Merrill’s Musical Musings : Derision Cult

Macabre Musicians

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


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

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

Ro’s Recs

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


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

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

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Heavy Metal / A Fitting Revenge


Greetings Horror Addicts! I hope this bit of Musical Musing finds you in a good place. I’ve come up with a theory, want to hear it? Yeah. Good. See, my kid’s school starts in early August now. I decided that means it’s fall, and therefore time to bust out the spookies! Right? With this declaration, I put on one of my Halloween necklaces and I treated myself to some new décor this past weekend. Emz and I represented at Creatures Con in Concord, met some cool fellow horror peeps, and shared info on the podcast and Press. I even ran into a few music fans, including a dude in a Slipknot jumpsuit, a young’un sporting a Pierce the Veil shirt, and a gal wearing a homemade, hand-painted System of a Down shirt. I was in heaven chatting with folks about music and horror, and how much we all miss getting together in person! I came home fired up, jammed out to some Ghost, and finished a novella I was writing featuring vampires, witches, and Shifters. Life is good. 

Let’s get to the meat of my Musings and talk about Heavy Metal. I got to chat with our very own Historian of Horror Mark Orr about my favorite genre of music this week and I’m sure I geeked out on him quite a bit. I highly recommend watching Metal Evolution, a ten-part docuseries that features all of the subgenres of heavy music. Check it out and tell me what you think!

Ro’s Reviews

We’ve got a few musical offerings to fit the theme. Melodic death metal outfit A Fitting Revenge from Rochester, New York, launch into punishing yet technically sound riffs from the beginning of their newly released album Omnipresence. Horror Addicts who love to get lost in an album with superior musicianship will enjoy tracks like “The Infinite” and “The Inquisition,” the latter of which takes the listener on an epic sonic journey. Fans of Killswitch Engage, Angelmaker, and Enterprise Earth will dig this sci-fi-infused offering. 

Shout Outs

She 1 Him 2 has put out a couple of singles this year that are worth checking out, including a cover of the Bowie classic “Fame” and “Stuck Inside” a situation many of us can relate to after the past couple of years. Artist CARV.R released the single “Iris,” which has melodic vocals over an excellent hypnotic dance track. And Sirens of Light shared with us a delightful cover of “Revolver” from Mission of Burma. I hope to hear more from these sirens.

Ro’s Recs

I would be remiss if I didn’t inform you that Texas band Space Cadet reunited recently for some shows and released a brand-new album titled 11 that is, quite simply, fire. It harkens back to the early days of grunge but with a modern-day vibe that invokes nostalgia at the same time that it fits with current hard rock/metal radio offerings. I hope this is the beginning of the second half of their career as I’m absolutely sold. Tracks like “All Over But The Dying Now” and “Like a Ghost” definitely go to eleven.

Another must-listen is the all-female Mexican hard rock band The Warning. Their video for “Disciple” has some creepy, mind-control visuals that are a little too close for comfort these days. Check them out!

Check out the tunes above on my YouTube Music Playlist and Stay Tuned for more


Merrill’s Musical Musings : Vision Video

Vision Video

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.

Ro’s Reviews

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!

Shout Outs

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. 


Ro’s Recs

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


Check out the tunes above on my YouTube Music Playlist and Stay Tuned for more


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 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 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 as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @rlmerrillauthor. 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 and on the socials as @rlmerrillauthor. You can also find her Hope, Love, and Queeromance posts over at