Former Requiem In White/Mors Syphilitica vocalist, Lisa Hammer, has a new album out titled Dakini, which the artist’s website describes as “Medieval songs, Indian Ragas, Appalachian Folk Music, Middle-Eastern Drones, and Opera.” Dakini is a re-release of Hammer’s classic album with some previously unreleased tracks that will attract fans of atmospheric music such as Enya and Dead Can Dance. The pieces on this album are appropriate for accompanying your rituals or to fill the spaces between light and dark. Hammer’s clear and pleasant voice will carry you away on a mystical journey of the senses. With Latin, Indian, and Celtic influences, Hammer’s album will appeal to those looking for soothing sounds on a cold evening night by the fire. Standout tracks include “In Taberna Quando Summus” and “Kyrie Orbis Facto,” which will stay with the listener long after. Hammer writes soundtrack music for film, theatre, and TV, and sings as a guest artist with the Brooklyn psychedelic musical project: Fashion Bird Danger Danger. She is currently writing and recording the next Radiana album and a second solo album to be released by The Circle Music. Lisa is also an award-winning filmmaker, currently working on several projects. Horror Addicts who enjoy artists like Valentine Wolfe will enjoy Hammer’s work. Pick up Dakini and be bathed in Hammer’s sensual and enticing world. Dare I say the album would make a great soundtrack for a Bloody Tea… Read more in Bloody Tea.
What horror-related themes have you found to be the most inspiring for your music?
Universal Studios Monsters and Kaiju Films
What horror movie/TV show would you re-score if given the chance?
Are Hallmark Channel movies considered horror? Because they are scary! Hmm… Dark Shadows from the 1960/the 70s would be fun!
What non-musical things inspire your music?
Buddhism, the sea, Julia Child, Elvira Mistress of the Dark, Gardening, my loved ones because so many are creative.
What film/TV horror-related character would you most identify with? Why?
I think Elvira because of the balance of horror and humor which I love.
How do you handle fear as an artist?
Sometimes I walk right into it and sometimes I walk right beside it or around it. I don’t like to walk away from fear. I walk away from other things like foolishness. Life is always out of our hands a bit.
What are your favorite horror movies?
Dracula, Dracula’s Daughter, The Others, Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, Pan’s Labyrinth
What was the scariest night of your life?
Is this about something supernatural? A friend and I once went ghost hunting along route 44 in Rehobeth, MA, and ended up having the rubber of the tire break and slap the side of the car. We were sure it was a ghost! There is a fable about a ghost there.
If you could bring back greats who have passed on, who would be your undead opening band?
Ofra Haza, though I would have to be her opening act.
Her voice was from celestial realms not yet discovered.
Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the Horror Addicts?
Please check out my new album El salón (A Happy Home is a Haunted Home)! It is horror and humor and what I hope is weird fun!
Greetings Horror Addicts! I hope you’re surviving the Dog Days of Summer. I mean, it’s fine, I guess. Sunny, hot, daylight comes early…what’s not to love? BLECK. I must be patient, I know, but that’s tough when our mistress Emz posts pictures of the spooky offerings at Ross and Michael’s and there are SO many great horror flicks online. I’ve already hit Etsy for some creepy goods while binging What We Do In The Shadows. Man, I love that show with its dark moody set where it feels as if it’s always nighttime is perfect for those, uh, sunny summer days. BARF. We watched Day Shift with Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco and I loved it! It’s got a Zombieland feel, but the action was WAY more intense…and graphic. Watch the trailer on Netflix and see what I mean. Any favorites from this summer? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your favorites.
Since we’re featuring Mechanical Horror this week, we’re revisiting industrial artist Zwaremachine (reviewed on Horror Addicts in September 2019). They’re back with a couple of catchy tunes called “Parasol” and “Resist.” Both songs have great rhythm and instrumentally they remind me of the 80s synth music that was heavily featured in movie soundtracks. Folks have gone wild for shows like Stranger Things and Archive 81—can you tell I’ve been watching WAY too much TV?—and both shows’ scores have this vibe. Their track “Resist” also has a retro sound I’d compare to Nitzer Ebb or Prodigy. Fans industrial dance tracks might want to check out the band’s catalogue. I can picture films like
Dark Wave Doom artist Jonathan Christian’s “Talkin’ Bout The Wolf” is an intriguing tune you should check out. Seattle Darkwave artist NUDA’s instrumental “Trigger” is full of hooks and effects that tease the senses and will likely give the listener an inkling of what their live shows would be like. Bellhead’s “Nothing As It Seems” is a super creepy industrial track with shudder-inducing whisper-talk lyrics and a fun drum track. Don’t listen at night by yourself.
I love the radio function on Spotify and YouTube Music. I’ve found so many bands that I really dig that way. My latest discovery was a heavy rock band from Sweden called Witchcraft. They have the same vibe as another recent discovery, Nashville’s All Them Witches, and the similarity goes farther than the similar names and themes. Their music styles are alike, the kind of rock that you can just zone out to, get in the flow and get shit done. Or not. Get bewitched by these excellent bands.
That’s it for this edition of Merrill’s Musical Musings. Have you been following along on the YouTube Music Playlist for this season’s show? If not, check it out, and Stay Tuned for more…
What TV/movie horror character do you most identify with and why?
I feel like I always identify with the misunderstood villains, I can always see their side of things for the most part. But every time I watch “The Lost Boys” I feel an absolute connection with David…a kick-ass hair connection that is, and who wouldn’t want to be an awesome vampire with platinum hair?
What is the most frightening thing you’ve written about as a lyricist?
I think the most frightening thing I’ve written about is death/ loss of someone close to me. I’ve written about losing my close friend in a car accident and also losing my friend and manager to suicide. It is scary but everyone can relate to losing someone. Writing about it really helps my grieving process and it definitely keeps my memories of them closer to me.
What non-musical things inspire your music?
I pull from emotions from personal experiences, nature, and even solitude. All of these things really inspire songs and pull from deeper parts of myself. I am constantly getting ideas from scents that remind me of past events which bring up emotions and things I have forgotten about.
What is the meaning behind the album name, ‘IV0X10V5’?
We took the name “IV0X10V5” (pronounced noxious) from my song “Battleground”. Whilst shooting the music video, my friend and artist painted the lyrics of the song onto my body to mimic tattoos. Across my collar bone, she painted noxious, but the way that she painted it looked more like how we write it for the album. Almost like leet speak. It just stuck with us ever since then.
If you could re-score any horror movie or tv show, what would it be?
I love the soundtrack to The Craft and I think it would be SO fun to re-score it with some modern music with keeping the feel of the 90s. I’d kill to hear my songs in a horror movie.
What are your favorite horror movies?
I would have to say my favorite horror movies are Scream (1996), Raw, and Donnie Darko. I love the cheesy jump scares of Scream. And both Scream and Raw have some awesome amounts of bloodiness. But the psychological aspects of all three of these movies are so interesting I could watch them a thousand times.
What was the scariest night of your life?
I have quite a few, but one that sticks in my head is when I was flying back to MI from Cali. I absolutely hate flying but I suck it up for the most part and wear my brave face even if I have to bring a stuffed animal on the flight with me. The flight was about 5 hours and I remember it being the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced. At one point we had dropped altitude so fast that my arms flew into the air. I was certain we would be falling out of the sky at any moment. I had put on a movie before takeoff and I didn’t watch any of it. I was gripping the armrests and squeezing my eyes shut for the ENTIRE flight. I was scared out of my mind.
My heart never beat so hard. I remember getting off the flight and being absolutely drained. My arms were sore from gripping the armrests for so long. Not super scary to most but it is one of my biggest fears.
If you could bring back greats who have passed on, who would be your
undead opening band?
There are so many that I would love to bring back. Recently I’ve been listening to Alice in Chains and I would love to bring back Layne Staley, his voice is so iconic and his songwriting was so unique. I would bring back Taylor Hawkins on drums, have to have Jimi Hendrix on guitar and John Lennon on the bass.
Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the Horror Addicts?
Thank you for checking out my interview, now “We’re friends till the end, remember?” -Chuckie (Childs Play )
Greetings Horror Addicts! As summer stretches on and sunny days rule, we can feel some comfort in the fact that we just passed the 100-day mark. Yes, less than 100 days until Halloween! Stores are starting to put up their decorations and I can’t WAIT to see what this year’s spooky season has in store. Perhaps a few sea creatures should be added to my décor…
Yes, there’s something welcoming and yet terrifying about the wide-open waters, and musicians throughout time have created songs and music inspired by the sea. Since we here at Horror Addicts are all about the creepier side of art, I thought I’d write about some of the creepier music from the depths. See my list of recs below.
This episode’s review is of the phenomenal goth rock band from Athens, Georgia, who rep the area’s legacy for great alternative music well. I reviewed their debut album Inked in Red on the April 2021 episode of Merrill’s Musical Musings and I’ve been shouting from the rooftops about them ever since. They recently released a new single and video called “Beautiful Day To Die” and once more I’m here to sing their praise. The mellow, moody track is on the softer side for the goth punk pop band but the gorgeous harmonies will suck you in despite the flowery sunshine of the video. In fact, the dichotomy of the field of wildflowers while musing about death is perfection. The band has been touring for the past few months and you can find clips of their shows on YouTube, their Instagram page—which also features the hilariously hip advice from Goth Dad—and I highly recommend you check them out or heck, even catch them live!
Oh, Lord. Where are my Weird Al Yankovic fans? Psychostick has tickled my metal heart with their new versions of metal songs we love. I am so digging songs like “Numbers” and “Bruce Campbell.” If you want a chuckle, check them out. It looks like they’re even taking a trip under the sea… Metal band Locust Grove released a new album called Battle of the Locust and if songs like “Monster” are any indication, they should make metal fans quite happy.
The ocean is definitely one of my favorite places to be, although I don’t go nearly enough. There’s something peaceful about it, but there also lies a warning to humans who think they are invincible. Whether it was films like Jaws, The Abyss, or The Lighthouse reminding me to never turn my back on the water, or my own life experiences, I have a healthy respect for the water and what lives beneath. When the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were insanely popular, there were lots of folks praising the resurgence of sea chanties. I picked up Rogue’s Gallery back then and it’s a lot of fun. There’s even a Son of Rogue’s Gallery you can jam out to. They’re naughty and I just love them. I also made y’all a little gift. Songs of the sea for your dark little hearts. Okay, some of the songs are dark, and some are just classics or by artists us Horror Addicts love. Have any other ideas? Send them to me at email@example.com.
Before the movies found their voice in 1927, sheet music was sent out to theaters with the cans full of film, so whatever accompanist was available could play along on the house piano or organ and thus provide what we now think of as the film score. A few of the bigger theaters had full orchestras. One assumes that they received more than one copy. One might be incorrect, but oh, well.
Even after the movies began to talk, most cinemas still had pianists and organists on staff, so the sheet music still went out because few films had scores added to the soundtracks. Musicals had the songs and incidental music, of course, usually adapted from whatever Broadway production they were based on, but many films have peculiar stretches of silence where modern viewers are used to hearing music written specifically for the picture.
In fact, the lack of a score can be so jarring to the modern ear that Hitchcock deliberately made The Birds without one, to heighten the tension.
Works, doesn’t it?
It was 1933 before it occurred to anyone to create a film score that would flow with and even punctuate the action on screen. The picture was King Kong, and the genius who essentially invented a whole new genre of music was the Austrian-born composer, Max Steiner.
After a successful theatrical music career in Europe, Steiner came to the United States at the beginning of the First World War. After a rough start – being as how he was flat broke when he arrived – he found work on Broadway as orchestrator, composer, and musical director for a fair number of big hits on the Great White Way. He was hired on by RKO Pictures in 1929 and went west, to Hollywood. There, he composed fairly generic scores for the few films being made with original music, but nothing on the scale of his first great creation, the magnificent score for King Kong.
Remember the strident violins in Psycho during the shower scene? The whole of Kong is like that, where every action gets its punctuating chord accompanying it. For example, when the native king (the great Noble Johnson, whose career deserves a major examination in a future column) notices the crew of the good ship Venture intruding on his ceremony, Sharp! Staccato! Chords! mark the occasion. In most films, the score is barely noticed except when it’s absent. In King Kong, it’s practically a character unto itself, a sort of Greek chorus, and nobody before Max Steiner had ever done that. And thanks to the wonders of the internet, the entire soundtrack can be found here. Enjoy!
Under the old Hollywood system of the Golden Age, there were eight major studios ranked according to funding, distribution, influence, sales, star power, etc. RKO was at or near the bottom of the pile for its entire history. KingKong represented a huge outlay for them. Fortunately, everything about the film was revolutionary, and that paid off. It was the biggest money making film of all time until Gone With the Wind six years later. The special effects might seem quaint now, but they were state of the art, not only at the time but for more than thirty years beyond. It flows quickly through its 100-minute running time (104, including Steiner’s wonderful overture), with a pace that many later films, including the 2005 remake, would do well to emulate. A pace that, by the way, is helped along by the score, one of the greatest in film history.
After King Kong, RKO stayed afloat for the rest of the decade on the earnings from a string of dance musicals starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They hired theater and radio wunderkind, Orson Welles, to make Citizen Kane in 1940, which did not turn out as well for them as it should have. Producer Val Lewton made a batch of wonderfully inventive, low-budget horror pictures in the early 1940s that will get some well-deserved attention here someday. Despite the occasional major success and a distribution deal with Walt Disney Productions, RKO was out of business by 1959.
But King Kong lives on. If you ever have the chance, see the movie on a big screen. Tell me you don’t shed a little tear when the giant ape falls from the pinnacle of the Empire State Building to the accompaniment of the music Max Steiner created.
I know I do.
Our lagniappe is another stray artifact of the Hound of the Baskervilles. German Schlager duo Cindy und Bert set the tale of the Sherlockian pooch to the tune of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. Because why not? Crank it up to eleven!
Until next time, you gorgeous gluttons of le grand guignol…
Luscious Apparatus shares their single “Infiltrate” with us this week. The band was inspired to write this song by the deplorable reports that have surfaced regarding Brian Warner AKA “Marilyn Manson” and the abuse he allegedly inflicted on several partners. Artists who use their voice to lift others up have my appreciation and the song “Infiltrate” is a moving entry point to the band whose sound will appeal to fans of the goth rockers like Evanescence. For those who are/were Manson fans and who are troubled/angered by the reports, you are not alone. As we begin to learn more disturbing facts about our musical “heroes,” it’s difficult to decide: do I continue to listen? Do I stop supporting?” Every music fan must decide for themselves. In the meantime, let me know what you think about Luscious Apparatus.
Disconnected is one of those artists that comes to me through the Horror Addicts HQ and within the first few bars of the song I recognize a kindred spirit. Melodic hard rockers from France, their latest album We Are Disconnected kicks off with “Life Will Always Find Its Way” and sucks you in. The vocals, both screaming and clean, are hauntingly compelling. I will definitely be listening to more from this band. “King of the World” and “Your Way To Kill,” are standouts as well. The harmonies are awesome and the hopeful vibe takes me back to some late 80s metal bands who knew that a power ballad was the way to a true fan’s heart.
Dual Analog dropped their debut album Lust, Worship, and Desire. They dub their genre Turbowave and it’s definitely a vibe for folks who dig 80s bands like Book of Love and New Order’s offshoot Electronic. Against I released their EP O.M.G this spring and this one is great for folks who dig heavier industrial music like Rammstein and Static X. Cliff & Ivy’s “Bloody Ghost” has a 90s post-grungey kind of sound, so if that’s your jam, check them out.
So my daughter and I have been watching Archive 81 and I cannot for the life of me tell you what is the creepiest thing about it. The music, however, is seriously ominous and music plays a significant role in the storyline. Anyone watching it? Anyone have ideas? Don’t spoil it for me, but if you are digging this show, shoot me a message on the socials or at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s hear your theories. In the meantime, if you like really freaky music in the background while you’re working check this soundtrack out.
As I’ve mentioned earlier this season, music has a certain magic about it. It can touch us on a deeply emotional level in ways few others can. What if the power of a song could span beyond that? Can a song be powerful enough to harm someone, possibly being a curse to any who perform it? The Hungarian Suicide song is one, but for this week’s Nightmare Fuel, we look at another — “The Crossroad Blues” by Robert Johnson.
I’m sure we are all familiar with Robert Johnson. For those who may not be, he is a blues legend. Born in Mississippi on May 8, 1911, he was a mainstay at many a street corner, juke joints, and Saturday night dances. In life, he had little success, but recordings he made in 1936 and 1937 made him a legend following his death in August 1938. His music influenced the likes of Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, and The Rolling Stones, to name just a few. Many consider him to be a master of the blues and the grandfather of rock and roll.
While Robert Johnson’s musical style and songwriting are enough to make him a legend, you can’t talk about him without discussing the supernatural stories surrounding him. Some refer to Robert as the musician who sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads. He is also a member of the infamous Twenty-Seven Club, a group of entertainers who have all died at twenty-seven. This club includes Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Jonathan Brandis, and Anton Yelchin, among others.
The supernatural may not just surround Robert Johnson, but may also include his music. Some consider one of his songs, “The Crossroad Blues”, to be cursed. Tragedies have touched Lynyrd Skynrd, The Allman Brothers Band, Robert Plant, and Eric Clapton after performing the song. Kurt Cobain, also a member of the Twenty-Seven Club, considered recording a cover of the song prior to his suicide.
The catch with curses is the possibility of everything being coincidental. Humans look for patterns to make sense of things. It’s in our nature. However, one cannot completely rule out the possibility that curses may be more than just superstition. Many a strange thing happens in this world, some with no more an explanation than curse or coincidence.
“Dude, turn it down!” Lorna shouted at her brother’s closed bedroom door.
The maniacally gleeful sounds of the pop hit of the summer blared from inside Ishan’s room. Lorna rubbed her temples before slamming her fist against the door.
“Ishan! It’s seven in the morning! Please!”
But the song continued. Lorna stood at the door, waiting for some response, waiting until the vapid song with its plastic, manufactured joy, ended. Then, a second of blessed quiet before the music resumed, this time somehow even louder than before. Lorna turned away, rubbing her temples. The headache was coming on again.
The song had been inescapable for the entire first month of summer, and it seemed to be getting more popular every day. And now it filled her family’s tiny bungalow. She had to get out.
Lorna arrived at her favorite coffee shop still dressed in her pajamas, hoping some caffeine would dull her throbbing head. She pulled up to the drive-thru to place her order. Instead of a chirpy voice asking Lorna what they could get started for her, the loathsome song blasted out at her through the tinny speaker, sounding like it was being broadcast from some distant dimension.
“Dammit!” Lorna huffed as she sped through the empty lane and around to the front of the building, wondering where the usual morning rush was. She slammed the car to a stop and gazed inside. Disbelieving her own eyes, Lorna hopped out of her Subaru and pressed her face against the glass storefront with her hands cupped around her face.
Unlike the parking lot, the coffee shop itself was jammed full of people, and they were dancing, every single one of them. Dancing, and bleeding.
Tears of blood streamed down the faces of patrons and employees while wide smiles stretched across their blood-drenched visages and a song, the song, the soundtrack of the summer, blasted at a torturous volume inside the store.
Behind Lorna cars careened and crashed and filled the street, the drivers spilling out of their vehicles, dancing while crimson tears poured over their cheeks. And the song, the feel-good hit of the summer, filled the air, blasting from every stereo.
Suddenly, to her horror, Lorna felt like dancing, and a rivulet of blood seeped from the corner of her eye.
What singers or bands inspired you growing up? Kate Bush, Dead Can Dance, Violent Femmes, Tori Amos, Smashing Pumpkins, Guns n Roses, Annie Di Franco, Cranberries, NIN, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley
If you could be any TV or film horror character, who would you be? Why? I’d be Jack, from The Nightmare Before Christmas, cause I adore, simply adore Danny Elfman!
What non-musical things inspire your music? Films, Books, Food, Sunsets, bad relationships, Alcoholic nights, Sleep deprivation
If you could write your own soundtrack to a horror film already out there, which film would it be? Donnie Darko, although it’s not really a horror film, so let’s try The Beyond (L’Aldila) – E tu vivrai nel terrore! L’aldilà (1981) although that film’s soundtrack is a true gem, a masterpiece
Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most? a. in a roof apartment in Antwerp, with 3 Chinese fluffy chicken. b. in Utrecht, after a gorgeous show we played in an old medieval monastery’s basement theatre.
What are your favorite horror movies? I used to love zombie movies, cause they were fun, and I always love the latex effects. After seing the SAW series (up until III) I got disgusted at almost everything that contains torture, and now I only watch vampire or mystery or historical stuff.
What was the scariest night of your life? Watching Nightmare on Elm Street 3 – the puppet scene. I still have nightmares about it.
If you could bring back greats who have passed on, who would be your undead opening band? Layne Staley with Mark Lanegan and Christ Cornel with an Ennio Morricone conducted orchestra
Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the Horror Addicts? I sometimes lay in bed and think I soak into the mattress all the way to the earth’s core and can hear everyone’s thoughts while descending. I swear I heard your voice, too, one day .. (just kidding.. or not?)
Greetings Horror Addicts! As I work on this collection of tracks for you to check out, it is indeed foggy and overcast outside, blanketing my neighborhood in that gray tinge that hurts your eyes and makes you long for a fire or for an afternoon curled up in bed with a good book. I hope wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, you’re staying healthy and safe and listening to some good tunes. Looking for new music? I’ve got a bunch of artists to share with you!
Amulet hails from Washington D.C. and will appeal to fans of Concrete Blonde or current rockers Dorothy as well as Coyote Kid as reviewed here on Horror Addicts last year. Their bio on BanCamp states that Amulet is bass-driven, dark alternative rock with powerful female vocals. With a theatrical performance ranging from high-energy post punk to soulful a cappella movements, Amulet is a ride through the emotional journey that is the dark side of the human experience. Their latest album, House of Black and White has some fabulous tracks such as “Valentine’s Day” and the title track “House of Black and White.” The album contains several solid rockers for the goth set. The band would be right at home on a dark bar stage belting out “Ghost of You” and I’d personally love to catch their live set someday.
New remixes are out now from industrial outfit Panic Lift’s Disease of Kings for you to check out. The Hate Club manages to sound just as heavy and fierce in an unplugged format. Check out their Unplugged Pt. 2 EP. Xenocide, the latest project from SINthetik Messiah, is a sci-fi-influenced EP about the end of a world and the life within, a topic many of us have likely pondered over the past three years. The songs all have a steady beat and a compelling hook. Check them out on BandCamp. And last but certainly not least, Blazer Jacket, a retrowave artist from Ukraine, brings us the powerful track “Get Out.” Excellent production quality, heavy vocals, and a clear message give this track it’s heart. It is a call to arms for the artist’s people who are currently engaged in the fight for their lives. Please show some support for Blazer Jacket during this bleak time for their country.
I have two recs on this occasion, and both are not what you’d consider horror when you look at their face value. Falling in Reverse are best known for their early emo anthems like “I’m Not A Vampire” and “Don’t Play With Ouija Boards”…wait, okay maybe they’ve got some horror themes in their repertoire. I first heard their new track “Voices in My Head” this week, and I was curious about lead singer Ronnie Radke’s latest hijinks. I looked up the video and was impressed with the level of production which has been improving with each new offering. FIR never shies from the darker side of humanity and sanity, but this particular video finds Radke’s many personas killing each other off. It’s quite graphic and brutal, but compelling to watch. If darker action flicks a la John Wick are your jam, check out this video.
And then I came across the latest from manic pretty boy Brendon Urie and Panic! At The Disco…Again, Urie and co. are known for their emo gems like “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” but if you watch their videos, or if you’ve ever watched any of Urie’s Vines, you’ll notice that he’s got a delicious dark side. Just check him out in the video for “Emperor’s New Clothes” in his devil disguise and you’ll love it. In their new track, “Viva Las Vengeance” Urie becomes the victim of his…piano. You gotta watch it. The track is peppy and pop-punky, but the video is dark. And bloody. And I loved it. Check out these offerings on my YouTube Music Playlist and Stay Tuned for more…
Bourbon House is one of the most exciting bands to come across my Horror Addicts Music Desk and their new album Into the Red is not to be missed. They are described on their website as “Forever passionately in love with the classic ’60s and 70’s hard rock sound of pioneering artists like Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath, bourbon house are on a mission to create music that is timeless and infectious.”
Oh, yes! Give me all the female-fronted grungy bluesy hard rock please and thank you. Fans of The Dead Weather, Dorothy, and The Kills will dig tracks like “Devil On My Heels” and “Dead In The Water.” These tracks would have fit right in on the True Blood soundtrack and are perfect for road trips, whiskey drinking, and good times with your friends. I look forward to more!
This week’s Shoutout is for Neonpocalypse and their new EP -Ish. This is the first-ever solo project by Then Comes Silence frontman Alex Svenson. It’s an apocalyptic EP for the ambivalent set. “Lips” is a gloomy jam that stands out from the rest of the tracks.
Dream Widow is the metal band you’ll die for, but have never heard of…
Foo Fighter’s frontman Dave Grohl never does anything halfway, so when the band recorded their 10th album, Medicine at Midnight, they rented a house that allegedly had some extra ghost hosts living in it, and apparently, the band had some interesting experiences—which led Dave to decide, “we’re going to make a horror movie!” Studio 666 was born, and Horror Addicts, believe me when I say you will not be disappointed. I’ll work up a review for the film, but it was this strange appearance of a new artist on my YouTube Music recommendations that had me wondering…who is Dream Widow? The answer is, you guessed it, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. They recorded a full-length super heavy metal album to go along with the film and I am so in love. They drew on all of their influences dating back to Black Sabbath, Ozzy, and Motorhead but the sound is refreshingly new. Yes, you can tell the Foos are behind it, and sometimes you can recognize Dave’s voice, but just like they did with their Bee Gees tribute album The Dee Gees Hail Satin, they went all in to make a fantastic record. I highly suggest you check out the movie and the Dream Widow album. What better way to honor the memory of recently deceased drummer Taylor Hawkins? It was tough to watch as my heart is still hurting for the band, but I laughed and cried along, and I’m sending a big hug to the band and all of the fans missing Taylor.
That’s it for this time. Check out this week’s tunes on the Playlist and Stay Tuned for more…
The Texas band Sevit has a sound reminiscent of Joy Division and according to their Facebook page, their sound comes from “the influences of Pornography-era Cure and a decade of post minimalistic, monologic analog sounds with melodies, big beats, and dreamy vocal hooks.” They released a cover of and this nod to The Crow hits its mark. The accompanying tune “It All Comes Down To Me” is a slow haunting tune to complement the cover tune. It’s a promising collection from the band and we look forward to hearing more in the future.
This week’s Shoutout is for the band Black Angel, who appeared previously on HorrorAddicts.net. Their latest single “Breathe” is the first of four new tracks expected from the band in early 2022 and does not disappoint. Fans of The Cure and Peter Murphy will enjoy the twisted tale of love and obsession.
Bring Me The Horizon has become one of my go-to bands for heavy mood times. Their song “Parasite Eve” I’ve shared with you before and it became my Pandemic Anthem. They have a new collaboration out with rapper Masked Wolf, “Fallout,” and it is a total end-of-the-world creepy track you’ve got to check out. I’ve seen clips of the video and ohhh…Oli Sykes is such a chameleon. I love it.
Ice Nine Kills has also put out a video-game-adjacent track from PubG, “Hunting Season,” and I’m in love. Any gamers out there? I’d love to hear some of your favorite tracks?
That’s it for this time. All of the bands featured in Merrill’s Musical Musings are available on the Horror Addicts 2022 playlist. Stay Tuned for more…
The Royal Ritual is the artist name for David Lawrie, a UK-based, multi-talented musician. Gnossienne No. 1 is an ethereal piano performance with modern touches. According to Wikipedia, The Gnossiennes are several piano compositions by the French composer Erik Satie in the late 19th century. The works are for the most part in free time and highly experimental with form, rhythm and chordal structure. The form as well as the term was invented by Satie.
Lawrie’s take on Erik Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1 is the perfect accompaniment for reading your favorite tales of vampires or visiting haunted houses. The artist’s compositions can be found in TV and film as well.
This week’s Shoutout goes to Plastic Assault Network. “Soul Seeker” is the third and final single released by Plastic Assault Network on December 17th, 2021, and completes their EP.
Ro’s Recs this week features the Papa himself. Ghost’s latest release Impera features the catchy tune “Twenties” as well as the gorgeous track “Call Me Little Sunshine.” Ghost is considered a metal band, but fans of Blue Oyster Cult and Nightwish will love them as will true metalheads. Their music is strangely addicting and though it contains guitars, Papa Emeritus (Sweden’s Tobias Forge) has such a beautifully soothing voice, you find yourself singing along to lyrics about darkness, the devil, and dystopia-like a pop music earworm. I never quite understood why all of my musician heroes were obsessed with Ghost…until I saw them live. Then I, too, became a believer. Impera is a full-bodied, Satiric/Satanic feast of audial delight. Check it out.
Clockwork Wonderland contains stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of murderous clockworks, insane creations, serial killers, zombies, and a blood thirsty jabberclocky. Prepare to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.
Edited by Emerian Rich
Cover by Carmen Masloski
Laurel Anne Hill
With Foreword by David Watson
Hatter’s Warning by Emerian Rich
Starting off with a poem from the Mad Hatter who warns us, our time is running out and Alice the queen of Wonderland is after our heads and our souls.
Jabberclocky by Jonathan Fortin
A drunken clock repair shop owner and his abused son receive a visit form the Mad Hatter who has an evil plan to bring a murderous Jaberclock to life. Only the Cheshire Cat can save the day or is he as mad as the Hatter?
Hands of Time by Stephanie Ellis
The Queen of Heart’s executioner and timekeeper are looking for an apprentice and a new set of hands to kill and kill again to run the queen’s clock.
Clockwork Justice by Trinity Adler
With only one day and two clues, a bloody torn card and carrot tarts, Alice fights to prove she’s innocent and avoid losing her head to the Red Queen’s executioner.
My Clockwork Valentine by Sumiko Saulson
Unlike the White Rabbit, Blanche Lapin does not carry her timepiece in her pocket, but in her chest. It’s a Victorian-era clockwork pacemaker and if it’s not wound every forty-eight hours, she will die. When the key is stolen, the thief who has it will let her die if she doesn’t declare her love and stay with him forever.
Blood will Have Blood by James Pyne
There are many Wonderlands and a young woman is trapped in one where she is expected to be the new Alice. It’s a place where the rivers are filled with corpses and that’s not even the worst of it. The only way out is by wearing a clock necklace that needs blood for fuel, but what happens if it runs out?
Midnight Dance by Emerian Rich
Wonderland is being overrun by zombies. Mr. Marsh and The Mad Hatter are in a race against time to jam up the clockmaker’s clock and stop the undead apocalypse. If they can’t the apocalypse will start over and over as the clock strikes one.
A Room for Alice by Ezra Barany
When Alice is locked in a blood-splattered room and poisoned by D, she must behead the Queen of Spades within fifteen minutes in order to get the antidote. Can Tweedle help, or is he part of the problem?
Frayed Ears by H.E. Roulo
Caught in a child’s fever-fueled dream, The White Rabbit, The Scarecrow, and other storybook characters soon discover that story time is coming to an end and maybe so are they.
King of Hearts by Dustin Coffman
A prequel story to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this tale explains how the Queen became mad, and why she hates the name Alice so much, though it has nothing to do with the real one.
Riddle by N. McGuire
A steampunk take on the infamous tea party, with a killer twist.
Tick Tock by Jaap Boekestein
To hear him tell it, a heroic wild card fights against the usurper Alice and puts Mary—the true Queen Of Hearts—on Watch World’s throne. Is that what’s really going on?
Gone a’ Hunting by Laurel Anne Hill
Alease goes rabbit hunting, but she’s the one caught in a place where she will have plenty of time to think about what she’s done.
The Note by Jeremy Megargee
Cheshire Cat tells a story about the changing, horrifying world of Wonderland and why he has to leave it.
Half Past by K.L. Wallis
A woman follows a mysterious man though the subway and travels back in time to the late 1800s, where she finds that instead of the patriarchal norms of the past, she is in a Wonderland where women are the superior sex and moral boundaries cease to exist.
Ticking Heart by Michele Roger
A woman on a train goes to visit Alice in a war-torn steampunk Wonderland, which is very different than the one we know.
NY-based Crimson Brulee released their promising EP Tragica, which brings us “words for the wounded hearts of the world.” Guitar-heavy licks laced with synthesizers give them a rich sound and the production quality on this EP is quite pleasing. The male vocalist channels his inner Peter Murphy while the female’s vocals add a soft melodic quality to their tracks. Crimson Brulee is definitely a band to watch.
The track “I Came Back To You” has an 80s horror movie vibe Horror Addicts will enjoy, and “Nothing Dies Forever” is a goth love anthem for the ages. “Where Tarantulas Roam” has a radio-ready hook that surprised me with its catchy vibe. Check out Crimson Brulee on YouTube Music
I’d also like to give a Shout-out to the band Cut Like This. Their track “The Boogieman” is like dancing with a nightmarish Gwen Stefani and I am here for it. Horrorpunk is such a fun genre and I recommend you check out this fun creepy lullaby.
If the Trinity of Terror tour happens to come to your town, you should totally check it out. Lilith Czar, Motionless in White, Black Veil Brides, and Ice Nine Kills? Yes, please! I caught the San Jose show at the Civic Auditorium, which is a gloriously old venue that had great energy and my black little heart was so fulfilled by their musical offerings. If Ice Nine Kills would just create a rock opera and bring it to the stage, the world would be a better place.
Catch tracks from all of the bands I’m reviewing this season on the HorrorAddicts.net YouTube Music Playlist.Stay Tuned for more…
Dave McAnally is the main driving force behind electro-industrial acts, SYS MACHINE, and DERISION CULT and is an extremely prolific artist/songwriter. Graceful Isolation is the title of the new Sys Machine album available via Bandcamp. We’d like to thank Dave for his time in this short interview.
You are the main guy behind the projects Sys Machine and Derision Cult. What are the differences in terms of themes, inspirations, and otherwise?
I’m the main guy behind both of them, but I have different folks I collaborate with. Gabe Wilkinson from the band Microwaved is involved in various ways on both Sys Machine and Derision Cult. Kimberly of Bow Ever Down does vocals on 2/3 of the tracks on ‘Graceful Isolation’ and I worked with a number of remixers for that. Derision Cult really started as sort of my platform to comment on what I felt were big themes in society. It’s not so much political as is sociological. I spent a lot of years in the advertising industry and saw firsthand how public perceptions have been manipulated and how big companies will seize on moments and movements to harness anger and anxiety to sell more products.
Particularly on ‘Charlatans Inc’ I felt like those were important issues to address- especially with what’s all happened in the last couple of years with the pandemic and political agitation in America. Some of that is more coerced and less altruistic than it appears. So that’s more me talking about the world at large. Musically, it’s industrial metal. It’s me fusing my love of all things thrash, punk, and industrial and I am always fusing other things like blues, jazz, rockabilly, and reggae into it – which are also things I’m really into. Sys Machine is a different animal entirely. It started life as experiments with different sounds, synths, and arrangements, and ‘Graceful Isolation’ is really the culmination of a few years of that. It felt like the right time with the tracks that became ‘Graceful Isolation’ to step up a bit, work with new people and really make something of those tracks and turn them into songs. I take inspiration from what some industrial artists from the ’90s were doing in the early 2000’s – Van Christie with Eco-Hed, Chris Randall with Micronaut, Mike Fisher with Amish Rake Fight, etc. There’s some really excellent stuff that got made.
Can you tell us more about the specific themes behind “Graceful Isolation”, the new album from Sys Machine?
Kim’s lyrics deal primarily with isolation, revenge through rising above situations and chasing dreams even when they feel unattainable. My tracks are almost entirely related to what I was going through while we were putting the tracks together. I’d quit drinking a bit prior to that and wanted to say something about what that felt like. I don’t have any point of view about what people should or shouldn’t do in their lives or anything like that. But the experience of giving that up and sort of looking at the world with a fresh sober set of eyes is pretty profound. Anybody who’s given up something like that probably knows what I mean. You see how a lot of notions you had about joys in life are really illusions brought on by whatever vice in question. So “Drowning in the Past” is sort of a hypothetical conversation I’d have with myself if I could go back and tell my former self what it’s like on the other side of that decision and how there’s really nothing to be worried about. “Illusions” is pretty to the point about all the distorted realities you can create for yourself in the service of a vice.
Since this is a horror site, we have to ask some horror-related questions… What horror movie character would you identify with most and why?
Ha! I was literally just having a conversation with my daughter about all the classic Universal monsters. Some definitely aged better than others! But I used to watch those all the time when I was her age (she’s going to be 8). Anyhow- I think I’d say I identify the most with Dr. Frankenstein (not the monster, the scientist dude). In the 1931 movie- they sort of touch on how myopic and obsessive he is. He gets pretty single-minded about his projects, to the detriment of people close to him. I don’t want to go raise the dead or anything, I’m definitely somebody who gets tunnel vision and hyper-focuses on things– be it in music or in business or whatever.
Do you have any particular favorite horror-related films, TV shows, and so on?
Oh man, we love Stranger Things in my house! Not sure if that counts. When it comes to horror, I’m a total occult/satanism guy. I still think The Exorcist is one of the freakiest movies even till. There’s another movie from the ’70s that never became iconic like that, but it’s called The Sentinel and it’s another one of those 70’s occult horror films that had to rely on practical effects to bring the scary. It’s got that same “the older it gets the scarier it gets” vibe the Exorcist does. But exorcisms, possessions, ghosts, etc– those are my jam. My wife likes the blood and guts stuff like Saw and the demonic stuff keeps her up at night so we usually watch horror movies in separate rooms haha.
What’s been the scariest time for you over the past couple of challenging years?
Definitely when the company I was working at basically buckled under the weight of Covid. It happened pretty fast because we were so steeped in the travel industry and that was one of the first to grind to a halt. Anybody who’s been in that position of having the rug yanked out from you career-wise knows what that’s like. Unless you’re independently wealthy or something things like how you’re going to pay for groceries or the mortgage or whatever, let alone plan for the future become constant stresses. But like most of those situations, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I ended up starting my own company and that’s been a huge success. So much that I’ve since started another business that’s also coming together nicely. So it was a scary time, but it had a happy ending.
Thanks for your time. These last words are yours.
Thanks for the questions! You can check out both Sys Machine and Derision Cult on Bandcamp, and we’re streaming everywhere! Got a big year planned with new collaborations on both fronts!
By the light of day, David Mark Stashko practices social work with special attention to addiction, recovery and homelessness. He is also an avid cryptozoologist and paranormal/supernatural explorer. He writes books and speaks about these topics in various circles and under the moniker of “Light, Darkness and Dreamscapes.”
At night, David often transforms into Lucifer Fulci, a character he created in 1994 for death rock legends, Penis Flytrap. Since the inception of Fulci, he has created/participated in horror conventions, numerous solo records, multiple extreme horror books, various short movies, music videos and is the co-creator of his current band, LORDS of OCTOBER, with fellow author and filmmaker, Paul Counelis AKA Uncle Salem.
Fulci is partnered with his Wife, Scarah Stashko, who creates the majority of the art for all his projects and is his morbid media muse for all things strange and beautiful.
Lucifer won Best in Blood for Season 16. Here’s what he had to say after the announcement.
Lucifer Fulci: “Thank you from the bottom of my black heart for voting me best in blood for season 16. It’s a great honor as ever. I thank you. I love you.”
Please enjoy the following interview with Lucifer.
NTK: How old were you when you first discovered horror?
LF: I was probably about 7 or 8. I saw a commercial for The Exorcist on the tele and told my parents that I wanted to watch it. They told me not to, and if I did, I could not sleep in bed with them. I watched it.
And then I went to sleep in bed with them
Since then, I have had the infection of horror.
NTK: (Laughs.) Is The Exorcist your favorite horror movie? If not, what is?
LF: That is the loaded question of all time. To answer it plainly, it might be. I simply cannot say.
To give you a longer answer, a more real answer, it changes from time to time.
So, for today, I have been having a love affair with Dawn of the Dead again. And Zombie.
But The Exorcist has to be the one that will always remain closer to my little black heart
and a million more. I love so many of them and so many are meaningful to me. Really, it is so hard to say.
NTK: What is your favorite horror television show at this time?
LF:Lovecraft Country, most likely, as I have just discovered it and am having a love affair with it. Also, Raised by Wolves is a close second…for right now.
I finally finished the Outsider and love that, too, but not as much as those other two.
NTK:Lovecraft Country is based on a book. Do you have a favorite horror novel at this time?
LF: That is another loaded question. It is easy for me to say that I have a few all-time faves, like Ninth and Hell Street by Chas Balun and Off Season by Jack Ketchum, but I also love to say how I love my own books a lot. That is kind of cheating…but each time I open an old one up, I think like, if I had not written it, I would love to be reading it. I recently read a portion of my book Vile Witches for an event called The Fall of April Ghouls Days…and I found that I actually enjoyed it greatly. But I dunno if that is cheating, to answer it like that.
NTK: (Laughs.) I don’t think so. What author has influenced you the most?
LF: Lovecraft, for sure. It was Chas Balun who really mentored me before my first novel, and I love his work, but over the years, Lovecraft has influenced me so much in my writing, in my music..its undeniable.
NTK: Did his work inspire any of your stories? What inspires you in your writing?
LF: Yes, by all means, there are a ton of short stories, like in my Collection of Horror series, just all over there, but I have a novella called The Elder Thing that was greatly inspired..and Wormutanous. I love my Howard Phillip.
It all depends on what inspires me…
Really, I get inspired by so many elements of the supernatural…music…Halloween…love stories, too. And then it’s just what I feel..and I try to not do the same things all the time..but that happens sometimes.
I used to want to make the goriest book ever made..and then I kept outdoing it..again. And again.
All kinds of things…from another world.
NTK: You’ve mentioned music and you’re a musician as well. Do you feel writing songs is the same as writing stories? Or do you feel you have to use a different part of your brain for each?
LF: Good question. It is similar, in many ways, yes. There is a lot of me that, when I create, it just sort of happens. When I sit at the keys and type, and the same with music…and then I try to organize it. I would have to say that with music, I have, so far, a broader range of emotion. I have a lot more love songs that I do stories about love.
NTK: What inspired “Blasphemy?”
LF: That is a kind of funny story, because like I was saying before, I have tried to outdo one gore book over another..over the years..but for this one, I felt a real desire to touch into the satanic type of realm. Just for fun. Not to mention, I had made a new friend around the same time. Her name is Soma and some of her images, art, creation, they inspired me. She is also the cover model for that book. So, in a lot of ways, she inspired me…but it is a work of fiction. She is not really a demon…or is she? (Laughs.)
NTK: Do you outline your books and stories? Or do you write by the seat of your pants?
LF: Definite outline. I will come up with an idea..and then I will think of the full story, break each idea down to chapters and then start from there.
I tend to jump around sometimes, but I still stay pretty grounded in the core story.
NTK: Do your characters have free will at all? Or do you control their every move?
LF: I am their master, their Lord. I am in control of all of their little lives…unless they gather their own self-awareness. Then the game is over.
NTK: (Laughs.) You’re a cryptozoologist and supernatural/paranormal explorer. Have you ever participated in any paranormal investigations?
LF: Yes, the real deal. I have been a part of, party to, and experienced more than the scope of this conversation allows. What I can say, with no reservations, is that it is all real. All of it. There are other worlds before our very eyes and things within it. Sometimes they speak and show us, other times, they sing in our dreams, but yes, I have known for many a year that this world is only one of endless worlds… if we keep our eyes open equally as our spirits, we shall feel what most people fear.
At one point, many years back, I channeled a spirit to a family I knew in Los Angeles and answered questions I could not have known the answers to. It was strange and wonderful
And it allowed some kind of closure to previous issues they had. And I had no idea it was happening until it was over.
I don’t mean to sound hokey at all, these things have just been with me for many years.
NTK: What is your favorite curse?
LF: My favorite curse? I am not sure I have one! (Laughs.) But I do like that movie, the Curse of La Llorona. It was pretty cool.
NTK: How about your favorite curse word?
LF: Well, I am not sure. I can bet you 666 dollars that my friends would say that it is FUCK. There are just so many ways to use it. I hardly ever use it in anger, unless I am by myself.
NTK: Thank you for chatting with me today, Lucifer! You’ve been a wonderful guest!
LF: And you have been a wonderful host. Thank you for this opportunity
Now, Addicts, enjoy this music video from Lucifer’s band Lords of October!
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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…
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.
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 onMachine 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.
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 email@example.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…
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.