2) Learn To Bleed
5) Valley Of Shadows
6) Land Of The Dead
8) Love Like Murder
9) Mark Of The Beast
11) Hope Hell Is Warm
I know what you’re asking yourself. Why am I reviewing an album that is already three years old? Well, there are many reasons. One, it’s freakin’ Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, the original guitar slinger for the godfathers of our beloved horrorpunk genre, the Misfits. And two, with Shock Stock coming up this weekend (check out my interview with Jake W. Grimbro, the co-founder and organizer of the event here) I will have the opportunity to actually meet Doyle, so what better time to look back at his eponymous band’s most recent work, Abominator. Also, it’s my Deadhouse, and I make the rules!
Fronted by Cancerslug frontman Alex Story, Doyle stays in the same vein of horrorpunk that Doyle himself laid the foundation for, but takes a decidedly more metal approach to the genre. Having Story on vocals given the style that he is putting out there is a damned near perfect choice. I know at one point that Doyle had Argyle Goolsby of Blitzkid fame fronting his band back in the days when they were called Gorgeous Frankenstein, but with the new approach Story is a seemingly better choice. Also represented in the band are former Misfits drummer Dr. Chud on the skins and ex-Graves bassist Left Hand Graham rounding out the band.
The first thing you hear on the album is an anguished scream from Story followed by a signature crushing riff from Doyle. Harder than the Misfits and more akin to the solo work from Doyle‘s former bandmate Danzig, yet much more melodic in style than Cancerslug, the music comes together as a perfect nightmare of sound. I’m truthfully hard pressed to find a song that just doesn’t work, right from the opening title track. Both Abominator
and Learn To Bleed are crushing and great songs, but the album hits another level once we get to the third track, Dreamingdeadgirls. Starting with the lyrics “What turns me on the most, is a girl without a pulse” you know you’re in for a good time. Then the chorus hits, and holy shit, it is undoubtedly most melodic I’ve ever heard Story and his vocals, and shows the versatility he truly has as a singer.
Headhunter serves as the song on the album likeliest to have appeared on a Misfits album, again with a harder edge. If not for the morbid lyrics, I could absolutely see Valley Of Shadows hitting hard rock radio rotation, and it’s another great example of Story‘s vocals, and as with every song on the album, is driven by an excellent riff from Doyle himself. And while there isn’t as much emphasis on their roles, both Chud and Graham diligently keep everything together to help highlight the guitar and vocals. By the time you hit Land Of The Dead on your listen-through of the album, you will realize that you are not going to be given a moment to breathe, as the pace throughout is just relentless, but in the best way possible.
Cemeterysexxx kicks off the latter half of the album, and much like the previous necrophilia-tinted song Dreamingdeadgirls, it focuses more on the melodic side, and is undoubtedly one of the strongest cuts on the album. Love Like Murder sounds like a slowed-down sludge metal song, with some deliciously morbid and sexual lyrics. Mark Of The Beast begins the album’s final haul, and is what you would expect at this point of the album and what the name of the song is. Bloodstains, at just over four and a half minutes serves as the album’s Freebird and despite a slow and somewhat rocky start, once the chorus hits it becomes one of the most melodic tracks on the album. Finally, the album closes with Hope Hell Is Warm, which works perfect as a closing track as it is both satisfying to listen to yet also leaves you wanting more.
Three years after its release, Abominator is an album I can wholeheartedly recommend anyone who is a fan of the members other bands to check out. In some ways it is almost a lovechild of both Misfits and Cancerslug. Sometimes you just need something fun to bang your head to, and you really can’t go wrong with Abominator.