, or even Rob Zombie can be heard in the mix. “Worth Dyin’ For” has a hooky chorus, and “Terminator Oscillator” is a hard-hitting tune with a chanting rhyme that is the metal fan’s version of INXS’s “Mediate.” My favorite track on the album so far—and that changes each time I listen because they’re all great—is “Something Of My Own,” a powerful, emotional jam that resonates with its lyrics about opportunities missed due to the loss of Wayne. 

The hard rock/metal scene these days has matured from the days of nu-metal when Static-X first set up shop, but Project Regeneration, Volume I fits in nicely with today’s sound. The album is a great tribute to a band that obviously has a lot more to offer, and it’s one I will be jamming to for quite some time. 

That’s it for this month. Stay Tuned for Ro’s Recs…

R.L. Merrill writes inclusive romance with quirky, relatable characters full of love, hope, and rock ‘n’ roll. You can find her at https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com and on the socials as @rlmerrillauthor. You can also find her hope-filled posts at www.queeromanceink.com.

Historian of Horror: Hath Music Charms to Soothe the Savage Breast? Not Necessarily

 

I would encourage the populace, if possible, to at least take a look at the recent Netflix series, Ratched. It will help if you’re familiar with the 1975 film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the one that took home a slew of Oscars for that year, the one in which the television series’ title character was the villain, but that’s not essential. Ratched is a beautifully mounted, albeit severely flawed work, and worth seeing if only for the sumptuous set design. Indeed, every frame looks like a photograph from a 1947 issue of Architectural Digest or some similar slick magazine of its type. The costumes could be out of Vanity Fair, the automobiles from Road & Track. It is gorgeous in its every visual element and blessed with a slightly languid pace that allows the eye to gorge itself at leisure on all that gorgeosity.

While I have several issues with the writing (cardboard and occasionally inconsistent characters, cliched situations, predictable plot points), I cannot fault the technical prowess of those who designed the visuals, or, indeed, the audio. The incidental music is eerily reminiscent of Bernard Hermann’s score from the 1962 film, Cape Fear, as well as Elmer Bernstein’s score for the 1991 remake. One day, I will discuss both film versions of that story in this space, and the music from each, but today I want to talk about the title music from Ratched, for it touches upon one of my passions.

Yes, I am a Baby Boomer, a member of that much maligned, fairly or unfairly, generation that for all its flaws did indeed spawn the best popular music of the past century. And, yes, I grew up a fan of, among others, the Beatles, the band whose massive output of incredible music in the space of less than a decade was not only the ne plus ultra of its time but the sine qua non of all popular music since. But they and the rest of the 1960s artists were not my first musical love.

That would be classical music. Before the Fab Four showed up on the Ed Sullivan Show on that momentous night in February of 1964, I had already begun to sample my father’s record collection. The first piece of music I remember being enraptured by was Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges. I had no idea at the time what that title meant, for although I was able to operate a turntable at that early age, I had not yet learned to read beyond a very superficial level. In fact, I suspect that it was to decipher the tiny print on the back of all those record sleeves that I set about becoming literate so assiduously at such a tender age. 

I still love classical music. It occupies a significant portion of my listening time. I don’t know squat about music theory, but I know what I like. And in the years since I discovered the wonders on those ancient LPs, most of which are now in my possession, new discoveries of what I like have regularly occurred with delightful frequency. 

I think I must have been about thirteen or fourteen when I first encountered the work of Camille Saint-Saëns, or, rather, a portion of one of his works. A radio station in or near Nashville began to broadcast episodes of the Shadow radio show from the late 1930s, the ones starring Orson Welles. The theme music was eerie and compelling, drawing the listener into the outré adventures of He Who Had the Power to Cloud Men’s Minds. No one I knew could tell me what that strange tune was. Fortunately, this was in the early years of a new cultural phenomenon, nostalgia, and every trip to the bookstore revealed a new volume on some aspect of the cultural ephemera of past decades, including radio. I knew of radio solely as a delivery system for current music, but as my dad told me at the time, it was in his youth the primary source of free entertainment in the home – musical, comedic, dramatic. Frightening.

More on that later. I think it was in a paperback edition of Jim Harmon’s 1967 book, The Great Radio Heroes, that I learned the provenance of that snippet of strange music. It turned out to be the middle section of a symphonic poem by Saint-Saëns, Omphale’s Spinning Wheel. Once I knew that, I began to search for more music by this new composer I’d discovered.

Skip years, indeed, decades ahead, and I’d just settled myself into my favorite spot on the couch to watch the first episode of Ratched. At that moment, my wife of nearly forty years came in, and I surrendered that spot, because when Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. It’s okay. The seat I gave up is slightly off-center to the TV mounted on the wall opposite, and the spot I almost always wind up in has a more straight-on view. Yeah. That’s the ticket.

For some reason, the subtitle function was turned on, which was fine. I watch a lot of films in languages I don’t understand, and I heartily despise dubbing. Nothing ruins the rhythm of a film than the dialogue being out of sync with the actors’ expressions and mouth movements. Give me subtitles, every time. So, I’m used to them, and made no particular effort to turn them off.

No issues with the first episode, although my lovely bride thought it moved a tad slowly. There was no title sequence that time out, the credits rolling at the end. And for just over five minutes, there was no such thing in the second episode.

And then, there was. I immediately recognized the music playing, although the first bit of it had been lopped off. It was Saint-Saëns’ 1874 tone poem Danse Macabre, a piece I play heavily around Halloween, for it is spooky and creepy and laden with dire forebodings.

And then, I noticed the subtitle that popped up as soon as the discordant violin screeched out its first few notes.[haunting classical music playing]

Say, what? Haunting classical music? Haunting classical music?!?!?!? Does no one at Netflix have access to a decent music library? This piece has a name, a title that has been well-known for one hundred and forty-six years. That’s as bad as people calling the tango Al Pacino danced with Gabrielle Anwar in Scent of a Woman ‘the tango from Scent of a Woman’, as if that’s its title. It’s not. It’s called Por Una Cabeza, and it’s by Carlos Gardel, a significant composer of Latin music in the first half of the 20th Century. It’s not quite as bad as pronouncing Porsche as a one-syllable name, but still, come on! Is it all that much trouble to identify a major piece of music by its actual name?

Ahem. Sorry ‘bout that.

Danse Macabre was based on a Late Medieval allegorical theme of death as the one truly universal reality, and its application in a variety of artistic expressions. Paintings, frescoes and woodcuts depicting souls of all financial stations and every societal stratum dancing their ways along to the grave accompanied by decomposing corpses and animated skeletons were all the rage in the waning decades of the Middle Ages, and into the Renaissance. 

I know most folks think of the term ‘classical music’ as encompassing all that stuff you had to sit through during school field trips to the local symphony hall, but for the cognoscenti, classical refers to the music of roughly the 18th Century, composed by folks like Mozart and Haydn in an organically structured and sometimes excessively ornamental style that reflected the artistic sensibilities of the concurrent Rococo period in art and architecture. During the preceding century, more-or-less, both art and architecture on one hand and music on the other were done in what was known as Baroque style, which was also overly ornamented but with a somewhat more constrained, almost geometrical structure. Kind of. That’s very much a Reader’s Digest Condensed version of things, but not, I hope, totally off the mark. 

The 19th Century in music was dominated by the Romantic period, and Saint-Saëns was very much a Romantic composer. That word does not mean, as applied to the music of its time, what you think it does, just as an opera comique is not necessarily funny. Romantic in relation to the music of composers from Schubert and Beethoven in the early 19th Century to Dvorak and Verdi near the end of the century, and even beyond with Rachmaninoff and Ravel, was intended to produce within the listener a sort of naturalistic evocation of emotions, so that the music inspired more than merely an aesthetic response. It is no accident that the Romantic period in music coincided in its later decades with Impressionism in painting. The intended reaction from the consumer was the same in both areas, an empathic connection with the artist through the medium.

And Danse Macabre did produce an emotional reaction from early critics, indeed. It was not received well at first, as it was considered to be a source of anxiety for those who heard it. As I stated before, I know little about music theory, but I have been given to understand that there are certain key signatures that lend themselves particularly well to certain types of music, and even the emotions those pieces are meant to convey. According to what I have read on the subject, G Minor is one of those keys that tends to invoke dread and angst, and Danse Macabre is in that key. I’m going to go ahead and assume my informant was correct, for it does put the nerves on edge. 

Listen to it throughout that title sequence in Ratched, when and if you’re able to watch it, and see if it doesn’t augment the show’s overall feeling of fearful expectation, even more so perhaps than the story warrants. Then, listen to it in its entirety. 

Then, please don’t tell me you felt nothing from that – no frisson, as it were. I hope you do. I might just worry about you if not, just a little. 

Also, rest assured I won’t leave you hanging regarding all the possibly unfamiliar references above. I will, one of these days, wax poetic on horror as it was used in old time radio programs and operas, comique and otherwise, as well as by other composers, artists, and even architects. I might even explain just what is meant by a ‘slick magazine’, translate the Latin phrases I love tossing around like confetti, and reveal from what major genre work I lifted the neologism ‘gorgeosity’. Stay tuned.

And, as always, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Chilling Chat Special: Best Band 2020- Destini Beard

Destini Beard is a dark lyrical soprano in the Gothic and Horror soundtrack genre. She debuted as the first vocalist for the Horror Soundtrack group, Midnight Syndicate. Her two albums, “The Dark Masquerade,” and, “A Time Forgotten,” have been enjoyed by fans for over a decade. Performing across the US and abroad, she continues to add a dark twist to all her musical creations. Her song “Farewell Forever” was featured in the award-winning Horror/Soundtrack album from the 10th annual Rondo Hatton Awards. Her albums were featured on Rue Morgue radio, Dark Beauty Magazine, and are played nationwide on the award-winning Rock/Metal radio show “Rock Solid Pressure Show”.  Continue reading

Merrill’s Musical Musings: Ro’s Recs – November

Ro’s Recs

Creativity and Haunted Places

On the weekend of November 8, 2020, the legendary Foo Fighters took the stage on Saturday Night Live and played a song from their upcoming album, Medicine at Midnight, called “Shame Shame.” It was different and brilliant and a little bit dark, including lyrics like: 

“If you want to

I’ll be the one

Be the tongue that will swallow you” 

and 

“Another splinter under the skin

Another season of loneliness

I found a reason and buried it

Beneath a mountain of emptiness.

The song was definitely a departure for the band and I was anxious to read all I could about the production. Grohl has always been very open about his recording process. He boldly created the documentary Sound City, which I highly recommend, as well as taking the journey on the Sonic Highways, where the band visited some of the biggest cities in rock music history and wrote songs based on their experiences and interviews they had there. In an article with Rolling Stone dated March 23, 2020, Dave Grohl revealed that the house they recorded the album in was haunted and that totally piqued my interest. (https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/foo-fighters-new-album-ghosts-971615/)

What is it with amazing things coming from supernatural experiences? Some of my favorite albums have been recorded under haunting situations including Black Sabbath’s debut, Blood Sugar Sex Magic from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hypnotize/Mesmerize by System of A Down, and Slipknot’s Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, the latter three being recorded at Rick Rubin’s Mansion in Southern California. How did being in a haunted space contribute to the artists’ creative process? (https://www.kerrang.com/features/10-rock-and-metal-albums-recorded-in-haunted-places/)

Corey Taylor discussed his experiences in The Mansion in his book A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven, which is full of incredible stories and Taylor’s philosophy about the afterlife and things that go bump, well, at all times of the day. From his perspective, it seems that the hauntings kept him on edge, which may or may not have contributed to his manic performance on Slipknot’s Subliminal Verses. He said in an interview with Kerrang! Magazine in 2019, “Only recently have I noticed the ethereal feel to the album,” Corey said on the eve of Vol. 3’s release. “And that’s definitely come from making it in that house. That house was so fucking haunted.” (https://www.kerrang.com/features/slipknot-the-inside-story-of-vol-3-the-subliminal-verses/)

Over the past several years, I’ve had the fortune to attend writing retreats with my fellow San Francisco Bay Area authors. The first one was at the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, California, and I immediately fell in love with the grand old building which boasted that it housed the longest continuously-open saloon west of the Mississippi (which it likely can’t say anymore since the hotel has been closed the past two years for renovations). It’s a place with an incredible amount of energy, mostly positive, and during the retreats we held there, I was inspired to write some of my favorite stories. “A Piece of Him,” which was featured in the Gone with the Dead anthology back in 2016 is still one of my favorite short stories I’ve written and was my first traditionally published story. I wrote some of my Banes of Lake’s Crossing stories there and the hotel has even been a setting in my writing. I love working in old buildings. The Weller House in Fort Bragg is another favorite as well as the Jupiter in Berkeley and a friend’s turn-of-the-century house outside Portland, Oregon. There’s something about working in a place that has held within its walls all walks of life that causes its very fabric to hold onto that energy, both positive and negative, that gives me a supercharge of creativity like nothing else. I so look forward to being able to travel to my favorite haunts when this pandemic is over. 

So if you’re missing that feeling of someone looking over your shoulder as you work, or want to listen to music closely for any signs of ghostly hijinks, check out the albums listed above, and if you’re like me and love a good “behind the music” type of story, be sure to watch those docs listed above as well as read Corey Taylor’s book. 

How about you? Does a good haunted spot bring out the creativity in you? I’d love to hear about your favorite places and projects you’ve been inspired to work on there. Definitely check out the albums listed above as well as the two Foo Fighters documentaries. And as always, stay tuned for more Ro’s Recs and Merrill’s Musical Musings…

R.L. Merrill writes inclusive romance with quirky, relatable characters full of love, hope, and rock ‘n’ roll. You can find her at https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com and on the socials as @rlmerrillauthor. 

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Union Kain

 

 

Greetings HorrorAddicts!

This month we’re listening to the metal band Union Kain. Hailing from Florida, the band put out a heavy album in 2020 titled Black Dawn. Lead singer Glazergirl is commanding as a Dilana-Esque vocalist and she’s backed by a talented group of musicians. The band’s sound is a combination of 80s era hard rock/heavy metal like early Motley Crue with a touch of Black Sabbath on tunes like “Black Dawn.” Glazergirl’s vocals would make Ronnie James Dio proud. There’s a theatricality to their sound that adds appeal. “Persistence” has a Pantera vibe and is a stand out track. The guitars on songs like “Your Own Kind” are impressive and would appeal to the more established members of the metal community.

Lyrically the band attempts to create somewhat of a concept album on Black Dawn, covering all of the wrongs in the world from Cain and Abel to today’s internet meme fascination. There are some production inconsistencies that can distract from the overall enjoyment of the album, but perhaps with personnel changes that were announced on the band’s website their next album will be even better. 

Overall, Union Kain has a sound that will appeal to old school metal fans and hard rockers alike. I wish them luck with their future endeavors. If you are in those categories, I encourage you to check them out. 

That’s it for this month’s review. Stay Tuned for Ro’s Recs… 

R.L. Merrill writes inclusive romance with quirky, relatable characters full of love, hope, and rock ‘n’ roll. You can find her at https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com and on the socials as @rlmerrillauthor.

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Spank The Nun

Spank the Nun 

Hello music lovers and greetings from sunny California. At least that’s one perk about living here during this crazy time when the only option I have for entertainment is my own backyard. I’ve been looking out my window at my car longingly for the past 18 days as our country experiences pandemic panic and potty paper paranoia. These are dark times, for sure, but one of the most important ways we survive the challenges life throws our way is through music and art. The music community has stepped up tremendously to meet the needs of their fans, and in return, their fans are giving back in new ways such as virtual tip jars on Venmo. As tours are canceled or postponed, artists are looking for new ways to raise funds for themselves and their crews as well as supporting efforts to combat the COVID19 virus. Livestreaming “living room concerts” has become the norm. Each day there seems to be a new artist participating. I enjoyed watching the Luck Reunion show on Twitch the first week we were home and I’ve even been participating in an online songwriting experiment with former Sick Puppies singer/songwriter Shimon Moore. Hear the fruits of our group’s labor here and support Shim’s page on Facebook. We gotta do whatever we can to stay sane during this unprecedented event.

 

“Here’s the chance to raise merry hell.” This month I’m reviewing industrial/electro darkwave artist Spank The Nun whose self-deprecating sense of humor is appreciated as we head into a new month of sheltering-in-place. The artist describes their music as “uneasy listening,” and when listing band members on their Facebook page responds with “Does it really matter?” You’re not getting uplifting tunes with this band, but the steady beat and the doom-filled lyrics are perfect for those days you need some dark background music to complete your, well, dark tasks. Hearing samples from favorites like the film Misery makes listening to their latest album, Initial Decay Control, a treat. I’m betting the artist was like that kid in high school I used to like sitting next to in the back of the room because they always had an odd and inappropriate commentary running for my twisted enjoyment. The sinister whisperings on tracks like “Rotting Meat” are creepy enough to make you look behind you while working alone in your home office. The song “Swallow” contains this quote, which I feel describes our current situation: “We all know when this ends, there will be no winners, only survivors.”  Spankthenun is an entertaining listen well suited for our peculiar predicament. 

 

Stay tuned for more of Merrill’s Musical Musings…

 

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Ro’s Recs April / In This Moment

Ro’s Recs April In This Moment Review 

What better way to spend our time on lockdown but by discovering new music? Artists all over the world have been doing live streams, living room concerts, and performing special acoustic tunes. I’ve found some amazing new artists like Tami Neilson, Devon Gilfillian, and Ida Mae as well as hearing some of my old favorites playing some incredible music like this collab between Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker covering Paramore’s Misery’s Business and Tyler Glenn from Neon Trees (http://www.instagram.com/tylerinacoma) doing his regular Songs from the Red Chair performances on his Instagram Live. Metallica is even streaming concert performances on YouTube and Facebook Monday nights. Let some good music into your lives and I promise it will make you feel better. 

Releasing a new piece of art during this unprecedented time is a scary proposition. I released a new book Friday, March 13th, just before most of California went into a mandatory shelter-in-place. Thankfully, my family is doing okay, but for musicians who have lost revenue from touring, releasing an album could be the only way for them to stay financially afloat. As artists, many of us are giving away our creations for free or at a discounted rate to keep shut-in folks entertained, but for musicians, losing money from canceled or postponed tours means taking a huge hit. SiriusXM is streaming FREE for this month, which is a HUGE opportunity for you to discover new music and I encourage you to get out there and support your favorite musicians however you can! Recommend their music, stream their albums on a platform like Spotify or Apple, and buy merch from their websites including CDs and vinyl if you have machines with which to play them. 

In This Moment, a phenomenal female-fronted metal band from Las Vegas, Nevada released their latest album Mother at the end of March and it is a deliciously decadent mix of original and cover songs. You’ve never heard “Fly Like An Eagle” performed quite so sensually as when Maria Brink stretches out those lyrics. Their last album, 2017’s Ritual, was filled with ruminations on witchcraft and dark elements, and that theme continues on the new record. Mother promises to be just as addictive as their previous material. Already I’m repeat-playing “Holy Man,” “God is She,” “Hunting Ground,” and the title track. So listen to the album, several times if you will, and then make sure you add a notification through Bandsintown or whatever source you get your live music recommendations from because you will NEED to see Maria Brink and Co. the next time they come through your town. They are one of the most exciting live acts on the road today. I’ve seen them at least three times and the theatrics Brink and her maidens bring to the stage, as well as the power and excellent musicianship the band exudes will provide a show like you’ve never seen before. Don’t believe me? Check out this live clip from the Loudwire Music Awards. HorrorAddicts, you will fall under the spell of In This Moment, I guarantee. 

That’s it for now, but I promise to bring you more of Ro’s Recs and reviews to keep your soul satisfied. Stay Tuned for more of Merrill’s Musical Musings… 

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Ro’s Recs

Ro’s Recs

The Prince of Darkness—Ozzy Osbourne himself—released a phenomenal album at the end of February. Ordinary Man is Ozzy’s twelfth studio album since he left Black Sabbath in 1979 and embarked on a colorful solo career. Super producer Andrew Watt (Post Malone) helped Ozzy create a beautiful piece of music that has echoes of 70s glam rock, Sabbath-inspired metal, and even a Beatles-esque tune with legend Sir Elton John. Friends Slash, Duff McKagan (Guns ‘n’ Roses) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) as well as Post Malone, Travis Scott, Charlie Puth, and Tom Morello all make appearances on the heavy album that takes a lot of chances and yet still sounds like Ozzy perfection. Actor Jason Momoa even did a teaser video for release day. Ozzy has definitely been to hell and back, and with his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, he’s still got stories to tell. I listened to an album release party on SiriusXM-Ozzy’s Boneyard with his pal Billy Morrison and Ozzy admitted that working with Andrew Watt saved his life as he went through the most difficult health crisis of his life. Let’s hope he’s well enough to gift us with more music in the coming years. Check out Ordinary Man, streaming on Spotify and other vendors.

That’s it for this month. Stay tuned for more Merrill’s Musical Musings… 

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Ro’s Recs

Ro’s Recs

Many great albums were released in 2019, and while I’m not a big list maker, I thought I’d share a few of them here. Some bands have been with us for decades like Slipknot and Korn and others were new to me. Bands like Papa Roach, Sleeping with Sirens, Volbeat, and Bring Me The Horizon took big risks on a new sound that paid off well. We lost Vinnie Paul from Hellyeah, but the band gave him a beautiful sendoff with Welcome Home. Motionless in White and New Year’s Day put out powerful albums that cemented their status in the rock community as artists that have fought long and hard to be there. Baroness returned from a harrowing tragedy to put out a strong album. I Prevail had a fairytale beginning with a cover of Taylor Swift and this year they’ve been nominated for a Grammy! And lastly, The Hu, Fever333 and Bad Wolves were all new bands to me that I am glad I took a chance on. I hope you will too. 

Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind

Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

Papa Roach – Who Do You Trust?

Hellyeah – Welcome Home

Motionless in White – Disguise

New Year’s Day – Unbreakable

Volbeat – Rewind, Replay, Rebound

Korn – The Nothing

The Hu – Gereg

Baroness – Gold and Grey

Bad Wolves – N.A.T.I.O.N.

Fever333 – Strength in Numb333rs

Sleeping With Sirens – How It Feels To Be Lost

I Prevail – Trauma 

There’s a wide variety on this list, a little something for everyone, so as we prepare for a new year of music, give some of these a listen.

What are you looking forward to in 2020? Leave a comment and let me know what music I should be looking out for in 2020. And with that, Stay Tuned for more of Merrill’s Musical Musings…

Merrill’s Musical Musings – HorrorAddicts.net Season 13’s Best Band of 2019

Greetings HorrorAddicts! This year has already been chock-a-block full of great music, but today we’re going to revisit a highlight from 2019. The Lords of October were the reigning champs in the HorrorAddicts.net Best Band competition from Season 13 and we have a quick interview with them to catch you up on all the latest news. 

How has winning Best Band of HorrorAddicts.net Season 13 changed your life? At the very least, how does this impact you as a band?

We are terrified by and excited for this news! It’s an honor to be recognized for this and to be held in regard by Horror Addicts.net. We feel as though we are on the right track with such a vote and we look forward to making more monster music that will be —hopefully—loved by those who are our brothers and sisters in horror! This, in our opinion, gives us further horror cred and is exactly the type of award we would strive for. We thank you all!

-Uncle Salem

What’s your latest news? Any new adventures? When can fans expect new material?-

The latest music is going on a record inspired by tales of cryptozoology. You know, like hidden creatures and wild mythos and stuff. We have some tunes that are inspired by the Mothman, Loch Ness, the Mongolian death worm and other such things. I have always loved monsters and consider myself a bit of a cryptozoologist, but I was truly inspired after attending the Mothman festival in West Virginia this past summer. It was a lot of fun, but also where the tragic deaths occurred. 

We are always working hard at new ideas and music, always bringing new stuff to the table. For this new one, we are attempting a more collaborative songwriting effort. We shall have a little more of all of us in the entire creative process. So far, I have written 5 songs for it and Aleister has come up with a couple. We will mix and match and see what happens. 

We will probably have it out around fall of 2020. It all depends on the daily goings-on of everyone and what we are able to do. We are always looking to play some great shows and make some new videos. Taking it all a day at a time!

-Lucifer Fulci

Best Horror Movie/TV Show/Book of 2019 in your humble opinion?

I saw It Chapter 2 this year and I thought it was fantastic. Best horror movie of the year in my opinion. The acting was great and Bill Skarsgård’s performance as Pennywise creeped me to the bone.

-October Phoenix

What title would you most like to earn/award you’d most like to win moving forward in your career?

Best KISSfits band ever.

-Aleister Kane

Anything to add?

Lords of October is a hell of a great band and I love to play with these guys. There is a very eclectic influence that plays into some of the styles that you can hear in the music. I enjoy writing music and seeing how these guys interpret it and make it their own. I also like when they bring stuff to me and allow me to add something to it. I have been making music a long time-a lot on my very own and I enjoy the solitude. (I will have a new solo record out in 2020, also- www.LuciferFulci.com) But to play with Lords, its very special. Like, literally and figuratively, I get to come out and play! 

-Lucifer Fulci

Congratulations to Lords of October and we can’t WAIT for more creepily delicious music! 

That’s it for today. Stay Tuned for More Merrill’s Musical Musings…

Merrill’s Musical Musings: Cellmod Review

Merrill’s Musical Musings – Cellmod Review 

Greetings and salutations. Welcome to March! It’s nearly Spring, Daylight Savings Time is just around the corner, and in California, the trees are blooming, the sun is shining, and the primary election is happening soon.

Many things are afoot in Ro’s world and things are about to get hectic. I’ve got a new supernatural suspense novel—Healer—releasing on Friday, March 13th, and then I’m off to Nashville for the Book Lovers Con March 18-22.

I plan to do some music-related visits such as Third Man Records—Jack White’s record label and vinyl factory—and southern songwriter and alternative rapper Yelawolf’s Slumerican made flagship vintage clothing store and barbershop. I’m also going on a bus tour with a bunch of drunken friends where we’re supposedly getting some history of the town, but if you have suggestions of can’t-miss music locations—bonus points if they’re haunted—please leave them in the comments or hit me up at rlmerrillauthor@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/rlmerrillauthor. I’ll be posting pics on my author page as well as my Instagram @rlmerrillauthor and I’ll tag you if you leave me a suggestion. 

This month’s review is of EDM/Trance/Trip-Hop artist Cellmod’s new album The Dissident. According to his bio, “Cellmod was born to display an adaptation to his surrounding environment. The name itself signifies a desire to unify with the very roots of one’s physical being, or in simpler terms, Cellmod is taking it back to the vibe and pulse of the music.” I can definitely feel that vibe as I listen to standout tracks such as “Ransacked” and the naughty, old school sci-fi tinged “Harder Serum.” I can picture a woman with dark hair perched atop dramatic stilettos in a fitted pencil skirt and blazer as she walks with purpose down a stark white hallway, passing unmarked doors. The clack-clack of her heels is drowned out by the ominous sound of “The Machine” as she enters a laboratory where classified experiments are being done on unsuspecting young male subjects. Oh…did my imagination carry me away there for a minute? Fine. I will say that the track “Let Them Sleep” gives me a very Nine Inch Nails groove that I dig very much. If electronic music is your jam and you like to have some well-produced, good quality background music to do your…experiments to, Cellmod is your guy. Check out The Dissidents today!

Stay tuned for more Merrill’s Musical Musings… 

Merrill’s Musical Musings: Her Despair

Her Despair 

Greetings and Salutations for a brand new year and decade that I am confident will be filled with amazing music. I’m Ro, your musical tour guide, and today I want to introduce you to a Goth rock outfit from the UK called Her Despair. Their music will take you right back to those 80s afternoons sitting in your bedroom listening to cassettes—or perhaps your vinyl collection—waiting for the night to fall and bring with it the creepy darkness where anything can happen and life is just a little more interesting. 

 

Her Despair melds together sounds of Peter Murphy and Sisters of Mercy as well as current artists like Nightwish and HIM. Their latest release, Exorcisms of Eroticism, was released in summer 2019 and contains melodic jams like “Pandaemonium” and “The Exorcism,” which has an appropriately dark music video to go along with it. “In That Moment” is my favorite track on the EP. The haunting, romantic vocals dance over the dichotomy of the synthesizers and guitars, giving it a nostalgic sound, but you could also expect to hear it on a modern-day alternative rock station. “Like a Crucifixion” is another excellent example of their sound. A steady rock beat with powerful lyrics make for an enjoyable combination and will have you slipping into Her Despair like a comfortable pair of black fishnets…or a worn pair of Doc Martens. 

For more on Her Despair, check them out at the links below.

https://www.facebook.com/herdespair/

https://www.instagram.com/herdespairband/?hl=en

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVZhKFjVsq1Wpbruy-dryuw/featured

See also my companion article this month: Ro’s Recs Best of 2019, here at Horroraddicts.net

Merril’s Musical Musings: Her Despair and Best of 2019

Her Despair and Best of 2019

Greetings and Salutations for a brand new year and decade that I am confident will be filled with amazing music. I’m Ro, your musical tour guide, and today I want to share with you some of my favorites from the past year and introduce you to a Goth rock outfit from the UK called Her Despair. Their music will take you right back to those 80s afternoons sitting in your bedroom listening to cassettes—or perhaps your vinyl collection—waiting for the night to fall and bring with it the creepy darkness where anything can happen and life is just a little more interesting.

Her Despair melds together sounds of Peter Murphy and Sisters of Mercy as well as current artists like Nightwish and HIM. Their latest release, Exorcisms of Eroticism, was released in summer 2019 and contains melodic jams like “Pandaemonium” and “The Exorcism,” which has an appropriately dark music video to go along with it. “In That Moment” is my favorite track on the EP. The haunting, romantic vocals dance over the dichotomy of the synthesizers and guitars, giving it a nostalgic sound, but you could also expect to hear it on a modern-day alternative rock station. “Like a Crucifixion” is another excellent example of their sound. A steady rock beat with powerful lyrics make for an enjoyable combination and will have you slipping into Her Despair like a comfortable pair of black fishnets…or a worn pair of Doc Martens. 

For more on Her Despair, check them out at the links below. 

The Exorcism” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Clqrj6rftJA 

https://www.facebook.com/herdespair/

https://www.instagram.com/herdespairband/?hl=en

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVZhKFjVsq1Wpbruy-dryuw/featured

 

Ro’s Recs

Many great albums were released in 2019, and while I’m not a big list maker, I thought I’d share a few of them here. Some bands have been with us for decades like Slipknot and Korn and others were new to me. Bands like Papa Roach, Sleeping with Sirens, Volbeat, and Bring Me The Horizon took big risks on a new sound that paid off well. We lost Vinnie Paul from Hellyeah, but the band gave him a beautiful sendoff with Welcome Home. Motionless in White and New Year’s Day put out powerful albums that cemented their status in the rock community as artists that have fought long and hard to be there. Baroness returned from a harrowing tragedy to put out a strong album. I Prevail had a fairytale beginning with a cover of Taylor Swift and this year they’ve been nominated for a Grammy! And lastly, The Hu, Fever333 and Bad Wolves were all new bands to me that I am glad I took a chance on. I hope you will too. 

Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind

Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

Papa Roach – Who Do You Trust?

Hellyeah – Welcome Home

Motionless in White – Disguise

New Year’s Day – Unbreakable

Volbeat – Rewind, Replay, Rebound

Korn – The Nothing

The Hu – Gereg

Baroness – Gold and Grey

Bad Wolves – N.A.T.I.O.N.

Fever333 – Strength in Numb333rs

Sleeping With Sirens – How It Feels To Be Lost

I Prevail – Trauma 

There’s a wide variety on this list, a little something for everyone, so as we prepare for a new year of music, give some of these a listen.

What are you looking forward to in 2020? Leave a comment and let me know what music I should be looking out for in 2020. And with that, Stay Tuned for more of Merrill’s Musical Musings…

 

10iversary Chilling Chat with Michele Roger

10IVERSARY

Michele Roger is a speculative fiction writer living in the Detroit area with her spouse and her evil cat named Monster. She also writes paranormal romance under the pen name M. M. Genet.  You can listen to her most recent, free podcast, Agent For the micheleOrchestra wherever you get your podcasts or on iTunes.  When Michele isn’t writing, she is a harpist and a music composer for podcasts. Michele appeared on Season 1 Episode 9 with “Taste of the Dead,” Season 2 Episode 13 “Santa Claws,” Season 3 Episode 25 “The Conservatory,” Episode 31, Season 4 Episode 43, and Season 13 Episode 160. She is the spark that started the Wicked Women Writers.

1.)    How old were you when you first became interested in horror?

My earliest memory of reading horror was with my friend Terry Akerly in the 8th grade.  My mom didn’t really approve of a girl reading horror at the time, so Terry shared his Stephen King books with me.

2.)    What is your favorite kind of horror? (i.e. Classic, Splatterpunk, Slasher, Gothic, etc.)

Reading is like everything else; one’s tastes change as we get older.  While I gravitate towards Classic and Gothic, I’m open to reading just about anything that has a new spin on it; be it paranormal romance or alien horror.

3.)    What is your favorite horror novel?

There is a special place in my heart for Thinner by Stephen King.  In college, I was studying to be a lawyer.  The main character is a slightly unscrupulous lawyer who gets cursed by a gypsy for his dishonesty while presenting a case against her.  The curse is so simple and so elegant.  I loved that about the story.  King took an everyday occurrence with an average guy and turned it into something that kept me reading well into the night.

4.)    What is your favorite horror TV show?

Honestly, I don’t watch enough tv to be able to answer that question.

5.)    What is your favorite horror movie?

It probably sounds cheesy, but my favorite horror film (and its tough to choose) would be The Woman in Black.  There is so much to love.  The main character is young and naive but is a male and a lawyer.  (Lawyer theme again.  I never realized….ok anyway)  So many stories the main character in distress is female.  I really enjoy that role reversal.  Also, the predator/ghost is female.  Also, another trait and role reversal that I enjoy.  Add the creepy gothic mansion, a time pressure element of the receding and swelling tide and the primary prey for the predator being children of a village an entire community longs to protect and you have a perfect movie.

6.)    How did you first become involved with HorrorAddicts.net?

I wrote a short horror story and a friend of mine encouraged me to send it to HorrorAddicts.  That was roughly 2008?  I’m guessing.  Emz encouraged me to send in more.

7.)    What is your most favorite memory of the HorrorAddicts.net Blog? (i.e. favorite blog post written by you or someone else, favorite funny memory, etc.)

HorrorAddicts offered a horror writing contest for just women.  The stories that came from that contest were so well written and so well received.  I had been writing horror and science fiction for a while, feeling quite alone in Detroit.  All the other speculative fiction writers I knew were male.  The all women’s writing contest opened a door to other women all over the country who were writing all kinds of horror.  Eventually, some of those stories became a book and now we have a writing group for female horror writers.  So much good has come from HorrorAddicts.

8.)    What is your favorite part of the blog? (i.e. Book Reviews, Movie Reviews, Interviews, Game Reviews, Free Fiction, Crafting, etc.)

Whenever I’m looking for something or someone new to read, I check out the Book Reviews.  I also like to read the interviews on my lunch at work.

9.)    Why is this part your favorite?

The book reviews are just a handy resource.  Sadly, my small, Michigan town outside of Detroit doesn’t have a local bookstore anymore.  We have one big chain store but finding someone in there to recommend horror is often like finding a needle in a haystack.  HorrorAddicts book reviews and interviews fill that void.  I find new and established authors, learn a bit more about them and find new titles to pick up for my next night of reading.

10.)  What would you like to see on the HorrorAddicts.net Blog in the future?

There are a lot of people making short horror films.  It might be fun to showcase them?  A B Horror movie film festival to stream???

Addicts, you can find Michele’s work on Amazon as Michele Roger and as M.M. Genet. You can find her music here.

Merrill’s Musical Musings:Coyote Kid

 

Merrill’s Musical Musings with Coyote Kid

Greetings HorrorAddicts! November is the month of gratitude, and I’m sure we are all grateful for music. I’m ecstatic to be here with you to share a new album by Coyote Kid and to share some of my current musical musings and obsessions.

I’m utterly transfixed by this new album from Minneapolis-based Coyote Kid. I recently attended a writing workshop where the presenter talked about writing to your id, you know, that place where all of your happy meets. Upon first listening to their song “Strange Days,” my id perked up and listened greedily. Dark atmosphere, jangly guitars, a horn section, a male singer with a full, tortured voice that exudes emotion…Check, Check, Check! I hear a little Bad Things by Jace Everett, a little Big Wreck, a little Dick Dale and some Concrete Blonde. 

Some standouts on the album titled Skeleton Man include the title track, “Femme Fatale,” which has a Quentin Tarantino-esque music video with a beautiful woman and a vampiric car, and “Run.” The band describes their sound as cinematic and I concur. There are several moments on the album that would provide the perfect soundtrack to a film. I can see Antonio Banderas with his guitarra in a Robert Rodriguez film, or imagine a scene from the HBO show True Blood where creatures of the night stalk the unsuspecting folks in Bon Temps, Louisiana. 

You can find Coyote Kid at the following links and you can even become a patron on Patreon to unlock special content. 

http://coyotekidmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/coyotekidofficial/    

https://twitter.com/coyotekidband

https://www.instagram.com/coyotekidofficial/

https://music.apple.com/us/album/femme-fatale-single/1468490521

https://open.spotify.com/artist/0MW6kFfsIdCMs4IF9WDAzb      

Ro’s Recs

September saw a slew of new releases from bands I’ve loved forever. One of the standouts was the latest from Italian metal band Lacuna Coil. Their latest album Black Anime is heavier than their previous release and full of fantastic tunes like “Layers of Time” and “Reckless,” but it’s the opener, “Anima Nera,” that has the witch in me chanting happily. Cristina Scabbia is a goddess and I urge you to give them a listen. Black Anime on Spotify

Hellyeah suffered a tremendous loss this past year with the death of beloved drummer Vinnie Paul, formerly of Pantera and Damageplan. The band soldiered on and released their album Welcome Home as a tribute to Vinnie. There are some massive grooves on this album such as “Oh My God” and “Boy” that will rip your guts out and stomp all over them and you’ll love every second of it. The track “333” will get you ready to jump up and get in the pit. There is so much raw energy in this album. Chad gray really went deep with the lyrics on this album and the anger and anguish are tangible. I know Vinnie would be proud. If you’re a new fan, get ready to fall in love. You can listen to Welcome Home on Spotify.

That’s it for November’s Merrill’s Musical Musings. I’d love to hear what you’re thankful for this month. Which band has your gratitude? Leave a comment or find me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Stay Tuned for more Musings and Rock ‘n’ Romance…  

 

Merrill’s Musical Musings: Zwaremachine Review


Greetings Horror Addicts! I’ll be your new tour guide through the melodious and sometimes macabre world of music shared with HorrorAddicts.net for your greedy consumption. I’ve been a music fan my entire life, especially the metal variety, anything you can dance to and most places in between. In my day job, I educate America’s youth, sometimes even on the subject of music. I’m also a mom of two teenagers, both of whom are huge music fans, and at night, by the light of the full moon…I write stories full of hope, love and rock ‘n’ roll that often have some sort of tie-in to horror, the occult, monsters…you name it. I want to thank Emz for bringing me out of the darkness and into the…well, more darkness, but a different darkness, full of fellow music and horror lovers. 

This month we’re listening to an industrial band out of Minneapolis called Zwaremachine. Music that can take you away to another place is exciting and always worth a listen, and upon pressing play, Zwaremachine did just that. I immediately imagined myself dressed in black leather and chains walking into the depths of a seedy nightclub in a warehouse in the middle of a bleak urban landscape full of all the cool-kid creeps and crawlers. It was easy to picture a vampire having a sip from a willing patron at the bar, or a witch telling fortunes in a dimly lit corner. Bodies are moving in time to the driving beat, reaching for that climax where the DJ drops the bass when John Wick comes blasting through with machine gunners on his tail. Any music that can drop you into a scene like that and have you anxious to experience what’s next is a win in my book. 

Zwaremachine have been on tour in Europe and the Midwest this year. They are currently working on a special edition re-release of their 2018 album “Be a Light” with worldwide distribution. In September the band will be back in Europe on the “Elektro Tanz Tour” dates in Belgium and the Netherlands with Vuduvox(FR/BE). 

Zwaremachine will be performing as full line up with Mach Fox(vocals/synth), dbot(bass/vocals) and they have recruited Dutch percussionist Dein Offizier(drums) for these shows “to give the full impact of their minimal hypnotic approach to body music.” I highly recommend that if they play near where you are you give them a listen! I’m a huge proponent of attending live shows and supporting musicians, so check them out.

Fans of the Underworld or Blade series will most likely dig their sound. Their song “Remain Unseen” (especially the VUDUVOX Remix) is an ominous track that made me think of Nitzer Ebb and Rammstein. If industrial is your bag, check out Zwaremachine.

In preparation for writing this review, I got a kick out of reading this interview with their leader Mach Fox from the Horror Addicts archives. https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/terror-trax-zwaremachine/

If you want to hear more for yourself, check out the band at these sites:

WEBSITE:http://www.zwaremachine.band/

streaming/dl: https://zwaremachine.bandcamp.com/

ig/twitter: @zwaremachine

I’ll be back next time with more music reviews, but I’d like to end each post with one of Ro’s Recs (that’s me!). For my first recommendation, I have to give it up for Slipknot’s latest We Are Not Your Kind. This album has all the rage and hostility one expects from the Iowa band, but there’s a vulnerability and urgency in the lyrics that is a welcome surprise from these veteran metalheads. I was fortunate enough to see them on the opening night of the U.S. Knotfest Roadshow and I was elated to experience the new songs live. Highlights for me include Spiders (oh yeah, you’ll keep that piano riff in your head for a long time after) and Critical Darling and A Liar’s Funeral are phenomenally heavy. Check it out, let me know what you think. You can reply here or you can always find me on the socials @rlmerrillauthor or in my evil lair at www.rlmerrillauthor.com. I can’t wait to hear what you think of Zwaremachine and the new Slipknot. 

Stay Tuned for more of Merrill’s Music Musings on HorrorAddicts.net…

Terror Trax: Ashes Fallen

Band Name: Ashes Fallen
Members: James Perry, Michelle Perry, Jason Shaw

Ashes Fallen:
Youtube
Facebook
Web

Answers by band leader James Perry

Ashes Fallen song you are excited about right now

James: I love all of our songs! I’m really happy with “Start Again”. That was the very last song we put together for the album, and we barely got it together in time, but it turned out great. I love how it sounds, the lyrics are something I really wanted to say, and I’m so proud of us for getting it done in time. Sometimes that pressure and focus from a deadline can really inspire something good.

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

James: I grew up in a house filled with classical music. I think being exposed to the classics still inspires a lot of how I write. Like most kids of my generation, I was all about the Michael Jackson “Thriller” album. He was just so cool. Later, the first time I saw   on MTV, it changed my life. I wanted to be an electric guitar player. A little later I got into Pink Floyd (like many high school kids do) and they were a huge influence… the huge sound and sound effects, the simple melodicism of David Gilmour’s leads, the depth of the lyrics… Everything changed for me again at age 15 or so when I first heard Skinny Puppy. They were my gateway drug into all this spiky, black hard-edged music I’ve come to love.

Who are your favorite artists today?

James: I still enjoy a lot of metal. Devin Townsend is my favorite musician of all time and he’s still doing amazing work. There’s so much great new dark music happening now. I just heard a post-punk band from Berlin called the Golden Apes for the first time the other day and they were just great. An amazing voice, really dynamic songwriting. A few years ago, Michelle and I saw a post-punk band from Mexicali called Silent and they completely blew our minds. Such great music and such a powerful force onstage. There are so many older artists that are still out there doing amazing work. Gary Numan’s most recent album “Savage” is possibly his best work ever. Killing Joke’s last album is just so good too. There are so many great bands here in northern California too, in and out of the goth scene. Believe me, I could go on and on.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

James: My songwriting tends to be autobiographical, so a lot of what’s inspired my writing has been my own life experiences. I occasionally get inspired just watching films or shows, sometimes I’ll hear a snippet of the soundtrack and think “what if they went THIS way instead of that way?” I find film soundtracks very inspiring anyway.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

James: Michelle and I are fortunate enough to be homeowners, and she loves working on the house. She’s making it a space where we can both be inspired to create.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

James: We’re a very new band, so at this point it was just getting our first album finished in such a short time! We’ve only been a band since February 2019. In July, we did a brief tour with our friends 13th Sky, and I really wanted us to have our album finished and ready to sell for those shows. It took one hell of a lot of time and effort from everyone to get there, but we did it!

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

James: Every show is fun in its own way! As of today, we’ve only played nine shows as a band. I think the coolest place we’ve played so far was Batcave S.F., held at the Knockout on Mission Street in San Francisco. It was wild! Lots of cool bands, drag performers, an awesome crowd… I think the most fun I’ve had at a show so far was the time we played Powerhouse Pub in Folsom on a Wednesday night. We had a decent turnout for playing late on a weeknight, and the club’s got great sound and a nice big stage which is always inspiring, and even though it was late and hot and we were all tired, we were just ON that night. Looking forward to more shows!

What are your favorite horror movies?

James: I enjoy the classics. Dracula. Frankenstein. Nosferatu. I just love the imagery and craftsmanship of those early films and what they were able to do with limited technology. Michelle showed me “Shadow of the Vampire”, a horror film about the filming of Nosferatu and I thought that was really great. I’m not into any slasher stuff, give me something atmospheric and psychological, not blood and guts. Michelle’s a huge fan of vampire films and has a massive collection. She’s also a huge fan of the Hannibal and Penny Dreadful TV series, and we’re both looking forward to the new Penny Dreadful City of Angels.

What was the scariest night of your life?

James: Maybe scary isn’t the right word, but the night I flew to New Zealand, unannounced, to ask Michelle to marry me was pretty nerve-wracking! I was so nervous she’d figure out what I was up to. But somehow I pulled off the surprise!

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

James: Anywhere and everywhere! I live for this stuff. I played in Guadalajara, Mexico as a fill-in guitarist with 13th Sky earlier this year and that was the wildest show of my life, such passionate music fans down there! I’d love to get Ashes Fallen down there as well. I also really hope we get to play in New Zealand some day so Michelle’s old friends can see her owning the stage! As for an opening act? We love it when we get to play shows with our friends. Maybe for my birthday one year I’ll set up a big show and have us and all our friends’ bands play.

What are you working on now for future release?

James: We’re pretty fully engrossed in playing live right now, but we do hope to have a new EP or single out early next year. I’m writing a few riffs here and there and thinking about which old, unfinished songs I’d like to try to explore with this band; believe me, I’ve got a ton of them! I wrote a lot of the songs on our debut album myself before we were a band, so I’m definitely looking forward to us doing more writing as a team. We’ve also been talking about putting together a proper music video for one of our songs, so watch out for that! We’ll be sharing more video footage from our live shows as well.

Final Thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

James: Go out to a show! There are so many great local, national, and international bands out in the clubs giving it their all to half-empty clubs that are struggling to keep their doors open. I love seeing shows and playing live so much and I don’t want it to die out completely.

Terror Trax: SINthetik Messiah

Band Name: SINthetik Messiah

Members: Bug Gigabyte is the only member; drums,
keyboard, guitar, vocals, programming, writing lyrics, and sound design.
Everyone else who has been apart of this project was a
temporary collaboration, especially for live shows.

Album/Song/Tour we are excited about right now.

I’m excited for my next release on the 13th “Black Sheep (Feat Hart Fortenbery )”

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

Portishead, Nine Inch Nails, Orgy and Deadsy

Who are your favorite artists today?

I have so many today, and their styles can range from classical to hardcore drum and bass.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

This question can be loaded. However, emotions and people are non-musical sources of inspiration. What is the human condition? What is the human soul? How does it affect one another? How does it affect me? The propaganda of the new age and the people who blindly follow. Spiritually and the duality of it all.  What is real, what others define as real. Because there is more of the same answer by so many, Does it make it real or have we all been deceived to further divide us?  I’m not talking about religion, I’m talking about self. How far is it when it becomes selfish or selfless?

Is there a place where you go to get inspired?

Two places that really trigger my inspiration; going out and seeing a live show or going out in the middle of a forest with a tent, hand drum and making a big fire. Sometimes dancing around it helps.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

I’ve had many achievements I’m very proud of, but when you see a class of children that are underfunded, and I’m able to provide art supplies or instruments to them, because our educational system is in the toilet here in Louisiana, that, I think is one of my biggest achievements.  The dramatic difference in their confidence and work when having the right tools makes it worth the countless hours and lack of sleep I’ve spent trying to raise money for them through my benefit television show.

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

So far the first year I played Southern Gothic Fest.  It is what really helped me spread the word of Industrial Dubstep; what I’m known for creating.  This was the first time I’ve ever played in the goth scene. This was something I’ve always dreamed about when I was a kid, because the city I’m from there is no goth scene.

What are your favorite horror movies?

Hellraiser.  The thought of a dimensional being who is into some really kinky dominatrix stuff that has no safe word is really terrifying.  haha

What was the scariest night of your life?

The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. The Boat Man and I are friends.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

I want to play in Ibiza on the beach, on a full moon with Fever Ray and Dead Can Dance. I would have more of a tribal electronic witch set planned out…only meant for that one show.

What are you working on now for future release?

I just finished reworking a track for The Other La, that was originally produced by CJ Pierce of Drowning Pool.  It should be out in a couple of months.  Now I’m working on my first full-length album that will feature the vocals of Ms Cat Hall.

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

First I want to thank HorrorAddicts.net for being so kind to me, and I want to thank the people who listen to my work.  It does mean the world to me. My love and respect goes out to all of you.

http://www.sinthetikmessiah.bandcamp.com

http://www.twitter.com/buggigabyte

http://www.instagram.com/sinthetikmessiah_official/

 

 

Terror Trax: I Ya Toyah

Band Name: I Ya Toyah

I am One Woman Army, Ania Tarnowska:
lyrics/composition, recording, production, vocals, guitar, keyboards

Website: iyatoyah.com

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

Opeth, Iron Maiden, Nine Inch Nails

Who are your favorite artists today?

I have a lot of favorite artists, varying in styles and it’s impossible to state just one as it’s endless list of talent I admire every day.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

Observation, conversation, nature

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

It is a Forest with a Bit of the Light- a spot in the woods not far from where I live. I named it myself but it’s my to-go place when I seek mental relaxation and peace.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

I’ve been honored to share the stage with Mortiis during his North American Tour, as well as with Grendel. I had a pleasure working with Rhys Fulber and have him remix one of my songs, “Flashback.” Mostly though, I feel the greatest achievement is to be a part of the amazing industrial electronic scene – it is a priceless experience.

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

I love playing at Crucible, Madison WI. I adore their stage, sound and green room plus hospitality and vibes of everyone…I love Reggies rock club in Chicago and really enjoyed playing at The Forge, Joliet. Another amazing place I cannot wait to return to is Club Anything, Milwaukee WI. Owner Todd is a sweetheart and the place has a certain magic that feeds you with very positive energy.

What are your favorite horror movies?

I love Strangers. It is more of a thriller but I like the authenticity of the plot. Psycho is another good one. Anything Hitchcock and David Lynch.

What was the scariest night of your life?

I was 12 and was on my way back from music school ( I studied guitar, piano, and vocal performance). My dad drove the car and we got into an accident. I remember being terrified that he will die…I ended up being the one that almost did- but I don’t remember it as I was already in a coma. The fear of losing my dad and having to tell my mom about it was paralyzing.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

I’d love to play at the venue called Dalhalla in Sweden. It is built on the rocks and shaped like an amphitheater. The setting in nature is absolutely magic and so is the sound. It is on my bucket list and as far as an opener/lineup goes, I don’t even know as there are many logistics involved, some of which would probably be out of my control.

What are you working on now for future release?

Currently, I’m working on releasing the remix of Puppet song done by Adoration Destroyed. Together with Lumbra Records we are filming and putting a dark-themed video for that song. I’m very excited as the remix is amazing!

Final thoughts.

I want to thank you for your support! You coming out to my live shows and supporting my releases makes what I do possible. I love you! ♥

Terror Trax: PORN the band

Band Name: PORN 

Members/ What instrument they play.

Philippe Deschemin aka Mr Strangler : Vocals, guitar, basse, synthetiser

Who writes your lyrics?

I do, Philippe aka Mr Strangler. Our current album, The Darkest of Human Desires – Act II  February 2019,  is the second part of a trilogy. The Ogre Inside – Act I is an album about inner struggle, about dark desires, how society can opresses your will. This is a fight no one can win, the Ogre that devours you from the inside always wins. The album is an invocation, a way to set the Ogre free, embrace your ”true-self” and allow your darkest desires to express themselves. It’s an incitement to act.

In this trilogy, The Ogre Inside won this inner struggle, giving birth to Mr Strangler.
In the Act II : The Darkest of Human Desires, Mr  Strangler, by embracing his “true-self “, expresses his dark impulses without limitations and has no boundaries.  With his crew, Mr Strangler commits murders and massacres. He  also invites everyone to make a step forward and act, invites you to express your darkest desires and join his death cult. For Mr Strangler and his team, the Ogre is released! Let the massacre begin!  Let the darkest of human desires be: murder.

I am working on whats happening in the Act III, maybe the final act! But I can’t tell more about it…
We are working on a possible comic book based on Mr Strangler and his crew.
I am a writer too, wrote a syfy novel and short stories. I am working on a new novel, a prequel of my first novel: Contoyen. So, I love to create characters and build stories, even in my musical work.

Contact

https://www.facebook.com/porntheband

https://porntheband.bandcamp.com/

https://www.instagram.com/philippedeschemin/

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

David Bowie,  Robert Smith ( The Cure ), Carl McCoy ( Fields of the Nephilim )

Who are your favorite artists today?

I have so many … Tool, Paradise Lost, The Cult, Fields of the Nephilim,

What non-musical things inspire your music?

Philosophy and psychology. The actual trilogy is all about psychology and philosophy.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

During my footing, I have sometimes good ideas! Sometimes!

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

Working with Tom Baker. The man worked on so great albums : The Downward Spiral – NIN, Antichrist Superstar – MM , Hellbilly Deluxe – Rob Zombie. We worked with Tom on the mastering of our current album: The Darkest of Human Desires – Act II.

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

We only have played in regular venue, but we would love to play in a scary place ( castle , church…)

What are your favorite horror movies?

To many! Shining, White zombie, Carnival of Souls, Videodrome, 28 Days Later, The Fly, Dawn of the Dead,  The Thing, The Descent, Get Out

What was the scariest night of your life?

I think, this night is to come …

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

Maybe in a mythic place like Whisky a Gogo… I would love to open for Alice Cooper, Gun’s roses, The Cure…

What are you working on now for future release?

We are recording the third act of our current trilogy, to be released in 2020!

Final thoughts.

Thank you very much for the interest. We are  PORN, you are PORN!

Terror Trax: Schultz

Band Name: Schultz

Franz : Electronics and vocals

Guitarfox : Guitars and vocals

Sandy Dynamite : Live dance performance and vocals

Who writes your lyrics?

Franz for the most, Me (Guitarfox) for the last

Website

https://blcproductions.bandcamp.com/

FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/SchultzNewAlbumSoon/

SOUNDCLOUD

https://soundcloud.com/schultz-shot-of-pain

 

Album/Song/Tour we are excited about right now.

Shot Of Pain by Schultz, the album we’re here to promote right now available since the 06th May on BLC Productions

What singers or bands inspired you growing up? Growing up ?

Well…  TV cartoons generics !

Who are your favorite artists today?

Us ! The other ones are already taken.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

Bondage SM and Satanism.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

The internet.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

Finishing this album

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

There was the Volume in Nice, a nice place for gigs, but it closed definitely.

What are your favorite horror movies?

Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Pink Flamingos

What was the scariest night of your life?

The night before the baccalaureate

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

Any stadium in the world, they all look the same, wherever the place… Ministry, Rammstein, Revco…

What are you working on now for future release?

Promoting our album. For the rest, we’ll see later.

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

Listen to our album, and buy it if you like. We needs your support.

Terror Trax: Hands of Ruin

Band Name: Hands of Ruin

Colin Z. Robertson – composition and production

https://handsofruin.com

 

https://twitter.com/HandsOfRuin

https://www.facebook.com/handsofruinmusic/

https://handsofruin.bandcamp.com

 

Album/Song/Tour we are excited about right now.

Schism was released in 2017 and had been written over the previous five years, and was the result of trying to push myself to create something harsher and darker than I otherwise would.

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

Autechre and Aphex Twin inspired me to make electronic music, and then discovering the Cold Meat Industry artists such as In Slaughter Natives, Arcana, Raison d’être and Desiderii Marginis inspired me to work on dark ambient and martial industrial music.

Who are your favorite artists today?

These days I listen to a lot of the same music I listened to when I was young, but also Triarii, Wappenbund, Of the Wand and the Moon, Wardruna, as well as more danceable industrial music such as Front Line Assembly and Haujobb.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

I’m fascinated by all sorts of non-musical sounds. Listening to engines and machinery, or natural sounds, and thinking about the processes that produced them, often gives me musical ideas. Beyond that, music for me is a way of talking about feelings that I don’t have the words to describe, or am too afraid to put into words.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

There’s something contemplative and slightly melancholic about watching the landscape go past on train journeys that I find often gets me thinking about how I’d write some music.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

I was very proud to have remixed two of Jo Quail’s tracks. She’s a superb musician and both tracks are beautiful pieces of music, so it was an honour to do that and see them released: https://joquail.bandcamp.com/album/hands-of-ruin-remixes-2

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

I rarely play live, but I played at an art gallery in under some Victorian railway arches some years ago, so I was playing in a dungeon-like environment – all old brick, dust and cobwebs. It felt like the perfect setting for my music.

What are your favorite horror movies?

Nightbreed, The Company of Wolves, Alien, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, The Fly

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

Playing live is not something that I particularly aspire to. I’m very content to make music in my bedroom. I’m not a performer. But if I were to play live then I’d want to turn the question around: who would I like to open for? It would be an honour to open for In Slaughter Natives, for example.

What are you working on now for future release?

I’m writing a soundtrack for Murnau’s Nosferatu. It’s still early days, but I’d certainly like to have it done in time for the film’s hundredth anniversary in 2022.

Anything you want to tell the listeners?

Thanks for taking the time to listen!

Terror Trax: Jon O’Bergh

Band Name: Jon O’Bergh

Members/ What instrument they play.

Jon O’Bergh / keyboards

Who writes your lyrics?

Jon O’Bergh (although many of my albums are instrumental)

https://obergh.net

Twitter: @jon_obergh

Facebook

YouTube

 

Album/Song/Tour we are excited about right now.

Ghost Story (album):  “Catacombs / Appian Way” (song)

 

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

Meshell Ndegeocello, Tori Amos, Steely Dan, Jethro Tull, Nine Inch Nails, Herbie Hancock

Who are your favorite artists today?

Janelle Monae, Todrick Hall, Beck, Little Dragon

What non-musical things inspire your music?

Horror movies, ghost stories, science fiction

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

Nowhere in particular.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

Getting to meet horror director Guillermo del Toro and sharing with him a copy of the album Ghost Story.

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

Playing on top of a mountain. This was with the band I had in college. We had to load our equipment into a gondola which ascended to the peak and swung in the wind. But the most enjoyable gig was playing for the Special Olympics. I’ve never experienced a more appreciative, enthusiastic audience.

What are your favorite horror movies?

The Conjuring. The Others, with Nicole Kidman. And two foreign movies: a Thai movie titled Shutter and the Japanese classic Onibaba.

What was the scariest night of your life?

Late one October night coming home from a gig. I parked the car and struggled to unload my synthesizer while the dry, demonic Santa Ana winds gusted. I was completely unaware that a few yards away from me, a serial killer crouched waiting to murder his next victim. The next day we found out he had broken into that neighboring apartment and murdered a young woman as she came home from a party.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

I’d like to play in the ruins of an ancient coliseum. My opening band would be Little Dragon.

What are you working on now for future release?

I recently completed an album of horror-themed songs written by one of the characters in a companion horror novel. Each song represents a classic horror character: zombie, vampire, witch, etc. The album will be released in tandem with the publication of the novel.

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

My albums span a variety of musical styles. The albums I think will especially interest patrons of Horror Addicts are 1) Specters of Twilight, an experimental electronic album inspired by Nine Inch Nails; 2) Tales from the Underground Bazaar, a collection of strange, true stories reminiscent of Laurie Anderson; and 3) Ghost Story, featured here.

Terror Trax: Laang 冷

Laang 冷
(Pronounced similar to “Long”).
Taohai Yang – all instruments, vocals, and lyrics
https://laang.bandcamp.com/

 

Album/Song/Tour you are excited about right now.     

We are doing an album release tour through Asia in June 2019!

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

The bands Alcest, Harakiri for the Sky, and Chthonic most influence the music of Laang. However, my longest-running influences, in general, have been Tool, Radiohead, and Bach.

Who are your favorite artists today?

Bands like Alcest, Agrypnie, Sylvaine, and Woods of Ypres.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

My experience I had when I was shot. This is the main inspiration for the music of Laang. After being shot, I experienced something that I consider similar to an afterlife. It was like a universe that was infinite, but nothing was physical, including myself; I was infinite in the universe. There was no light, dark, up, down, anything like that. This was something that didn’t comply by the limitations of what the human mind can perceive. I find it difficult to describe, as our own rationality limits what we can understand, let alone describe it in words. But this was a world beyond description. And in it I was completely isolated. An infinite universe for an eternity, and I was the only presence. That type of isolation is crushing. Numbing. And yet, even with this feeling of isolation, I had a gnawing feeling that I was somehow unsafe. That I was being watched or pursued. This grew into a fear beyond words, a debilitating fear. It is this fear that inspires the music of Laang.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

It is such a potent memory that I feel like I don’t require much prompting to be inspired. I have constant reminders every day as I still continue my healing. When I want to write music or lyrics, I only have to sit down and do it, and it seems to just come to me. It’s rarely if ever forced. I almost hear what I want to write in my head, and I simply transcribe what I’m hearing before the thought evades me. In that sense, the composition process for Laang has always been quite efficient.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

Well, we haven’t been around very long, but I suppose I am very proud of the fact that in only 6 months of being a band we have entered a record deal with one of our favourite labels, have scheduled a tour, and have had such a strong and welcoming reception from critics and fans alike. I am just so grateful for how things have gone so far.

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

Laang hasn’t played any shows yet, but I’ve been in bands in the past. One of the coolest places I’ve played was on a barge in a lake. I’ve always loved the water, so playing in the middle of the water was a very cool experience for me.

What are your favorite horror movies?

This is a tough question, because I feel like there are elements that I love and hate in all horror movies. Usually I am bothered by contrived clichés and lackluster acting, but am a fan of the concept. I think that the film that I enjoyed the concept of the most was Sinister, simply because the idea of photos & videos moving, watching you, or having sentience is quite an alarming one, one that I remember fearing quite a lot as a child. I think that this was an interesting approach to this concept.

What was the scariest night of your life?

Bleeding in a parking garage, being in so much pain and lost so much blood that my whole body was paralyzed, cold, and numb. And remembering the sensation of blood slipping out of my mouth.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

I would love to play on a boat. Perhaps in the North Sea off the coast of Iceland. Perhaps even just Iceland itself. Iceland is a hauntingly beautiful country with a landscape so alien and desolate. I find it one of the most visually inspiring and tranquil places on earth.

What are you working on now for future release?

Our digital album was released in December, and the physical digipak release is coming in May or June. I am focusing on working with the label to finish that first physical release. However, I wrote 2 new songs last week, so I would say that our second album is beginning to take shape. The sound of this album will be much in the same vein as the first, if not somewhat more depressive.

Final thoughts:

If you think that Laang sounds interesting, or you would like to hear more of the music then I would encourage you to find us online, check out the music, and spread the word. The more people that want Laang to play live in your city, the more likely we are to be booked on a tour there, which means we can come say hi and perform for you. I’m immensely appreciative of the support we have received so far and am looking forward to connecting with more of you in the future. Thank you so much.

https://www.facebook.com/LaangOfficial

https://www.instagram.com/laangblackmetal/

 

Chilling Chat: Episode 165 David Leinweber

chillingchat

David Leinweber is a historian with over 25 years of experience in the college classroom. He has published numerous articles, reviews, essays, and academic reference worksDavid Leinweber (including works on folklore, the occult, mythology, magic, and religion.) Dr. Leinweber is also a lifelong guitarist and pianist whose music has been featured in numerous venues, ranging from festivals and clubs to television, radio, theaters, and art galleries.

David is an amazing professor and an accomplished musician. We spoke of horror, inspiration, and the legacy of Dracula.

NTK:  Welcome to Chilling Chat, David. Thank you for chatting with me today. Could you tell us about A Song of Dracula? What is it about?

DL: A Song of Dracula is a romantic musical, loosely based on the classic 1897 novel by Bram Stoker, and also Jane Eyre.  It features a collection of original spooky songs, along with a few tavern singalongs.

It is about a young girl named Madeleine who arrives as a governess at a great estate in England, like Jane Eyre.  There is a romantic interest with the head of the estate (also like Jane Eyre).  However, witchcraft, vampirism, and a ghost enter into the story.  I really wanted it not to be gory or sensationalistic, however—no hissing or blood.  It’s a romantic story.

NTK: What inspired you to write this musical?

DL: Well, I’ve been a lifelong horror fan, especially of the old Victorian novels like Carmilla and Dracula, as well as the classic horror films.  I wanted this to be a production that evoked the romance and the historical/geographical settings of the old films, especially Hammer Films.  I also wanted it to be something that could range in targeted audiences from adult theater groups to community or high-school productions.

Interestingly, the word vampire does not appear in the story, though it’s obvious that is what is going on.

NTK: How much research went into A Song of Dracula? Did you try to incorporate songs appropriate to the time period?

DL: I would say that the play/musical reflects my long interest in horror, romance and gothic lit, if not flat-out research.  I did try to evoke spooky songs that have the spirit of a gothic estate.  There are also some tavern tunes that would be good for sailors or other port-city type characters right out of central casting (Laughs.)  However, I think the songs could be interpreted in a number of different ways.  I mostly envision them as spooky, romantic ballads.  But several could be done in a range of styles, including a few that could be hard-rock with electric guitar, and a light show.  I think a lot would depend on the director’s ideas.  For me, though, it’s a romantic Victorian gothic story, first and foremost.

NTK:  What do you think the attraction to Dracula is? Why does he have such a lasting legacy?

Bela LugosiDL: Great question.  I certainly think one could point to the classic psychological themes, like the fear of death, or subliminal sexual desires.  I also think that a good vampire story often has a folklore quality to it, and evokes a sense of being bound in time.  I sometimes think the classic elements of the Dracula tale don’t appear as much in vampire stories of the present-day when so many film studios want to update the classic elements.  Call it cliche if you want, but some of the classic horror tropes were very powerful and we should try to transmit them to the next generation.

NTK:  How did you discover horror? How old were you?

DL: Pretty young.  There was a guy on TV in Detroit when I was a kid called Sir Graves Ghastly—a Saturday matinee movie host who came out of a coffin hosted old horror movies, told bad horror jokes, read kids’ birthday cards, and all that.  I used to watch him every Saturday.  I remember all the “House of” horror movies he showed, which were truly classics, among many others.  I also was a big Dark Shadows fan, though pretty young at the time.

NTK: Do you have a favorite horror film?

DL: Another great question.  Hard to answer though (Laughs.)  I actually like some of the quiet, spooky films like Let’s Scare Jessica to Death.  But I think the Hammer films are my favorite, especially the three horror films they did that were loosely based on CarmillaThe Vampire Lovers, To Love a Vampire.  There was something special about the horror films of the late sixties and early seventies—it was still the hippie era, with all the creativity and mood that came out of it.  The fact that there were Drive-in Movies back then also created a big demand for lots of movies.  They weren’t all exactly Citizen Kane or The Godfather, but they were usually pretty fun to watch, and often surprisingly good.  That was also before Star Wars came out, which changed Hollywood into more of a Blockbuster mindset and the tasteful little movies, including B films and Drive-in Movie titles, became less common.

NTK: As a musician, did you find these soundtracks inspiring?

DL: Yes, a lot of those films had fine soundtracks.  The film I mentioned Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, in particular, had a really distinct soundtrack— quiet piano and flutes and guitar lines that really created that sense of loneliness, haunted locales, and, towards the end, isolation and fear.  That soundtrack really gave that sense of going back in time.  The Hammer Film, Lust for a Vampire, also had a really strange, very ‘sixties’ sounding tune—“Strange Love.”  It’s almost comical to watch it today because it can seem dated and out of place in the film, but it was actually a pretty eerie musical effect.

NTK: Who do you think portrayed the best Dracula?

DL: Of course, I like the Lugosi and Lee Draculas.  But Lon Chaney also did a good job and John Carradine.  But a sometimes underrated and/or less noted version was the Frank Langella 1979 Dracula, a very fine production.

NTK:  Do you have a favorite horror novel?

DL: Well, I guess the obvious choices would be Dracula and Carmilla.  But beyond those two classics, I remember that Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot really scared the heck out of me when I first read it, along with the 1979 miniseries.  When I was a kid, I used to read a lot of the cheap paperback horror novels, too, though I don’t have time for that anymore and I’m not sure if there is as big a market for them as there used to be.  Horror novels were kind of like horror movies.  They made a lot of them, which meant that there were often some quite good ones mixed in with others that weren’t’ so good, but it was always fun to read through the find the gems.

NTK: Do you think there’s any truth to be found in the folklore surrounding vampires? Do you think there are personalities who could be considered vampiric?

DL: Another great question.  Well, I certainly can see how the folklore had its roots—all the classic fears of premature burial, blood-borne diseases, or wasting away.  I also think the classic vampire motif that mixes terrible fear with desire is very powerful, for everybody.

And yes, I do think there are people who could be considered vampiric.  Not sure I want to give any names (Laughs.)  I think there are people who have a way of draining your energy and vitality.  They get stronger and richer, while you get weaker, more uncertain, and lose your zest for life.  But I guess the most classic vampire is a romantic attraction, and sometimes even kind of tragic and sad in the way they kill what they love.

NTK: David, what does the future hold for A Song of Dracula? Where can Horror Addicts see the musical? And, do you have any other upcoming horror projects?

DL: Well, I’m really hoping to have a good theater production do the musical.  Of course, Dark ShadowsI’d even love to have it turned into a film.  But first and foremost, it’s a theatrical production.  I’m still working on finding the right theater to debut the show, but hopefully soon.  I also enjoy writing ghost songs and am compiling a list of ghost songs to release as a song cycle.  My song “Daphne,” about the Kate Jackson character Daphne Harridge on Dark Shadows, remains my favorite song and it was the ghost song I wrote that got me the most inspired along these musical and storytelling lines.  Kate Jackson loves the song, which was encouraging.

NTK: Thank you so much for joining me, David. It’s not often we gain insight from an awesome educator like yourself.

DL: Thanks again for your interest in my musical and thoughts about horror.

Terror Trax: David Leinweber

David Leinweber
Guitar, Piano, Lyricist
https://www.facebook.com/david.leinweber.73

Album/Song/Tour you are excited about right now.

I played some of my ghost songs like “Daphne and Little Sarah” at the Popular Culture Association Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. in April.

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

I grew up listening to Eric Clapton, Cat Stevens, and hard rock like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Mott the Hoople.  I was also raised in Detroit and love a good bar band.

Who are your favorite artists today?

I think some of the best music today, that I come across, is in films.  I enjoyed “Shallow” by Brad Cooper and Lady Gaga.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

Movies, books, memories of people and past times, history.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

Detroit, Spain, and long walks.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

When Kate Jackson, the star of Dark Shadows who played the beautiful ghost Daphne Harridge, called to tell me how much she loved my song “Daphne”.  We talked for about thirty minutes. She told me a lot of inside stores about the old Dark Shadows show and some of the stars.  She loved the song Daphne and said it really captured the spooky, atmospheric, romantic nature of the character.

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

Also, I was invited two times to perform as the Flatpicking Professor in Scotland for the Scottish Bluegrass Association.

What are your favorite horror movies?

The Vampire Lovers with Madeleine Smith, Dracula with Frank Langella, The Wicker Man, and almost anything by the old Hammer studios.

What was the scariest night of your life?

Walking home from partying at a friend’s house after seeing the Salem’s Lot TV miniseries.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band? 

An English pub with Eric Clapton.

What are you working on now for future release?

I’m hoping to get my musical Dracula finished and done.  Also, I’m working on a new cycle of story songs.

Final thoughts:

It’s all about the song, and every song has a story.

 

Chilling Chat with Harry Husbands

chillingchat

Harry Husbands spends the majority of his day in an office. In the evening, he writes furiously all the disturbed imaginings dwelled upon while completing banal admin tasks.Harry Husbands He crafts tales with subtle terror that are dipped in humor and roasted slowly over an infectious passion for all things horror related. He also performs and records songs from his house in Peterborough, England.

Harry is an unassuming, gentleman of horror. We spoke of writing, inspirations, and influences. 

NTK: Welcome to Chilling Chat, Harry! Thank you for chatting with me today.

HH: No problem at all, Naching. Thanks for having me.

NTK: How old were you and what was the first thing that got you interested in horror?

HH: It’s hard to say exactly what age it was because I always remember being interested in horror. A very early memory is going to—what we would call—a fancy dress shop around Halloween time. I was so intrigued by the scary masks and props.

NTK: Did you like horror movies as a kid?

HH: I loved horror movies as a kid, even though they’d give me nightmares. I was scared of a lot of things, but I was equally fascinated. I watched The Exorcist when I was quite young after begging my parents. I couldn’t sleep for many nights afterward, but it was worth it.

NTK: Did this love of horror movies and horror lead to writing? Why did you start writing horror?

HH: Absolutely. I was massively into Goosebumps—as most other wee ones were at the time—and I thought the idea of being a writer was really cool which probably tells you a lot about the kind of kid I was. My Nan had an old typewriter and I got to work on my first novel. It was about being stranded at sea and surrounded by all kinds of monsters. I think it ended up being three pages long but I was hooked on the notion of being able to create my own scary stories. The fact that I could weave creepy tales from my own noggin was addictive.

NTK: You’re an accomplished musician and songwriter. How does this talent transfer to your writing?

HH: It’s all about manipulating the form to try and evoke an emotional reaction from the listener or reader. They’re completely different ways of doing it, but the basic idea is the same. In music, you can use a dissonant chord, or a slightly out of tune note; in writing, you can use a well-placed adjective or a short, punchy sentence. A lot of my songs tend to end up as stories, and two of the albums I’ve done have been concept albums. I guess storytelling is just a part of who I am.

NTK: Do you have a muse?

HH: I don’t have a muse—not in particular anyway. It sounds like a cop-out answer, but I’m inspired by so many things it’s hard to pin it on just one.

NTK: Where do your ideas come from? Do they just come to you out of the blue? Do you dream them? Or both?

HH: Everywhere and anywhere. We live in a fascinating world, in fascinating—and scary—times, so there’s plenty of places to pick ideas from. I’ll have a bunch go through my head and it’s about picking a good one then nurturing, feeding, and burping it; eventually, it will become something bigger and often completely different from the initial image or thought that entered my head.

NTK: How did your story,“Goose Meadows,” from Campfire Tales come about?

HH: Like most story ideas I’ve had, it came partly from a real-life situation and partly from the dark place in my brain where all the horror I’ve absorbed lurks and festers. Goose Meadows is a real place, not far from where I live, and I did drunkenly walk around it at night time after someone’s 18th birthday party. I didn’t come across anything eerie or supernatural, only a large amount of litter. Throw it in the dang trash, folks.

NTK: That’s amazing you came up with this story from such a mundane incident. Do you exert much control over your characters? Do they have free will?

HH: I’m definitely a seat-of-the-pants writer so I have little control. I don’t plan anything other than a very basic premise for the story; it’s up to them how it turns out.

NTK: You wrote “Goose Meadows” for the Next Great Horror Writer Contest. Did you enjoy the contest? What was your overall experience?

HH: There were elements of the contest I enjoyed very much, and other elements I didn’t enjoy so much. I had only just begun to take writing seriously when I entered so it was eye-opening, for sure. I started to realise just how many writers there were in the world all doing exactly the same thing as me, and that’s equally inspiring and kind of soul-crushing in a way. I suddenly didn’t feel like I was doing anything that was worth selling to a publisher. I have never had much confidence in myself and that made it difficult for me. After either not hearing anything about something I wrote on the podcast, or having negative comments, I started to try and tailor my later pieces so they would do well in the contest which was a big mistake. What’s so great about fiction is that every writer has something unique to bring to the table, based on their own lives, and I think I should have stuck to what makes me unique rather than trying to fit into what might get me some good feedback or better points.

NTK: What do you think makes a good Campfire Tale?

HH: It has to be scary. Simple as that. It’s the only reason people actually do the whole campfire tale thing—they want to be scared. Annoyingly, as a writer, that’s one of the hardest things to do.

NTK: What authors have influenced you?

HH: So many! As I mentioned the Goosebumps books earlier, I’d have to say R.L Stine. The obvious answer, Stephen King. There’s also Shirley Jackson, M.R James, Adam LG Nevill, and many, many more.

NTK: You have a very dry wit and sense of humor. Do you enjoy comedic horror?

HH: I do, very much so. They’re my two favourite genres combined. I love when I find comedic horror done right because I think it’s so hard to do. Being funny is tough, being scary is tough, being funny and scary is extremely difficult and rarely done right. It’s such a treat when it is, though.

NTK: Which horror/comedy movie is your favorite?

HH: It’s tough,campfiretalesfinal but I’d have to go with Shaun of the Dead.

NTK: Is that your favorite horror movie? What is your favorite?

HH: I’d say The Exorcist is my favourite. For me, it has yet to be beaten in terms of sheer terror.

NTK: Do you have a favorite horror TV show?

HH: I really loved the Masters of Horror series because I enjoyed seeing all of the director’s different styles.

NTK: Harry, what does the future hold for you? What do Addicts have to look forward to?

HH: I really have no idea what the future holds for me. I’m just gonna carry on creating in whatever capacity feels good to me. At the moment, I’m mostly into writing and recording music and might have some new songs uploaded soon. I should have a story coming out in a new anthology, hopefully early next year, that’s admittedly more bizarre than horror. I dunno, we’ll see!

NTK: Thank you for chatting with me today, Harry. It was fun.

HH: No need to thank me, Naching. It’s been fun for me too.

Addicts, you can find Harry on Twitter.