Release Year: 2014
1) Intro: A Return To Necrosis
4) The Marsten House
5) Halloween ’63
6) The Ossuary
The man known as Shadow Windhawk has made quite a name for himself amongst the horrorpunk scene. Previously a guitarist in the well known band DieMonsterDie, he now spends his time playing guitar in Argyle Goolsby‘s solo project, as well as his own band.
In 2013 he released a solo EP known as Tales From The Black Lodge to announce that he was not just a backing member, but a force to be reckoned with on his own. Tales From The Black Lodgewas an interesting venture, being acoustic and having an overall sense of dread to it.
To start off 2014 he has started a new band more in line with the traditional horrorpunk sound, but putting his own spin on it. Shadow Windhawk And The Morticians come blasting out the gate with this 6 song EP, but the question remains, is it worth your time and money?
Thankfully the answer is yes. Led by Windhawk‘s one of a kind vocals, Casket Spray announces itself as the first big horrorpunk release of 2014.
The album begins with Intro: A Return To Necrosis which is a collection of horror movie samples played over an almost electronic background beat. While horror movie samples are certainly a staple of the genre, the way these ones are presented gives it a fresh spin.
Up next is the first “real” song on the album, and the first song released upon the public, 1428. Obviously that specific number has much meaning to any horror fan, as we all know it is the address of Nancy Thompson’s home on Elm Street. The song takes a driving beat laid down by Windhawk, as well as Trip MD on the drums and Rich Misery on bass, and plasters an ode to everyone’s favorite series about a dream stalking slasher over it.
We then segue into the opus of the album, Midian. Being a song written about one of the most overlooked and underappreciated films of all time, Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, it is appropriate that the band chose this song to make into their epic. Moreso than any other song on this EP, this is the song that just feel grand in scope, and where the band cuts loose completely letting their talents be shown. While the EP as a whole is very strong, it’s Midian that takes the album to a different level and hints at the greatness that is certain in the future for the band. An album full of songs like this and people will certainly be uttering Shadow Windhawk and the Morticians in the same vein as horrorpunk greats like The Misfits and Blitzkid, which I do not say lightly as Blitzkid are my favorite band.
The album then takes a bit of a detour with The Marsten House, which is a much slower song than the rest of the EP. While by no means a bad song, it is in my opinion the weakest of the bunch, but still has received quite a bit of airplay since I got my hands on the album, which should speak volumes.
Following The Marsten House the tempo kicks back up a notch with Halloween ’63. While there is of course no shortage of horrorpunk songs about The Shape, Halloween ’63 definitely would make Michael Myers proud.
The album closes with The Ossuary, a song that lends itself well to Windhawk‘s vocals. The melody almost makes one think of something you would have heard on the radio back in the ’90s, with a horrorpunk twist. Without a doubt a strong closing to a fine EP.
I must comment on Shadow‘s vocals, as they are a highlight of the album. Many horrorpunk bands shamelessly rip the Danzig style of vocals, something that has long been an issue for me. While there is a place for it, having it over saturate the genre is never a good thing. And while there are hints of that style in Windhawk‘s vocals, there is more than enough distinction to make his vocals all his own. I can honestly say that I have not heard another singer quite like him, and I believe this will help The Morticians stand out going forward.
The band as a whole sounds incredibly tight, and the production value is phenomenal, which is refreshing since the genre is generally plagued by bad production value which can hamper great albums, but doesn’t have an effect here.
Overall, this is a great debut from a band that certainly has a promising future, and I will be keeping my eye on any future releases from the band.
Midian – Possibly the greatest tune ever written about Nightbreed ever.
You can pre-order the Casket Spray EP now at the band’s Bandcamp page. Thanks to Shadow for providing Mister Gore’s Deadhouse with an advanced copy for review!