1) Welcome To Die!
2) Population: 0
5) Last Day Alive
7) Drinking About You
9) Sincerely, Gabriel
10) Death Undefeated
12) Rock & Roll Pt. 2/Born To Be Wild
I have been a Johnny B. Morbid fan for a few years now. The band seems to be one of those horrorpunk bands that never get brought up with all the big names when talking about the genre, but they have been steadily releasing solid album after album. Last year Johnny himself went the crowd funding route to help produce their newest album. I can very easily recall the amount of times I saw promotion for it, as it was actually one of the first crowdfunded albums I had encountered with hardcore publicity put into it. Of course since then everybody and their zombie sister is going that route, and not to get into the pros and cons of the whole thing, I fully support it. Anything that gets good music out to the unwashed masses is a good thing.
I had actually been wanting to check out the awesomely titled Welcome To Die! for quite a while now, but with the hectic and financially unstable past year of my life I had not gotten around to it. Imagine my surprise when I received an email from the front man himself offering up a review copy. It looks the Deadhouse has actually made an impact, however miniscule it may be, and I couldn’t be happier! So lets talk about the album.
First things first, the name of the album is awesome. For those of you wondering about it, it is a reference to the amazing early-90s X-Men arcade game. If you have never played it, definitely seek it out. It is currently available on Xbox Live Arcade, and I assume on the PlayStation Network as well. When I saw that the intro track shared its name with the album, I wondered how they could include such a ridiculous phrase into a song.
Well, they did it well. Welcome To Die! is a great introduction, bringing the bands trademark melody mixed with dark lyrics. For those of you who have never listened to the band, I would definitely suggest the opener as one of the tracks to check out as an introduction.
The album keeps up the pace through the next few songs with Delusions and the first single, Forever being highlights of the early parts of the album.
Just when you’ve grown used to the faster pace and melodic choruses, the band throws you for a loop with the slow and acoustic Last Day Alive. Many horrorpunk bands have a hard time going soft, and when they do its usually as a bonus track or album closer. So one could say it was a risky move dropping this track right in the middle of the album but it does somehow work here.
They rebound back to the quicker pace with Enough, which starts not so great but by the time the chorus kicks in you can’t help but find yourself tapping your foot and singing along with the infectious lyrics. We then get the requisite love based song with Drinking About You, which while nothing to write home about is a fine addition to the album. Stockholm gets the album fully back on track, although I have to say the opening for some reason reminded me of when I listened to a lot of nu-metal in my teen years. No real reason why either, it just struck me with that vibe, but by the time the chorus kicks in its gone.
Death Undefeated starts with probably the hardest part of the album, an intro I would liken to a more mainstream deathcore sound, but then the vocals come in and melodize the whole song, but it definitely is the hardest track on the album thus far and the highlight of the latter portion of the album. Erebus then grabs you and whips you around starting with an acoustic strumming followed by metalcore type screams in the background. It may not sound like it works, but like earlier, it works. Finally the album closes with Rock & Roll, Pt. 2/Born To Be Wild. At this point you just realize the band wanted to wrap everything up by just having some fun. While Born To Be Wild may be one of the most overplayed and overdone songs ever, Johnny’s vocals lend themself well to the cover, making it listenable. There were so many other songs the band could have done, but it doesn’t affect the overall album, so it gets a pass.
Overall, Welcome To Die! is a fun catchy addition to the genre, and you can see growth in the band. While they were never a band I’ve followed super closely, after this album I can say without regret that I am keeping an eye on the band for sure, and look forward to the next album.
Standout Track: Delusions
You can check out Johnny B. Morbid on their Facebook page, grab Welcome To Die! on their their Official Website and be sure to check them out on tour right now! Also, keep an eye out, as we will be having our second Deadhouse Interview with the front man himself within the next few days!