Wednesday 13 – ‘Necrophaze’

By Louis Kerry

Drawing from his inspiration of all things supernatural, deathly and disgusting, the self proclaimed ‘Duke of Spook’ Wednesday 13 is back with his eighth solo album ‘Necrophaze’, full of bloodthirsty horror punk anthems that are bound to keep you up at night.

Following a string of forgettable releases that leaned too far towards a more nihilistic heavy metal approach, ‘Necrophaze’ sees Wednesday 13 return to his roots with tracks that are grittier, faster, and have a cheesy B-movie horror inspired theme flowing through them. For the first time, Wednesday 13 has also allowed some of his friends to join him; the album features guest performances from some of the biggest names in metal, including king of the rock realm Alice Cooper, who appears on the opening title track and adds his legendary voice to begin the hellish proceedings.

Lyrically goofy and gruesome, ‘Bring Your Own Blood’ sounds like something straight out of an 80s gore-fest film, while ‘Decompose’ creates an unsettling atmosphere, brought to life by the unique synths provided by Stone Sour sticksman Roy Mayorga. ‘Monster’ features killer (excuse the pun) guitar work from lead thrasher Ron Surman, as well as the unique guest vocals of Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia for added intensity, creating one of the highlights of the album.

Elsewhere, ‘Zodiac’ takes you through an eerie journey that even John Carpenter would be shaken by. Wednesday 13 still can’t sing any better, but his disturbing screeching vocal style adds to the creepy atmosphere that develops into darker territory as the album progresses. The sinister ‘Be Warned’ interlude by former GG Allin bandmate Jeff Clayton is disturbing enough to make you keep a sharp object close to you in bed, while ‘The Hearse’ takes the heaviest approach of the album as the relentless breakdown from drummer Kyle Castronovo is the biggest headbang moment on ‘Necrophaze’. ‘Tie Me A Noose’ halts the momentum; it’s uninspiring from all angles, with a chorus that carries little substance.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that ‘Necrophaze’ is one dimensional, but it still provides a welcome break in a sea of metal and punk records taking life too seriously. If you want to immerse yourself in a scene straight out of a gorefest horror flick or come face to face with the zodiac killer, this album should be considered a gold standard.

Whether the occasion is partying or decapitating, Wednesday 13 is the godfather of creating the most sadistic of soundtracks. Full of cadaverous imagery, ‘Necrophaze’ is the front man’s best work since ‘Skeletons’. Going back to basics has paid off murderously for him – and the scariest thing is that the album seems a less scary place to immerse yourself in than what is happening in reality itself.

LOUIS KERRY

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