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 : In Chasms Deep

 

In Chasms Deep

Greetings HorrorAddicts! I hope these musings find you dim, dismal, and dissolute. Not really. I hope you and yours are doing well and that your life has returned to some sense of normalcy. But since we are going to be discussing black metal today, I thought I’d get you into the right headspace. For those of you, like me, who are new to the subgenre, black metal is characterized by screaming vocals, atmospheric sounds that don’t necessarily follow a typical song structure and pagan and/or satanic themes. The subgenre has received criticism due to the actions of some members of the community, but as with all music, it is unfair to judge all participants by the actions of the few. Metal music has healing properties and many of us turn to metal of all types to get us through the difficult times in our lives. 

In Chasms Deep is a one-man black metal project from the United States who has been making music since 2011. Their latest release, The Wind and Her Lament, draws the listener into a melodic journey from the beginning track. The pieces flow from hauntingly inviting to explosive rainbows of sonic power. The album draws on the four elements to give the listener an immersive experience. Tracks like “A Suicide in Paradise” build from melancholy piano to dream-like guitar sequence to thundering, furious shredding before sinking back into pensive strumming and those haunting piano notes once more. It’s probably my favorite track on the album. “Abyssgazer” piqued my interest with the organ parts in the beginning as well. 

If you’re new to black metal, I’d recommend giving The Wind and Her Lament a listen. The artist has created a landscape of beauty in darkness, which is a place many of us HorrorAddicts love to dwell. I’ll definitely be checking out some of their earlier work on Spotify. 

How about you? Have any black metal recommendations? As a bona fide metalhead, I’m always down to check out new music, so send me an email, rlmerrillauthor at gmail dot com or leave a comment. Thanks for joining me on this musical journey. Stay Tuned for more 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 : Palace of Tears


Review of Palace of Tears

Greetings HorrorAddicts. 

It’s getting close, my lovelies. How soon do you pull out your Halloween decorations? When do you start the scary movie marathons and pull out your frightening reads? We’ve got some melancholy darlings in review this time around as well as some Ro’s Recs.

This edition of Merrill’s Musical Musings is going to take you to a dark and dream-like state, with a little romance added in for flavor. The duo known as Palace of Tears has a very interesting backstory that includes a shared love of goth/dark music genres and performing arts. There was a move, followed by some Mardi Gras debauchery, and then the Great Pause, which has affected all of us in different ways. The album Of Ruination rose from these circumstances and listeners will definitely experience the wide array of emotions the artists experienced during these dark and anxious times. 

The tracks are all quite hypnotic. Some tracks are soothing, and others ride that edge of disturbing, adding a slight unease to your mood. The title track “Of Ruination” slices into you with distorted guitars then soothes the wound with ethereal vocals. Standout tracks that really show the artists’ range include “Cold Dead Skin” and “Masque L’Intrigue.” The production value was fantastic as well. Check out Palace of Tears and add them to your spooky, gloomy playlists. 

This month in Ro’s Recs, you should definitely check out Ice Nine Kills’ video for “Hip To Be Scared” and Twelve Foot Ninja’s “Long Way Home” for some horror-inspired music videos. And if you aren’t following Vision Video on Instagram, you’re missing all the Goth Dad jokes you can possibly stand! Let me know what you think.

I’d love to hear from you. What are you most looking forward to? Hit me up in the comments or at rlmerrillauthor@ gmail.com Thanks for checking in and Stay Tuned for more Merrill’s Musings.

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R.L. Merrill writes stories full of hope, love, and rock ‘n’ roll with a twist of spooky and creepy. You can find Ro on all the socials @rlmerrillauthor and for more about her books, check out www.rlmerrillauthor.com

 

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Batavia

Greetings HorrorAddicts! This month’s review is a bit of a concept project and that got me thinking about some of my favorite concept albums. I’m excited to share them with you, but first, a little about Batavia. 

This husband and wife duo shares a love for punk and industrial music and has created a project that delves into both of these sounds to build a moody piece about the evil that humans do to one another. “Quite Mean Spirited” gets off to a rocky start, but by track three it had my attention. Track four, “Finis,” and especially five, “The Absinthian,” were solid performances, and I gained an appreciation for the piece and where they were headed. Inspired by a true story of violence out of 1930s Soviet Russia, Batavia explores loneliness and fear during a time when many folks are well-versed in those emotions. I admire their creativity and passion and will check out more of their work in the future. You can find more about Batavia on Bandcamp. 

Recently my musician pal Ted Levin released a series of videos featuring his original music set to horror imagery from the film Begotten (1989). It’s eerie, disturbing, and so very, very cool. He has a sound that harkens back to Pink Floyd with sprinkles of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden mixed in for extra flavor. Check out “Bound” and “Sky and the Sun” on YouTube for a creepy good time. 

Nothing is more fascinating to me as a music fan than when artists open up about their lives and let us into their world. One of my favorite examples of this is Alice Cooper’s From The Inside. The album explores his experience in a mental institution as a result of his alcoholism. It’s witty, funny, dark, and vulnerable, and it’s one of my all-time favorite albums. “How You Gonna See Me Now” is a brilliant song that touches me on a very personal level. 

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/7FFpqmbQxj3u4Q7aLGNox0

Another concept album that takes me back is Styx’s Paradise Theater. The double album cover shows the dilapidated theater on the inside and a brilliant shining version facing outward. I wanted to know all of the stories that went on there when I listened with my mom, dancing around the house and trying not to bump the record player (I always did).

 https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/6PhLTeuN0G894bdSBTCwUF

That’s it for this month’s Merrill’s Musical Musings. Be sure to hit me up on the socials or leave a comment and share with me your favorite concept albums. 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

Merrill’s Musings – Funhouse Collective

Greetings HorrorAddicts. I hope this month’s Merrill’s Musings finds you happy, healthy, and ready to rock. I am a sucker for a great cover song, and Dutch artist Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone” is an excellent choice. This month we’re checking out Funhouse Collective’s creepy, sinister version of this classic hit. The Funhouse Collective is the brainchild of Johnathan Mooney who had gotten the inspiration to start this new endeavor as a “collective” of multiple musicians and artists to collaborate with on different sounds and songs. Gone is the 80s rock sound, and in its place, we’ve got an alternative take that makes for a decent homage. The spirit of the song remains in their delivery, which is a little uneven but is a fun reminder of the horror roots of the decade. All three versions of the song have a different take on the tune and a variety of beats and synthesizers are used in the artist’s arrangement. I appreciate the effort to bring a little dark nostalgia. Anything to take me back to the 80s for an audio visit is fine by me. This is the artists’ first collaboration, and I look forward to seeing them take some other old favorites for a spin.

What are some of your favorite 80s tracks? Or maybe you’ve got a great cover to share? Hit me up in the comments or on the socials @rlmerrillauthor and share your favorites! Here’s a playlist of some of my favorite covers done recently by current bands. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/404GT0TGFW2D8YBVABbR9t?si=8UrYSVO5QNWefE_4tfAT-A

Stay Tuned for more of Merrill’s Musical Musings… 

 

Ro’ Recs : Vision Video’s Upcoming Album

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 a danceability and hopefulness that makes 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. Stay Tuned for more Merrill’s Musical Musings and Ro’s Recs…

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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. 

 

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 : Vexillary

Greetings HorrorAddicts I bring you some groovy reviews and righteous recommendations this year to keep your tuneage vibing. Or something like that. Despite the insanity that was 2020, many artists were able to come up with inspired material and I’ll share some great picks with you over the coming months. 

Vexillary is an instrumental project by New York based Reza Seirafi that was influenced by the artist’s love of blending components to create something new. A chemist in his other life, he likes to take seemingly inharmonious sounds and make them fit together. Tracks like “Maritime Panic” offer additional sonic adventures with each new listen. “Annihilation” has a manic feel that leaves the listener grasping at the elements and trying to find something to hold onto. There is a feeling of doom, especially in the opening notes of “Forged Skies” but this offering of electronica is never gloomy, and by the time you reach “The Geneticist,” the mad scientist vibe of the SurViolence is complete.

Vexillary is music for those who need an intense infusion with a side of chaos to make their aural journey complete. Give it a listen and let us know what you think. 

Want to share your favorite music from 2020? Comment below or email me at rlmerrillauthor@gmail.com. The next Ro’s Recs will be less of a “best of” and more of a “here’s what you don’t want to miss.” I’ll see you soon, my HorrorAddict Darlings. In the meantime, Stay Tuned for more 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 Hope, Love, and Queeromance posts over at www.queeromanceink.com

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.

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. 

From The Vault: Midnight Syndicate’s Monsters of Legend

 

MOL

 

Reblogged from 12/14/2013

If you are a fan of the classic Universal monster movies, like Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolf-man, then I think you will enjoy Midnight Syndicate’s latest album, Monsters of Legend. Listening to the tracks, one cannot help but feel the stirring moments from these classic films. In fact, as an experiment, I watched the great silent classic “Nosferatu” with this album in the background acting as a soundtrack, and I thought it provided some amazing atmosphere. It just lends itself so well to the genre, no matter what was playing.

My other Midnight Syndicate albums typically get played only around Halloween, and it is obvious this one will join them in such a rotation. However, I think a good classic horror tale can be watched anytime, and I dare say the same can be said for this album.

It’s very hard to pick out a favorite track on a collection like this. I will say that all of the tracks have been very inspirational for background while I am writing. This is something I have done with other Midnight Syndicate records, but this one by far has the most cinematic feel of them all and lends itself the most in my mind.

Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka have outdone themselves with this album, and after all of the years of gothic goodness they have produced, that fact really shines. Whether you are a new fan or old of Midnight Syndicate, or you are a fan of classic horror movies, Monsters of Legend will not disappoint.

Midnight Syndicate

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: Ro’s Recs /Women Get Spooky

Ro’s Recs: Women in Metal 

Heavy Metal and Horror will forever be intertwined. Ever since the first notes were played by founding fathers Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, the two genres began a relationship that is symbiotic. Women didn’t always have a role front and center in the music, but that, my fellow horroraddicts, is changing. 

The women carrying the dark torch in music these days are inspirational and powerful. Their musical styles and their backgrounds may vary, but they’re continuing to prove that women can rock hard and they continue to explore the dark recesses of society that horror fans love to dwell in. Check out these bands and find some new favorites. 

Spiritbox, hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, features lead singer Courtney LaPlante, whose voice is absolutely mesmerizing. From their name to the imagery in their videos and their dark lyrics, Spiritbox is a horror fan’s dream band. I guarantee if you give a listen, LaPlante’s vocals will have you spellbound. 

In this Moment from Las Vegas, Nevada, are veterans of the metal scene. Rock Goddess Maria Brink not only brings her unique vocal styling full of emotion and drama to the band’s hard rock sound, but her lyrics explore everything from the horrors women experience to dark fairy tales and pagan symbolism. If you EVER have the opportunity to see the band live, do not miss out. Here is a clip from a collaboration with the Metal God, Rob Halford of Judas Priest.    

 The Napalm label’s artist Tetrarch has a sound that will appeal to fans of Linkin Park as well as heavier metal bands like The Amity Affliction. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, and now LA-based, the band features guitar player Diamond Rowe who proves that chicks can rock hard! She was also the first Black female lead guitarist to be featured in Metal Hammer magazine. Their video for I’m Not Right has a horror feel to it that I can totally vibe with. Anyone who’s been bullied can relate! 

Code Orange, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a band I discovered after hearing Corey Taylor from Slipknot rave about them. Their music has an intensity to it that reminds me of Slipknot and is filled with time changes, unique sounds, and creepy effects that make my black heart happy. The video for Underneath, which features guitarist Reba Meyers on vocals, is a sci-fi/horror show that all of my fellow horroraddicts will dig. Check out the band and the video, which was directed by @maxmoorefilms

 

And on the harder edge of the metal scene, you can find long-time metalcore veterans Straight Line Stitch from Knoxville, Tennessee. Lead vocalist Alexis Brown is fierce. Her vocal stylings travel effortlessly from screams to melodic choruses. Check out their video for Black Veil.

I am always seeking out the best in new music and you can read my reviews and recs here on HorrorAddicts.net as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @rlmerrillauthor. 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 Hope, Love, and Queeromance posts over at www.queeromanceink.com

 

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Vexillary

Greetings HorrorAddicts and welcome to a new year! I plan to bring you some groovy reviews and righteous recommendations this year to keep your tuneage vibing. Or something like that. Despite the insanity that was 2020, many artists were able to come up with inspired material and I’ll share some great picks with you over the coming months. 

Vexillary is an instrumental project by New York based Reza Seirafi that was influenced by the artist’s love of blending components to create something new. A chemist in his other life, he likes to take seemingly inharmonious sounds and make them fit together. Tracks like “Maritime Panic” offer additional sonic adventures with each new listen. “Annihilation” has a manic feel that leaves the listener grasping at the elements and trying to find something to hold onto. There is a feeling of doom, especially in the opening notes of “Forged Skies” but this offering of electronica is never gloomy, and by the time you reach “The Geneticist,” the mad scientist vibe of the SurViolence is complete.

Vexillary is music for those who need an intense infusion with a side of chaos to make their aural journey complete. Give it a listen and let us know what you think. 

Want to share your favorite music from 2020? Comment below or email me at rlmerrillauthor@gmail.com. The next Ro’s Recs will be less of a “best of” and more of a “here’s what you don’t want to miss.” I’ll see you soon, my HorrorAddict Darlings. In the meantime, Stay Tuned for more 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 Hope, Love, and Queeromance posts over at www.queeromanceink.com

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.

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 : Ro’s Recs October

Ro’s Recs October

Hey HorrorAddicts! I hope you all are staying safe and insane—I mean healthy—during these peculiar times, and I hope, like me, you are taking advantage of all the PHENOMENAL horror offerings this season! MAN! What a great time to be a horror fan! 

One of the best films I’ve watched recently is the Shudder film The Mortuary Collection, directed by Ryan Spindell and starring Clancy Brown. A nod to anthology films like Creepshow and Tales of the Crypt, The Mortuary Collection is at turns ominous, creepy, campy, and MAN does it ROCK! I found myself digging the music so much I whipped out the old iPhone and used Shazam! to try to find out who was responsible for these groovy tunes. Much to my chagrin, the tunes were nowhere to be found.

But thanks to my pal Google, I did a little more digging and I discovered the culprits: The Mondo Boys. This duo has been making music together since they were fifteen and are not only quite adept at creating hauntingly beautiful scores, but at writing “lyric-and-vocal” pieces as well.

For this film, they had the challenge of creating an Elfman-esque/Potter-ish score as well as tunes to go with different eras portrayed in the film. You had a Frat-boy-gone-bad tune in “Little Lover,” a funky throwback in “Suicide,” and the 60s reminiscent back-and-forth in “Find Me In The Fall” that suck you into the theme of that section of the film as though you’d switched on a radio station made of the exact ingredients necessary to evoke the desired emotion. You know it’s the perfect soundtrack when you’re pulling up iTunes or Spotify to download the songs. Ahem…Mondo Boys, if you’re reading, will you get right on that? In the meantime, you can stream the songs on their website.

So, the next time you’re watching a film and think “huh, I wonder who wrote that song? It’s perfect for this scene,” you just might discover that The Mondo Boys are responsible. You can find their website at https://www.mondoboys.com and I encourage you to check out their other projects. The Mortuary Collection is a great film. Check it out and I guarantee you that you’ll be smiling so wide your face will ache by the time it’s through!

That’s it for this month. Stay Tuned for more Merrill’s Musical Musings and Ro’s Recs…

Terror Trax: #190 Shadow Fashion

Shadow Fashion

Members/ What instruments they play.

Patrick Fears – Vocals/Synth

Steve Salcido – Guitar

Svia Svenlava – Drums

Chuck Fears – Synth


Website 

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

Really looking forward to catching The Birthday Massacre on tour right now. Huge fan and they always put on a killer live show!

 

 

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

The Misfits, Nine Inch Nails, Mike Patton (Faith No More), Guns N Roses

Who are your favorite artists today?

The Midnight, Gunship, Timecop 1983. Lots of Synthwave!!

What non-musical things inspire your music?

Dreams, nightmares, life, death, hopes and fears.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

There’s not really a specific place I go to to because for me inspiration tends to hit at random times. When inspiration does hit I try to embrace that moment by hitting the studio as fast as I can to truly capture the vibe of what I’m feeling.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

We’re pretty proud of the two music videos we’ve released so far and can’t wait to work on the third.

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

In 2017 we played The Lovecraft Bar in Portland, Oregon and it was sick!!! From the aesthetic of the bar to the people we met there, we just fell in love and would love to go back again someday.

What are your favorite horror movies?

I absolutely love old school horror movies especially from the 1980’s. That’s the stuff I grew up on and they really don’t make them like they used to. I love everything from the musical scoring to the make up and visual FX of that era.

What was the scariest night of your life?

Years ago we were in Laredo Texas playing a gig with our horror punk band when a riot broke out in the streets as we were standing outside. All we saw was a mob of people running and heard gunshots blasting so we all kinda just scattered and ran into abandoned buildings to escape. I for sure thought we were gonna die that night but as soon as everything settled we got the hell out of there!

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

It would be a dream to play Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig Germany and have Trash Batz open.

What are you working on now for future release?

We’re currently working a cover song that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile now.  It’s a classic 90’s pop dance song which we’ll also be doing a video for. You’ll see it hopefully soon.

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

We really appreciate everyone who takes the time to listen to our music, read this interview or just acknowledge what we are doing here. Much love!

Merrill’s Musical Musings – Isolation

Greetings and Salutations. I come to you from a very eerie sepia-toned day in September and bring some musical goodness to ease your troubled minds. I hope you, like me, are taking some solace in the fact that the most glorious time for all horror lovers looms near, and with it, may we embrace our darkness and all that is spooky and creepy. 

This month we are checking out the digital album Mechants by Isolation. Their experimental music, which you can find on Bandcamp, is a combination of an 80s horror soundtrack and a Roisin Murphy tune. According to their artist bio, Isolation project “is a soundtrack-based project that has been created by two UK-based collaborators. The style of music can range from horror, thriller, ambient, sci-fi, and more.” The artists state they are influenced by David Lynch films, and you can definitely pick up that vibe by listening. I tested out my new SkullCandy wireless headphones on this album and I couldn’t stand still. Instrumental music doesn’t always hold my attention, but these tracks make so many twists and turns that the listener wouldn’t necessarily expect and I found myself getting lost in the music. Standout tracks for me were “Never Knowing Napier,” the disturbing “Dr. Quinn,” and then the track “Edwards Arkham” had me feeling like the walls were closing in, very apropos of the isolation and claustrophobia of our quarantine times. Not all of the tracks had a consistent beat, but the music lends itself to modern dance choreography, film and TV soundtracks, and for the average listener, it makes a good accompaniment to your run/walk/workout. 

Ironically the cover art looks very much like the atmosphere outside my house today. It features a firelit sky in reds and oranges with deadened trees and smoke, which definitely reflects the many ways the world is on fire at the moment. I hope you’ll give this album a listen and pick it up if you’re so inclined. Bandcamp has been doing a great job supporting communities in need this summer and I love to see people support them in their endeavors. I think we’ll eventually see this duo doing scores for TV/Movies and I look forward to more of their work.

Thanks for joining me this month and Stay Tuned for Ro’s Recs coming soon. Enjoy the most wonderful time of the year…

Terror Trax: #189 Lucifer Fulci

Lucifer Fulci

Lucifer does all the writing and playing of the bass and guitars, studio drummers.


Website 

www.LuciferFulci.com
Twitter: @FulciLucifer
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LuciferFulci/
Instagram: lucifer.fulci

 


What album, tour, or song are you excited about now? 

The next one, almost done for 2020.

 

What singers or bands inspired you growing up? 

Testament, Black Sabbath, Celtic Frost

Who are your favorite artists today? 

Burning Witches, Behemoth, The Misfits

What non-musical things inspire your music? 

Horror, Halloween and the supernatural

Is there a place where you go to be inspired? 

Anywhere…at night.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? 

Being able to inspire younger musicians.

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

I have not performed my solo work live. When I was in penis flytrap years ago, the coolest place was maybe the whiskey in Hollywood or maybe in Europe

What are your favorite horror movies? 

The Witch, Hereditary, Heavy Metal, Dawn of the Dead.

What was the scariest night of your life? 

One of many included a night in the haunted estate of Charlie Chapin in Los Angeles.

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

I would love to play in Europe again and play with Burning Witches. They rock!

What are you working on now for future release? 

The new Lucifer record. Its a lot of good, new music with great players backing me up!

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

Thank you for all the support over the years. From Penis Flytrap, my solo work, Lords of October…all of it. I love you all!

Book Anniversary : HorrorAddicts.net Press Presents – eHorror Bites 4: Requiem in Frost

RFBANNER

On this day of Mabon, HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present the next book in their eHorror Bites series. eHorror Bites 4: Requiem in Frost is the newest work of Next Great RFJFHorror Writer Contest winner, Jonathan Fortin.

BLACK METAL LIVES!

Located in the deep frostbitten woods of Norway, Ingrid’s new home is old, spooky, and possibly haunted. Guttural screams wake Ingrid and her mother nightly. When they discover the shrieks belong to deceased former occupant and extreme metal musician, Skansi Oppegård, Ingrid investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death. Hoping to exorcise Skansi’s ghost, she talks her mom into being part of a metal band. Oppegård’s last musical creation awakens forces beyond Ingrid’s understanding and causes Skansi’s murderer to resurface. In the battle between a madman and zombies, metal may be the only weapon she has.

A Peek Inside

REQUIEM IN FROST

When I opened my eyes, it was still dark—probably after midnight. When I took off my headphones, I didn’t hear screaming. However, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

Someone was standing in the corner of my room.

He was tall and muscular, with long, ragged hair. Smeared skeletal makeup covered his face, mingling with open scars. His torso was splashed with a fresh coat of crimson, dripping all over the floor, but drippiest of all was the huge axe in his hand. As I considered the growing red pool at his feet, I found myself wondering where all that blood had come from…

Is Mom all right?

The thought hit me with the force of a speeding train. If the ghost had hurt Mom, he could hurt me, too. Perhaps it should have been obvious, but I’d never felt threatened until that moment. My heart stopped as I lay there, paralyzed in bed, fearing he would kill me, and that he’d killed Mom already.

The spirit approached my bed, his huge axe dripping a river onto the floor. I tried to muster up the courage to run, but my legs were frozen in place. All too quickly, he was right beside me, raising his axe high.

“Skansi…” It came out before I could stop it, the squeak of a girl much younger than myself.

The spirit halted, surprise in his bulging eyes. Perhaps he hadn’t expected me to know his name.

“Someone killed you, didn’t they?” I asked, my throat dry.

The spirit continued to stare, but he did not lower his axe.

JonathanFortinAuthorPhoto_SepiaJonathan Fortin is the author of Lilitu: The Memoirs of a Succubus (coming December 2019 from Crystal Lake Publishing) and Nightmarescape (Mocha Memoirs Press). An unashamed lover of spooky Gothic stories, Jonathan was named the “Next Great Horror Writer” in 2017 by HorrorAddicts.net. He attended the Clarion Writing Program in 2012, one year after graduating summa cum laude from San Francisco State University’s Creative Writing program. When not writing, Jonathan enjoys voice acting, dressing like a Victorian gentleman, and indulging in all things odd and macabre in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on Twitter.

You can also find Jonathan in HorrorAddicts.net’s Clockwork Wonderland and eHorror Bites 3: #NGHW Editor Picks.

 

 

 

 

Terror Trax: #188 Biomechanimal

Biomechanimal

Matthew L. Simpson (Production, Vocals),
Keith Kamholz (Electro Axe, Live Production),
Lex Liebert (Live Guitars),
Kekko Stefano (Live Drums)

Website 

https://biomechanimal.bandcamp.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/biomechanimal
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BiomechanimalMain/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/biomechanimal/

 


What album, tour, or song are you excited about now? 

Someone else: Swarm – Eat Me Alive EP // Us: Waves Single

What singers or bands inspired you growing up? 

Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Skrillex, Rob Swire, Wednesday 13, Deathstars

Who are your favorite artists today? 

In Flames

What non-musical things inspire your music? 

Love of Cosmic Horror

Is there a place where you go to be inspired? 

Other peoples shows, or nature

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? 

Playing in Australia

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

Underground basement of a punk venue. No stage, just a circle of people and 3 enormous amp stacks

What are your favorite horror movies? 

The VVitch, A Quiet Place, The Martyr

What was the scariest night of your life? 

Car broke down in a forest in a place we didn’t know. 2 AM, no phone signal, no other cars, and the battery in the car began to go.

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

Cemetery of Fontanelle, Bring back Type O Negative while we’re at it.

What are you working on now for future release? 

A Midtempo Bass music single called Haksal (학살)

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Giants on the Horizon

Merrill’s Musical Musings – Giant Monsters on the Horizon 

We’ve made it through August, Horror Addicts, and I hope this post does not find you in pieces. I’m preparing to transition into a new teaching job while supporting a high schooler and a new college student through uncertain educational times. It’s wild out there, so take a minute to sink into the slick sounds of this month’s new-to-me artist. 

Giant Monsters on the Horizon, a duo out of St. Louis,  recently released a new album of dark-wave deliciousness, Live from Night City. The album was written during a dark time for the band and elements of despair can be experienced in their sound for sure. There’s an emptiness in tracks like “Oxygen,” and “Android Hellscape” that clearly resonates with all of us still sheltering in place. Through the synthesizers and soothing low-key vocals, you can find a welcome place to zone out. Night City, the setting of this collection of songs, is a stark and drastic place, but GMOTH does an admirable job of filling that space with energizing songs that make you recall why we need and crave music in our lives. 

“Tetra Chroma” and “Del Ctrl & Esc” are standout tracks that will engage your attention and have you up and dancing. The band has a Xymox feel with a side of Camouflage and the moody feel of current alternative bands like PVRIS. I’ll definitely be following them on Spotify for more. It was nice to see on their social media a strong activist presence including participation in fundraisers through Bandcamp. Live From Night City is an excellent collection of songs that fans of electronica and dark-wave will definitely dig. I wish them well with this latest release and their future endeavors. 

That’s it for this edition of Merrill’s Musical Musings. Feel free to check out my Rock ‘n’ Romance blog for more about my books and adventures. I also host other author guests talking about their novels in a feature called Music Behind The Story. Stay creepy, Horror Addicts! 

Terror Trax: #187 Reality’s Despair

Reality’s Despair

DemarcatioN

Website 

https://realitysdespair.bandcamp.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DespairReality
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/realitysdespair/

 


What album, tour, or song are you excited about now? 

Melancholic Disposition

 

What singers or bands inspired you growing up? 

The Cure, Joy Division, Front 242, Nitzer Ebb

Who are your favorite artists today? 

Cygnosic, A Projection

What non-musical things inspire your music? 

occultism

Is there a place where you go to be inspired? 

My inner self, the world

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? 

To stay a truly independent diy band

What are your favorite horror movies? 

The Blair Witch

What was the scariest night of your life? 

Sleeping in an old and scary house while hearing noises and seeing a white shape

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

Antwerp, opened by Cygnosic

What are you working on now for future release? 

Just started work on a new album to be released early 2021

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

The band is a one man’s project, writing, recording, mixing and mastering is done by one person

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Ro’s Recs for August

Ro’s Recs – Musical Departures

Greetings from Sweaty California! As I’m writing this I’m in major danger of melting. I hope you’re hanging in there and listening to some great music. Today I want to talk about bands that go rogue…and it works. I was a huge fan of MTV Unplugged from way back, and I admire when bands step away from their usual sound and take a chance, whether it’s a remix or a brand new sound. This pandemic has brought out a decidedly experimental side of many of my favorite artists. They’ve released songs that are outside their usual wheelhouse, and they are wickedly entertaining. Check out this list of recs and open your mind to some experimental sounds.

  1. Motionless in White released new versions of two of their songs. “Eternally Yours” and “Another Life” were two outstanding tracks from Disguise and these melodic versions are incredibly beautiful. Chris Motionless’s vocals are so vulnerable and ethereal. I love the songs in their original arrangements, but the fact that the band stepped out of their comfort zone and showed a different side to their music makes me love the songs even more. 
  2. Metallica was one of the first metal bands to perform with a symphony, which when you think about it, there’s not too much of a stretch between metal and symphonic music. There’s a similar passion and frenetic energy in both performances. So when Metallica joined the San Francisco Symphony again this year and released this version of expectations were high. I love the balance of quiet musings followed by growly declarations from Hetfield. It’s a moody tune that is expertly crafted by the masters of metal. We trust them to carry us through, and so when they diverge from their usual heavy path, we know they’re going to deliver the goods. The album comes out August 28th and I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.
  3. Korn is no stranger to cover songs. One of my favorites they’ve done was “Word Up” from the 80s band Cameo. But this summer they blew me away with a cover of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” featuring one of my absolute favorite artists, Yelawolf. The single was posted on Bandcamp as a fundraiser for AwakeningYouth.org—an organization that supports youth who have lost a parent to addiction or suicide—and a way to celebrate the life of the original singer, Charlie Daniels. You gotta give this classic tune a listen. Yelawolf and Jonathan Davis trading vocals on this tune gave me so many feels! And when you’re done, definitely take a deep dive into the music catalog from both Korn and Yelawolf, especially his video for “Shadows.” The song itself is a haunting childhood nightmare, but it’s also filmed at his childhood home. He had to trespass in the now-abandoned house to film.  You won’t be disappointed. 
  4. Corey Taylor, frontman of the legendary Slipknot and the hard-rocking Stone Sour, has released two singles from his upcoming solo album. The first two songs are complete departures from his previous music. “CMFT Must Be Stopped” is a rap-rock tune with guests Tech N9ne, who Taylor has previously collaborated with, and Kid Bookie, a London rapper who I’ll definitely be checking out more from. And for those who like to watch videos, you will be entertained by Corey’s wife’s dance troop (they like to play with fire) and several cameos from Corey’s friends. It’s a fun tune about his big mouth and bigger attitude. The tune “Black Eyes Blue” is a straight pop-rocker with a catchy riff and a feel-good melody. 
  5. Marilyn Manson has put out some incredible music over the past few years, but this new track, “We Are Chaos” is surprisingly full of 70s glam goodness along with Manson’s trademark dark lyrics. I’m looking forward to the rest of this album, which comes out later this year. 

That’s it for this month’s Ro’s Recs. I hope you find a new jam in this collection to help lift your spirits. Dark times are upon us and we need all of the mood boosters we can get. I’m happy to be your guide on a musical journey. If you love music and stories about music, my upcoming novel Brains, and Brawn: Summer of Hush Book Two is out August 24th and it’s my love letter to the years of Warped Tour music festivals. Check it out on Amazon if you’re looking for a pick-me-up romance. Take care of you and yours, comment and share some of your favorite musical departures from your favorite artists, and Stay Tuned for more Merrill’s Musical Musings and Ro’s Recs. 

Terror Trax: #186 The Dark Silence of Death

The Dark Silence of Death

Current lineup:
Javier “Javo” Monzon – Vocals
Miguel “Vader” Paz – Bass
Jesus “Viejo Macabro” Osuna – Guitar
Juan Carlos “JC” Delgado – Drums

What album, tour, or song are you excited about now? 

We’re currently working on a new album titled “The Unliving”

 

What singers or bands inspired you growing up? 

Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, ACDC, Mecano, Hombres G and a lot of punk rock

Who are your favorite artists today? 

Cannibal Corpse, Mercyful Fate, Misfits, Behemoth, Ghost, Carnifex, Rob Zombie, Venomous Maximus

What non-musical things inspire your music? 

All things Horror… Stephen King, Alan Moore -Javo specifies-

Is there a place where you go to be inspired? 

The movies or the bar, or wherever watching movies and drinking is possible

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? 

Releasing our first album and combining efforts to keep a steady pace collaborating and creating

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

Opening for Phillip H Anselmo & The Illegals at Cafe Iguana here in Monterrey

What are your favorite horror movies? 

El libro de piedra, Hasta el viento tiene miedo, Shadow of the Vampire, Altered, Martyrs, Inside, The Exorcist, Suspiria, Inferno, The Beyond, City of the Living Dead, Night of the Living Dead and all of Romero’s stuff, all of the Evil Dead stuff including TV series

What was the scariest night of your life? 

I guess any night being a child after having seen horror movies or TV series that I wasn’t supposed to watch. My mind would play tricks on me seeing things in the dark, hearing noises outside the window… -Viejo Macabro- A nightmare once about a scientist dressed up as a nazi tortured friends and family and when he took off the doctor mask it was me -Javo Monzon-

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

We would love to do the European festival tour, Wacken, Copenhell, Hellfest, you know… About an opening band, wouldn’t know… but given the festival run fantasy, it’s more of sharing stage than who goes when… Since last year we started scratching a lot of doors to see if any of the festivals having Mercyful Fate this year would book us, lol that would be great curriculum.

What are you working on now for future release? 

A new album titled “The Unliving”. I guess we’re going full Romero / Fulci on this one

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

Go check our Bandcamp site, our debut album is only $1USD in digital format and stay tuned for our new material coming soon!

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Ice Nine Kills

Greetings and salutations HorrorAddicts! I know it’s been a wild and crazy summer and we’ve all just wanted to get away. Well, today’s review is a special treat. I’ve mentioned the band Ice Nine Kills before, but they just put out a killer EP called Undead and Unplugged: Live From The Overlook Hotel. This is, like, a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to go to the hotel, I’m a sucker for acoustic sets, and I absolutely love that all of these songs are about our favorite horror flicks! 

Ice Nine Kills is a Boston-based band founded by Spencer Charnas, Justin DeBlieck, and Justin Morrow. Frontman Spencer is a horror fanatic from back in his Blockbuster Movie rental days and even recorded some of the vocals on The Silver Scream from famous locations including the houses used for A Nightmare on Elm Street and the original Halloween. I’ve watched his Instagram live broadcasts including one where Spencer and Jose Mangin from SiriusXM Octane go to visit the Nightmare house. Spencer truly knows his horror, which is part of what makes The Silver Scream so delectable. 

The new EP, which you can stream on Spotify, features acoustic versions of songs from the Merrill’s Musical Musings July 2020

ir album The Silver Scream, which originally came out in 2018 and includes the following tracks:

Savages: Inspired by Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Thank God It’s Friday: Inspired by Friday the 13th

A Grave Mistake: Inspired by The Crow

Love Bites: Inspired by An American Werewolf in London

Enjoy Your Slay: Inspired by The Shining (Live video from The Stanley Hotel)

Someday I will visit The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. There have been a few romance book conventions there and sadly, they never quite worked out for me to attend. But someday! I’d love to hear from you what are some of the horror-inspired places you’ve been or want to go to or share with me your favorite acoustic sets from bands. I hope you Enjoyed Your Slay today on Merrill’s Musical Musings and Stay Tuned for Ro’s Recs coming later this month…

Terror Trax: #185 Another Day Dawns

Another Day Dawns

Members/ What instruments they play.

Dakota McGeehan: vocals

Tyler Ritter: guitar

Nick McGeehan: drums

Jerome Betz: bass


Website 

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

Our next tour is gonna be with Adelitas Way from March into April, we’re really excited for that because it’s almost all new markets for us. It’s our first tour since release our new album ‘Stranger’ so it’s not just new markets, but all new material as well, so it’s almost like a fresh start for us which is exciting.

 

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

Tyler: AC/DC, Judas Priest, and a lot of the classics are what got me on a roll with guitar and pushed me to better myself as a musician. I take a lot of different influence when it comes to songwriting though, a lot of bands like Moving Mountains, Tame Impala, Nine Inch Nails, etc., I love artists that can create huge, atmospheric songs that are bigger than just a riff or melody.

Who are your favorite artists today?

Tyler: it’s been a lot of hip-hop recently to be honest. I saw BROCKHAMPTON a few months back and it felt really eye-opening to me. I’ve always listened to a lot of music that’s vastly different from ours, but they taught me how to take inspiration from artists completely out of your field.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

Tyler: lots of video games from me. While I do take inspiration from certain soundtracks, it’s mostly the stories and ambiance that inspire me. Games like Bloodborne, Resident Evil, Dark Souls have such dark, expansive lore it feels very natural to write heavy, powerful songs about them.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

Tyler: not specifically, I just try to adjust my surroundings to the best of my liking. Bringing my acoustic out on my roof to write never fails though.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

I think we’re currently gaining on it right now, and it’s hitting 100K views on our new video.  As an unsigned band it’ll be huge for us to organically reach that.  We’re getting pretty close so give it a watch and help us get there!

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

I think the coolest place venue-wise would be The Machine Shop in Flint, MI. It’s so well run it takes away the natural stress of being on a big bill.

However we generally enjoy the West Coast a lot more, we always have a blast in LA

What are your favorite horror movies?

Tyler: The Evil Dead has to be my favorite. It might be cheating, but I wish horror-comedy was a more popular genre. It’s understandable why it isn’t big though, it’s difficult to organically get as many laughs as thrills in a movie, but it’s obvious Sam Raimi was the perfect person to make one. Other favorites recently have been Midsommar, Hereditary, and Get Out.  Ari Aster and Jordan Peele are doing great things for horror.

What was the scariest night of your life?

For a little bit in high school I dated a girl who was very into the paranormal, but definitely not in a respectful way.  She and her friends brought me to a graveyard one night where I found there was a grave they had already started digging up.  We weren’t even there for 5 minutes before we all heard a very high-pitched, scream-like noise.  Even after leaving right away plenty of strange things happened, her friend had a random panic attack later, objects were falling for seemingly no reason, and we both got nosebleeds.  Needless to say that was our last “date” and I’ve remained very paranoid since.

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

I think Wembley Arena is a common dream venue for each of us.  And as huge Office fanatics we’ve always made jokes about getting Kevin’s band “Scrantonicity” to open up for us.

What are you working on now for future release? 

We’ve got another video in the works right now, not sure if I’m allowed to say which song it’s for though.  But I think horror fans will be pleased, it’s looking to be darker than our current “Taste of Heaven” video.

Merrill’s Musical Musings – Ro’s Recs July 2020

Ro’s Recs July 2020

Greetings and salutations HorrorAddicts! I want to talk about the end of the world today, but in the best sort of way…through music. Many artists over the years have written dystopian tunes and despite the morbidity, we all seem to love them. How many of us danced our high school days away singing “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M.? I think one of the things that makes us brothers and sisters in horror is that we love flirting with that edge of the unknown. So here are some of the best “the world is ending, so let’s rock” songs.

The first song on the list today actually inspired this post. Bring Me The Horizon is one of the most chameleon-esque bands in hard rock/metal today, and they’ve been hard at work during this shelter-in-place. You can follow their antics on their Instagram. The first single they’ve released is Parasite Eve and MAN is it creepy!

In the End by Black Veil Brides asks the question “Who will tell the story of our lives?” The album it comes from has a very apocalyptic aesthetic and is really one of their best pieces of work to date.

The End by the Doors: Because Jim Morrison is the Lizard King, he can do anything, and this song has haunted me since I first heard it as a teen. The Doors were really onto something back then and their music definitely inspires me. 

Everything Ends by Slipknot  Actually, a Slipknot concert would really be my choice of venues for the end of the world. There’s nothing more satisfying than a phenomenal metal show, and Slipknot are the masters. By the way, this song is the perfect antidote to your morning coffee on a day you really don’t want to go to work. Just saying.

This Is The End by The Ghost of Paul Revere I love this “Have a drink and a smoke and say fuck it all” kind of tune. I’ll definitely be checking out more music from this artist as I really dig the vibe. This is an apocalypse in a country dive bar someplace where it’s the last call and you’re nursing your whiskey because you don’t want it to end before the song is over.

The End of the World by The Cure It’s not doom and gloom without The Cure. Period. 

The End Begins by Korn Because Jonathan Davis is the perfect madman to lead us into the ether. 

Who Wants To Live Forever by Queen This song will forever make me cry because of The Highlander and because of Freddy. If you don’t cry listening to this…well…you might not have a heart. 

Ivy by The Amity Affliction. Because nothing says I love you like “we can watch the world burn.” This band is a huge inspiration for me, especially for my Warped Tour-themed Summer of Hush series—which will be re-releasing soon with a brand new novel, Brains, and Brawn—and I love the romance of equating doomsday with love. 

The End Of The World by Billie Eilish.  Billie Eilish has a horror addict streak in her, you can tell by her album cover. This song is eerie and so beautiful. Where would you choose to be?

It’s The End of the World by Islander https://youtu.be/AB-MjdvNK_c I know you’ve all heard the R.E.M. version, but I love Islander and I think everyone should love them too. Listen to “Darkness” and you’ll understand why. 

Preaching The End Of The World by Chris Cornell This song breaks my heart. I miss Chris. I hate it that he felt this way so long ago…but I also love the sentiment of sharing the end of the world with someone special.

To The End of the World by Alestorm  https://youtu.be/lBoFQ0yRSXc We need a pick me up at the end of this list and because you have to end an end of the world playlist with pirate metal, right? 

Here’s a Spotify playlist with all the songs for your listening pleasure. 

No, it’s not really the end of the world, but I know my fellow HorrorAddicts will agree that having the right soundtrack would make it pretty spectacular! So grab your favorite beverage, hug your loved ones, and hunker down with a great horror movie or horror read. If you’re into weird French SciFi, why not check out Blood Machines on Shudder? The music is pretty cool and it, uh, has some interesting visuals. That’s all I’ll say. Well, and apparently it was inspired by a French music group. I’m just saying, it’s out there, and not just outer space out there. And if you’ve got a favorite End Of The World song, be sure to send me your recs. 

Hugs and smoochies and Stay Tuned for More Merrill’s Musical Musings and Ro’s Recs… 

(Sidebar: We will make it through this. I have absolute faith and hope. If you’re feeling less than hopeful, then please reach out to someone, or if necessary, call someone 1-800-273-8255).

Terror Trax: #184 Sharone

Sharone

Sharone – vocals, piano, synths, composition

Website
Twitter: @sharone-music
Facebook.com/sharone.official
Instagram: @sharone_official


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

I released my new album ‘Reflection’ back in December. I’m also hitting the studio once I return to track a brand new single.

Insert one YouTube Video link:

 

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

Amy Lee / Evanescence, Lzzy Hale / Halestorm, My Chemical Romance, and P!nk.

Who are your favorite artists today?

All of the artists listed above as well as In This Moment, New Years Day, Meg Myers, and Badflower.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

My life… haha

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

Whenever I feel like writing music I have to isolate myself. I find that whenever I try writing with other people the product is rarely as genuine or personal as something I pour all of my emotion into when I’m in my own bubble.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

2019 was my biggest year yet. I opened for five or six different nationals throughout the year, went on two tours, and released #Reflection, which is an album I am so, so proud of. I think that album alone is my greatest achievement thus far.

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

I played in Salt Lake City in March at a venue called The Underground. That was my favorite show we played outside of Colorado all year. The space was small but every band on the bill was incredible talented as well as kind, the crowd was engaged and energetic, and my bandmates slayed. I hope to go back there soon.

What are your favorite horror movies?

As far as the classics, I love Nightmare on Elm Street, The Exorcist, Psycho, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. From a more modern stance, I loved Saw, The Babadook, Halloween (2018), and Doctor Sleep.

What was the scariest night of your life?

I recently started using backing tracks for my life shows to incorporate the strings, choirs, harmonies, etc. and give myself the ability to move around and perform during certain parts of songs that require piano. The first show that I was using them at was opening for Puddle of Mudd in Golden, CO the first weekend of November. There were a good few hundred people at the show. It was a good crowd. My team and I were just figuring the whole system out and only got one smooth run through with the tracks the morning of the show. We decided to go for it anyway. We had a couple hiccups, but we still pulled it off. The show went great, but I still have never been more nervous/terrified in my life.

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

 I will play at Red Rocks before I die. My opening band…I think I’d rather coheadline the show with Evanescence. That’s the ultimate dream.

What are you working on now for future release?

I’m working on a lot of new music, and I’m heading into the studio when I get back from tour in April to record a new single.

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

Make sure you check out my new album #Reflection. And follow me on Instagram, Spotify, Twitter, etc. to be the first to get sneak peaks of my new releases and upcoming shows!

Merrill’s Musical Musings: My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult

Welcome to Merrill’s Musical Musings. It’s June, people, and that means it’s about time for us to celebrate the Summer Solstice. For some of us, this means hiding from sun and allergies and finding some new horror films or darker music to listen to, and since many of us are still sheltering-in-place, this month’s review comes at a great time. I know I’m getting a little bored with my current playlists. So, join me for something new from some old friends, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. 

TKK are back with a super groovy offering that had me vibing from the get-go. There’s a little bit of everything here, and fans of industrial, lounge, and quirky throw-back music will all dig their latest album. Sinister Whisperz III is a series of unreleased remixes from their years (1997-2017) on the Rykodisc label.  

I recall the band’s early days and love that they were inspired from the start by those old VHS films us 80s kids rented from the corner store (in my case, daily). The band’s name was meant to be the title of a planned film project, but when their employers at Wax Trax records heard the tunes, they realized they’d found their calling in music. While my Mod friends and I were listening to Front 242 and Ministry, TKK was developing their own unique sound. Listening to them now takes me back to those nights we spent in local underaged clubs, as well as the times we were stuck hanging out at high school dances cringing at the terrible music they played. 

“Girl Without a Planet” and “Freaky Fever” are both smooth tunes that have a real 80s dance feel to them and they’re interspersed with harder tracks like “4 Blondes with Lobotomy Eyes” and “Fangs of Love” that remind me a bit of bands like Love and Rockets and Jene Loves Jezebel. I love the bits of dialogue from B-movies sprinkled on top of funky keyboards and synthesizers with an infectious dance beat. “Flesh Star” is a tune that would get any dance floor moving and I couldn’t sit still while listening to “Dirty Little Secrets.” There are plenty of other tracks on the album to get you out of your chair and having a good time. Just throw on your black club clothes with some Dr. Martens and slink around the house looking bored. You’ll feel so much better! 

Check out the latest from My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and indulge in a bit of musical nostalgia, maybe work off some of that quarantine weight on an improvised dance floor while you’re at it. I know I need to get moving. Stay Tuned for more of Merrill’s Musical Musings and Ro’s Recs!

Terror Trax: #183 Dogtablet

Martin King – Drums, Production, Programming
Roberto Soave – Bass, Production, programming
Jared Louche – Vox & Stories


Website 

What album, tour, or song are you excited about now? 

The Feathers & Skin remix album featuring some awesome remix friends

 

What singers or bands inspired you growing up? 

Magazine, Bowie, Bauhaus, Roxy, Wire, Iggy

Who are your favorite artists today? 

Muse, Scere, ACTORS, Nothing But Thieves , Skepta,

What non-musical things inspire your music? 

Martin – My Life and a dark mental edge.
Jared – rusty hunks of metal. Chris Marker and La Jette. Lenny Bruce, performances and his book. Pools of semi-coagulated blood and the overturned throne. Diodes and dial tones. Mean Streets. Herbert Huncke, especially “Guilty Of Everything”. JG Ballard, everything though “High Rise” and “The Atrocity Exhibition” are the top of the list. Renaissance paintings and Dutch masters. Gaspar Noe. George Bellows’ painting “Stag Night At Sharkey’s”. Ryu (NOT Haruki) Murakami’s “Almost Transparent Blue”. You’ve got to love any author who inspires warnings from the Japanese Tourism Board any time he publishes a new book, as is the case with every RYU Murakami book, and “Almost Transparent Blue” is the acme. Dawn at the outer ring. Ink spatters. Realm Of The Senses. Broken robots that like to fuck. Acrylic paint. The poetry of Gil Scott-Heron, Bobby Seale and Amiri Baraka. Broken glass. John Singer Sargent’s paintings. Roxy and the Lido after dark. Christian Marcklay, not particularly his music, though his scratch-guitar was killer, but I love his recreated album covers and his experimental movies. The anarchitect and deconstructionist supremo Gordon Matta-Clarke. Mingus, Miles and Monk. William Gibson, most of his work though “Pattern Recog” was directionless. Teeth and tail bones and Tarkovsky. Eric Satie around lunch. Absolutely everything Francis Bacon created as well as his mythology. Caetano Veloso and Gal Costa. George Bataille is superb though “Story Of The Eye” is peerless in his oeuvre. Magazines, remember those, particularly 1970’s picture-rich editions as they’re best for collage. JK Huysmans “La Bas”. Werner Herzog, all of him, and Wim Wenders Himmel Uber Berlin and Paris Texas. Cremaster 5. Autumnal wind through skeletal trees. Marguerite Yourcenar. Ray Barretto. John Waters’ Female Trouble. ‘A Little History Of The World’ by Gombrich. Weather patterns and dusk. Night too. Queneau’s “Exercise De Style”. Laughter. Tears. The occasional dawn, and the Pearl Bailey quote heard in Cap d’Antibes at the Valpolli mansion: “Darling, until a few years ago, I never knew there was but one eight o’clock in the day”. Maya Angelou “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” though she’s consistently amazing. Monty Python. Samba. Wu-Tang, both of them. Chow Yun Fat and John Woo having sex. Berlin between ’62 and ’89. Blazing Saddles. Luniz “5 On It”. The Unknown.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired? 

Inside myself

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? 

Still being alive after so many years doing this shit.

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

Martin – I once played in a lava crater halfway up Mount Etna. We were above the clouds but above us was the glowing rim of the Volcano. Pretty damn awesome.
Jared – n the basement of an abandoned hotel in downtown Detroit. Roberto – Arenes De Frejus with The Cure standing in on bass for the absent Simon Gallup

What are your favorite horror movies? 

We’re old school so that makes it Texas Chainsaw, the original. Evil Dead, of course. Jacob’s Ladder will forever hold a special grave in my heart. Polanski’s Repulsion. The original Wicker Man. Alien for the creeps, Aliens for the awesome comedy. Nicholas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now. Let The Right One In. 28 Days Later. Last House On The Left. Seven. Night Of The Hunter.

What was the scariest night of your life? 

Jared – That would have to be the night Dave Brockie from GWAR and I almost died on the highway, but I think everyone knows that story by now.
Martin – Fighting skinheads behind the venue in Minneapolis after a Pigface show. They’d been chasing our support band to beat them down in homophobic rage. We won’t stand for that shit. Knives, Police, adrenaline and some scary stuff. My first experience with baton and Mace happy US cops actually. Martin Atkins saved me from being arrested. Roberto – Almost drowning in Canal D’Arles, drunk with a bicycle round my neck after one of the Cure shows in France.

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

The Hanging Gardens Of Babylon, and though I’ve seen him a number of times, I’d want to share a bill with Bowie. He wouldn’t be supporting us though. We’d be supporting him. The frustrating thing about being the headliner is that it’s a real challenge for me to be able to focus on the support bands. I’m always too tugged and distracted and fractured to be able to properly appreciate whatever’s happening before I play. This way we’d get to double-barrel the audience and then kick back with our circle and watch the man at work in one of the most glorious and deliriously l beautiful locations in the world.

What are you working on now for future release? 

We’re planning a physical limited edition release of Feathers& Skin with some new tracks which will only be available on it. Working on remixes for other artists…..and somehow working out how we can tour this thing we call Dogtablet

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

The most important thing for us is to get our music out. So we ask you to use social media to share and spread the word. We don’t care if it’s streaming Spotify, Deezer, Fuckstream or whatever. It aint about the money……

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Ro’s Recs June 2020

June is the month we typically celebrate our LGBTQ community, Juneteenth, Father’s Day, Graduations, and the Summer Equinox. This year it’s been a time of reckoning in our nation. This month I want to spotlight Black artists that I love, as well as explore some I haven’t listened to before. As a result, this edition of Ro’s Recs is going to take a deep dive into some incredible offerings by Black artists. It’s important to remember that all of our popular music is influenced by Black music. Without Gospel, Soul and the Blues we would have no rock’n’roll, no hip-hop, and no pop music. So sit back, relax and enjoy some recs to start your summer…

Okay, maybe don’t relax, as this first one will scare the pants off you. As a special treat to my fellow HorrorAddicts, I HAVE to start out with this frenetically creepy band called…get ready…HO99O9. Yes, they are literally called Horror and they have created a blend of punk, electronic, hip-hop and metal with imagery that will make all you HorrorAddicts drool! Check out Street Power:

Their song “Plexiglass” is eerie goose-bumpery that you will love as well. I desperately wanted to go on Slipknot’s Knotfest cruise this summer and getting to see this band would have been EPIC. Alas, there’s no traveling in my near future. Sigh. 

Another artist I’ve recently discovered is Danny Denial from Seattle. His voice has a smooth quality to it that adds weight to his atmospheric indie-rock sound. “Am I Cool Enough For Your Love” and “I’m Not Your Type” are standout tracks. I found Danny Denial after reading this article. Check it out for more recommendations. 

One of my all-time favorite metal bands is Sevendust. Lead singer Lajon Witherspoon has one of the most incredible voices in rock and the band has created a solid sound over the years that is instantly recognizable and groove-worthy. Here’s one of my favorites. 

And I can’t leave Nonpoint off this list. Elias Soriano is an incredible vocalist and frontman and the band’s music has kept me company and inspired me through both good times and bad.

They are high on my bucket list to see in concert as every time I’ve had the opportunity, there’s been a cancellation or I’ve been sick. Someday! 

While watching footage from the recent #BlackLivesMatter protests, I heard a speech from a man called Killer Mike. I was moved by his words so I looked him up. I discovered that he was part of the group Run The Jewels, who were touring with a favorite, Rage Against The Machine, this year. I actually had tickets to see them and had planned to check them out before the world caught on fire back in March. They quickly became one of my repeat-plays on Spotify. I HIGHLY recommend your listen to all of RTJ 3 and RTJ 4 from start to finish!  This video has some cool imagery HorrorAddicts will appreciate. 

There are so many contemporary Black artists that should be on your must-listen list and I could go on forever. Perhaps I’ll have to post a follow-up to this list! In the meantime, remember…one of the most important ways we can support artists is by buying merch, streaming their music, and recommending them to friends. If there are other Black musicians you think I should check out, let me know ESPECIALLY if they are rock ‘n’rollers or have a horror influence! I’m here for it! Post a comment or hit me up at www.facebook.com/rlmerrillauthor and Stay Tuned for more Merrill’s Musings and Ro’s Recs! 

 

 

Terror Trax: #182 Beauty in the Suffering

Beauty in the Suffering

All music/lyrics written, programmed, arranged, performed, and produced by DieTrich Thrall

Website
 BeautyInTheSuffering.com

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

DT: I will be filming scenes for several different films including; “COMPATIBLE,” a horror film about a new cutting edge dating app that goes awry, “IN THE WORLD OF THE LONG BREATH,” a modern vampire tale, and the CLOWN MOTEL: SPIRITS ARISE” sequel.

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

DT: Where do I start? Prince was always my biggest influence. I made a study of about a dozen of his albums back in the day when I used to do that sort of thing. I still revisit his albums frequently. David Bowie also. Motley Crue and a lot of 80’s hair metal. Iron Maiden and some metal. NIN, Ministry and some industrial. I am also a bit of a closet classical music fan so Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Chopin, Beethoven, and others will creep into my playlist. Hans Zimmer, Bear McCreary, and Craig Armstrong are some modern movie and television scorers that I also keep up with.

Who are your favorite artists today?

DT: Aimee Mann, Ghost, HIM, and Rammstein come to mind musically. Anything by Zack Snyder or Christopher Nolan, Ronald D Moore (Battlestar Galctica), J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), Shawn Ryan (The Shield) are huge influences. Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar (Dark), Michael Petroni (Messiah) more recently.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

DT: Most recently a show called Messiah which deals with a possible Second Coming and “Dark” which delves into time travel. Dark actually reminded me of a book I used to read when I was a kid called Cave Of Time which was a Choose Your Own Adventure book. A lot of science fiction series and movies have always inspired. Some recent viewing includes Watchmen, Black Mirror, Altered Carbon, Love / Death / & Robots.

Comic books too. Some recent reads include East Of West,  Jupiter’s Legacy, The Boys  – I have recently been revisiting Planetary and Preacher which I was in to when they were being published.

Also and key – following up on my history studies. I am a history major still in pursuit of my Bachelor’s. My area of study is military so I’m always digging around on WW1 & 2, Civil War, American Revolution, Both European hundred years war related reading.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

DT: Visual media that I just mentioned are a big part. A lot of times I just escape into my head and flesh out story ideas or whatever I am processing at the moment.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

DT: Producing a handful of horror-themed music videos. 2 have been released with several in the final stages of post-production. Performing the song “Reveille” picked up by Clown Motel was cool.   I rewrote and produced a Motley Crue cover of “LIVE WIRE” for my previous band MARAZENE which got the attention of rock legends Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee. I think I got an email from Motleys attorney within 5 minutes of posting the song on our social media asking if we had properly licensed the song.

Where was the coolest place to play?

DT: There’s so many different interesting venues out there. One of the more recent ones was while I was on tour in Lyon, France at a club called Rock N Eat Live. From what I understand it was a an old school prison at one point and by old school I mean several hundred years ago old school. There were multiple rooms for the bar, the stage, the merch area and then there were all these mini cells where we were told to leave some of our gear which they then locked up. So my gear was actually in prison in France for a short period of time! I noticed some people having drinks and lounging around in various cells. They had an Iron Maiden shrine in one of them. As a history major I definitely got a kick out of the place.

What are your favorite horror movies?

DT: Zombies of course. Romero’s original Dawn Of The Dead but Zack Snyder’s remake was strong as well. Skeleton Key kinda freaked me out the first time I saw it. VVitch was interesting and I really dug the old school speech that the script utilized. Hereditary more recently was the first movie in awhile that made me feel “Ahhh!”, Prince Of Darkness and Event Horizon are older faves and were the first time I had considered cosmic horror and kept me awake a few nights. Martyrs also a fresh take. The Ring too.

What was the scariest night of your life?

DT: There are several actually. One of the more odder memories I have was back when I was a teen and one of my friends and I at the time had just gotten our drivers certification. I think this is before receiving our actual drivers license. Anyways, somehow we convinced a friend of my mothers to borrow his car (!) to take it for a drive. Not five minutes into the drive a black cat darted across the street in front of us as we were driving and I was like “Yikes – how weird!” Not long after that it began to snow lightly making the roads a bit slick. My friend thought it would be a good idea to accelerate when it wasn’t needed and we spun out of control and nailed a telephone pole head-on. Somehow made it out of that with only a tooth hitting the dashboard. But the car was trashed and if we had been going any faster there could have been some window ejections. Scary stuff just getting familiar with driving – lesson learned. Beyond that there’s a solid batch of moments that I have revisited where I have come to realize if I had made one small adjustment in the direction I had moved it could have been a very seriously game-ending situation.

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

DT: Moscow in large part due to my study of Russian history during both world wars. Tokyo too as runner up. Thrall-Zilla is about due a gander.

What are you working on now for future release?

DT: I have about a dozen Beauty In The Suffering songs I am in the mixing stage and several music videos I am putting the final touches on. With everything working out I am hoping for a Fall release.

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners? Very much looking forward to seeing everyone on the new Lords Of Acid tour! Let’s party!

Merrill’s Musical Musings: Justin Symbol/ Candyman

 

Party songs for the end of the world?

Greetings and Salutations, Horror Addicts. When last we visited, the world was headed into a shelter-in-place that has lasted longer than many folks anticipated. While it’s been a mixed bag of despair and uncertainty, there have been glimmers of hope that I’ve been hanging on to, and of course, music has been there in new and exciting ways to ease my soul. I’ve found tunes for every mood and put together a few playlists that I’ll share some of on my next edition of Ro’s Recs. But this month I had a listen to Justin Symbol’s latest work and I gotta say, it’s pretty damn reflective of our current state of affairs. 

Justin Symbol’s opening track to the new album Candyman, “End Times,” sets listeners into an anarchist’s vibe for the end of the world, which might seem fitting to some right now. Often sounding like a Marilyn Manson of old, Symbol has girls “shaking their tits” in celebration of the apocalypse, and you know what? Why not? What are we supposed to do when it seems as though the sky is falling? Candyman contains some juvenile lyrics that are sprinkled with wit and overlaying horror-inspired effects and beats that sometimes miss their mark. At times the album feels like a promising industrial album with songs like “Prophets of Nothing” and “Lust.” These particular tunes feature engaging guitar tracks and lyrics that come close to being a snarky riff on life. ”Mothra” creates strong imagery with lyrics such as  “blackout the sky,” “sorting out the bodies” and “curl up inside a cocoon of flies,” but as the album continues, Symbol delves into extremely graphic sexual content that some may find offensive. If that’s your kink, you may feel right at home. Symbol straddles the line of rap and rock with interesting verse, intriguing riffs, and creepy atmospheric sounds. “The Devil You Know” was a standout for me. Give the album a listen and see if it’s your jam. You can find Justin Symbol on Spotify and Apple Music. 

That’s it for Merrill’s Musings this month. Be sure to check out my next Ro’s Recs, where I will share with you the best songs for surviving the shelter-in-place. Take care, be safe, and Stay Tuned for more Merrill’s Musings…

Terror Trax: #181 I Ya Toyah

I Ya Toyah

Ania Tarnowska: Music/Lyrics/Arrangement/Production/Vocals/Keys/Guitars/Drums/Programming

Website 

https://www.iyatoyah.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iyatoyah

Bandcamp: https://iyatoyah.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IYaToyah

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iyatoyah/

 


What album, tour, or song are you excited about now? 

I’m excited about my own release, Code Blue Reloaded + Code Blue Revelations remix album. Other than this, I look forward to 3TEETH and Carnifex tour featuring Tim Skold and The Browning

What singers or bands inspired you growing up? 

Iron Maiden, Opeth, Depeche Mode, Soundgarden, Audioslave, Sade, NIN, Tool, Tori Amos, Guano Apes.

Who are your favorite artists today? 

Depeche Mode, NIN, Tool, Mortiis, The Midnight, 3TEETH, Health

What non-musical things inspire your music? 

Every day observations

Is there a place where you go to be inspired? 

My own head seems to be a perfect hub for ridiculous ideas turned music.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? 

Code Blue album release, Code Blue Reloaded drop, then touring with Pigface, and going on the road with Zwaremachine….But there is more to it than those events. It is a flow, chain reaction, it is continuous 🙂

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

I loved playing Thalia Hall, Chicago. It was a sold-out show on the gloomy November night… My homecoming show from tour with Pigface. The venue is known to be haunted so it was a lot of dark fun going on that night.

What are your favorite horror movies? 

I love Children of the Corn– probably equally for the plot darkness and amazing soundtrack. Something you’d bath in blood bath to 😉 Others are Strangers, Psycho, anything Hitchcock… Wrong Turn, Exorcist, It, oh, there is so many of them!

What was the scariest night of your life? 

There is more than one. When I was in car accident at the age of 12….it shredded my guitar and my head was smashed, skull fractured, but all I could think of was my Dad who was in this accident with me, and my Mom and Sister who waited at home for us. I was only scared for short- I had no idea how badly injured I was. I fell into coma after this, and they didn’t know if I will ever wake up. So, pretty scary. There are more but too dark to share….

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

Dalhalla in Sweden, it is an open-air theatre located in a former limestone quarry, and it is used as a summer music venue. It is gorgeous! I’d love to open the show up there for Depeche Mode.

What are you working on now for future release? 

I am prepping to write the material for the next album. Currently working on some music production parts, testing some plugins, sounds, getting inspired….

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

Yes. Help me spread the disease of music and infect the human race! But also, I love you. Thank you for not just hearing, but also for listening.

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Ro’s Recs May 2020

“There’s nothing on TV. I’ve got nothing to read. All the good snacks are gone. I’m BORED.”

Raise your hand if you’ve heard any of those sentiments during this stay-at-home time. Thankfully, my kids know better for the most part because I will either shove a book in their faces or give them chores to do. 

One of the things that have kept me sane while locked down is music, as usual. I’ve been having so much fun with the musicians that are putting themselves out there on social media with new projects, quarantine videos, and special interaction opportunities. On Instagram, I have notifications set up for artists like Tyler Glenn from the band Neon Trees (@tylerinacoma), and Franky Perez (@frankyperezofficial) who has performed with all kinds of folks including the symphonic metal band from Finland, Apocalyptica.

 Both of these artists frequently do acoustic performances on Instagram/IGTV that are tasty morsels. They keep me going when I need a pick me up.

Recording from home when your band is not with you can be a challenge, but several artists have done a great job. The first video I saw that really touched me was twenty-one pilots who put out a new song and video called “Level of Concern.”

 

While they’re not my usual level of heavy for music, I do admire them and I thought this was a super creative way to get around quarantine separation. Twelve Foot Ninja, a metal fusion band from Australia—they are brilliant and have a horror fan’s sense of humor for sure—and they took on the classic Stuck With You by Huey Lewis and the News

Stevic McKay did a Zoom interview with Huey Lewis too where they talked about their cover of the song and Huey was such a sweetheart

 

 I highly recommend you give both the video and the interview a watch, especially if you’re a fan of the film American Psycho. Papa Roach—yes they are still around and continue to put out phenomenal music—embraced the insanity of lockdown with kids and recorded this fantastic video for their latest hit “Feel Like Home”

 But the clincher came for Mother’s Day…Ice Nine Kills—the horror fanatics I have absolutely fallen in love with over the past year—did a parody cover of Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom” called “Jason’s Mom” and, well, you have to watch. Best Mother’s Day Gift!

Musicians have also taken to new platforms to engage with their fans. Twitch and Discord, which are usually populated by gamers, have become a place for musicians to stream the creation of new music as well as a place to meet up with other musicians and tell stories from days on the road, etc. Matt Heafy from Trivium, Brandon Saller from Atreyu, Shim Moore, and Rob Ortiz from Escape the Fate are a few that I’ve checked out and they’ve got interesting things going on. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can link your Twitch account and subscribe for free! 

There are plenty of ways to pass the time during this period of shelter-in-place, so tell your kids to quit bothering you so you can check out all this fun music stuff! And if your “kids” have four legs or if it’s actually your spouse, well, good luck. And if you would like to share your music finds during quarantine, I’d love to hear them! Also…I would love for you to follow me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/rlmerrillauthor) if you hang out over there, even if it means losing my current count…3,666 followers! How metal/horror is that?

 

Stay Tuned for more Merrill’s Musings…

 

Merrill’s Musical Movie Review : Dark Roads 79

Dark Roads 79 – Selling Your Soul Gives Mixed Results

Dark Roads 79 takes rock ‘n’ roll mythology and applies it to a southern rock band at the end of a decade that saw the loss of many musical greats. Bobby Gray and his band Dark Roads are at the end of a good ride and are given one more chance to infuse their sound with life. A cabin in the woods could be the perfect setting to create a masterpiece, or it may well be their final resting place. Written and directed by Chase Smith, co-written by Richard Krevolin and produced by Jason Anderson, Dark Roads 79 is effective at suspense and the creation of mood and atmosphere, but somewhat weak with character development and motivation. As a total package, the film kept me engaged and entertained, but could have been so much more.

Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll are plentiful and the music hits the mark in this film, but the story in Dark Roads 79, which has so much potential, misses some chances to go deeper. I found myself wishing for more backstory on the relationships between the characters. One of the things we love about rock ‘n’ roll band mythos is the drama behind the music. Probably the best example was the hint at some history between Tyler and Eddie and Eddie’s girlfriend. A few dropped lines here and there to let us know more about each character’s motivation could have built a much tighter plot. As it was, we saw the bad sides of a bunch of hedonistic young folks and waited to learn their fate while being entertained by good tunes, some cool old-timey camera work, and split-screen psychedelic tricks that added to the eerie and menacing vibe of the film. You know it’s all going to end up badly for the competent and entertaining cast, and you are caught up in the ride to see just how bad it’s going to get. 

The most interesting character was Ian Cash, roadie and security for the band, who seems to have quite a past and a talent for singing, but we never learn any more than that. A seemingly flawed character, his interactions came the closest to revealing real character growth and I was cheering every time for just a little more. The driver cracked me up with his version of rock lore. And Grace gave me the creeps from the beginning. The film kept me guessing to the end, which makes it a success, and these bits of great characterization certainly helped. 

The backstory of the cabin was intriguing, and the caretaker provided an excellent foil to the band. I would have loved to know what the connection was with the history there and what was about to happen to the band. Instead, we got misogynistic rapey vibes, which were not necessary and detracted from my enjoyment of the film. Most of the sexual activity in the film, however, was used for the important purpose of moving the plot forward and establishing mistrust between the characters. 

Overall, Dark Roads 79 is an enjoyable film and I would recommend it to fans of Crossroads, American Satan, and Eddie and the Cruisers, which are all excellent flicks warning of the excesses of rock ‘n’ roll. Of course, they can warn us all they want, we still want to rock, and that’s what makes a movie like Dark Roads 79 a delight for music and horror fans alike.  

Thank you to Spirit World Productions for providing the screener. I look forward to checking out more of their films. 

Stay Tuned for more of Merrill’s Musical Musings…

 

Terror Trax: #180 Spank the Nun

Spank the Nun

ERIC writing and production and sound…
Jeremy additional writing and sounds.

Website 

Twitter: @spankthenun
Instagram: @spankthenun

What album, tour, or song are you excited about now? 

Our new album released on 1/28/2020 Initial Decay Control… many of the tracks or getting played in the clubs and on top playlists. We are heavily focused on promoting the new album and getting it heard. We are working on a single for Glitch and Burn and also a deluxe version is in the works. We are developing the live show now and also working on tons of new material that will be out later in the year too.

 

What singers or bands inspired you growing up? 

Front Line Assembly, Front 242, Bi-God 20, Bowie, Bauhaus, Leather Strip, Wumpscut – our music oftens pulls from these particular influences… we don’t aim to copy but pull the best bits forward and pay homage to what once was and is again… fans of these bands will feel at home with our sound, even though it is different than what is out there now.

Who are your favorite artists today? 

Angelspit, HARSH R, KREIGN, Isserley, Conspiracy Thief, Slighter, ESA, iVardensphere – We are big into bands that sound different and stand out within the industrial genre, especially the ones that can work well with noise and make it sonically appealing and not just covering up a lack of creativity and talent. There is so much great new music right now.

What non-musical things inspire your music? 

horror movies, serial killer documentaries, sci fi horror… I (Eric) watch Event Horizon every few months and I just watch Henry A Portrait of Serial Killer for the first time in years. We are constantly looking for new films and documentaries to draw ideas from. I keep a digital notebook of ideas for songs and videos and am constantly jotting down notes when I am watching. The idea for the song came from a kids show that happened to be on and an idea I had had for a while for a song, and it all clicked when I was watching some nonsense on TV for just a minute.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired? 

my studio, or throw on some scifi horror or zombie horror, we keep an extensive list of ideas that we can go to, wether it is notes, loops we have made, samples that we have curated over the years… we have many things to pull from to get inspired when needed

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? 

getting our first album out so far and working with some of the best in the business… it was important to us that the album be different and have 12 solid tracks that any of them could be singles… we didn’t want any throw away songs on there and we want to make sure it was not over or under produced… but sounded just right. We didn’t want cover things up with noise, we want to make noise the music. For example the song SIN is all sample except for one string part played in a couple spots… the rest are all found sounds and samples.

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

Coolest place we have played in the past, is the Roxy and the Whiskey A Go-Go in Hollywood, we haven’t toured with this new music yet… but we are putting that together now so we can do a few live shows in 2020. Right now we are looking at clubs and festivals.

What are your favorite horror movies? 

Event Horizon, Pandorum, Evil Dead, The Thing, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien, Session 9, Audition, Ravenous, Midnight Meat Train, Spiral, Splinter, Tale of Two Sisters and many more. There are some weird as Japanese Cyberpunk movies like Tetsuo and Rubber Johnny that are some of our favorites. We have actually cut songs and videos for the next album already using these influences.

What was the scariest night of your life? 

Hard to choose. But getting stocked in clubs by redneck frat boys that shouldn’t be there. They would try to dance with our girls and pick a fight with us, they eventually got kicked out and then back in later and we had to fight them when they attack my girl. Security kicked them out after and they waited outside for us for hours. Luckily after we got out the gave up quickly and left… but we were paranoid heading to the next spot and all the way home. And for weeks after that.

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

That is tough. In front of the right crowd that is ready to embrace us and enjoy it to the max. There are so many bands that would be amazing but we should be opening for all of them not for us.

What are you working on now for future release? 

We just released our new album in January and we are working on the next single and a possible deluxe version of the album. We have tons of remixes and tracks we didn’t use for the album. We are also working on the next album, it is very close to tracked at this point but we aren’t in a hurry to release it. We are also working with several other artists on some additional collaboration projects. There will be new SPANKTHENUN in one form of the other every other week this year… no joke. Including at least one more full-length album, maybe two more.

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

We are here and plan to big impression by building the name and continually putting out high-quality product. We will release a new remix or song or a remix of someone else’s every couple of weeks.

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…

 

Terror Trax: #179 Her Despair

Her Despair

J – vocals / Dan – guitar / Vikki – bass / Jord – guitar / Toby – keyboards

Website 

facebook.com/herdespair

https://twitter.com/herdespairband

https://herdespair.bandcamp.com

https://www.instagram.com/herdespairband/

What album, tour, or song are you excited about now? 

Our latest record “Exorcisms of Eroticism”

 

What singers or bands inspired you growing up? 

Sisters of Mercy / HIM / 69 Eyes

Who are your favorite artists today? 

Nick Cave / My Dying Bride / Woods of Ypres

What non-musical things inspire your music? 

Religion and sex

Is there a place where you go to be inspired? 

Alone in a dark room

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? 

Our most recent record “Exorcisms of Eroticism”

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

Darker Days Festival UK

What are your favorite horror movies? 

Halloween / Night of the Living Dead / Blair Witch Project

What was the scariest night of your life? 

The first night I died

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

M’era Luna Festival would be the dream. I think we’d be the opener, but let’s pretend the Sisters are headlining

What are you working on now for future release? 

Skeletons of what will become the next record; whether a three track EP or fifteen track album. Time will tell…

Anything you want to tell the listeners?

Our hearts break for you – thank you for your undying support

Read R.L. Merrill’s review of Her Despair, here: https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2020/02/28/merrills-musical-musingsher-despair-and-best-of-2019/

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…