1) Blood Rapture
3) Cool Air
4) Nancy’s Diary
5) Iron Price
6) No One Left
7) Black Sails
8) Within Reach
9) No Voyage Home
11) House Of Ancient Evil
12) Recently Deceased
I have certainly made no secret of my fandom for The Theatre Zombies. I’ve done an interview with frontman Rob Harms Belmont which you can find here, in addition to a Stereo Terror review of their 2012 release Before Daybreak which you can check out here. So it would be foolish to say that I wasn’t anxiously anticipating their new release A Name Whispered In Fear. Well, I have been able to get my hands on it, so does it hold up with their prior releases?
Right from the opening riff on Blood Rapture and Belmont‘s vocals coming onto the scene, you know you are listening to The Theatre Zombies. One of the things that I have always praised the band for is their unique sound that separates them from many of their contemporaries. I attribute most of this to the vocals, as I honestly cannot think of another vocalist in the genre with the same style or sound. Throughout their many albums, the band has remained steadfast with this sound while continuing to evolve and not compromising what brought them to the dance.
Through the early part of the album, the band keeps things at a breakneck pace, with early highlights being the Alien-influenced Nostromo and the tribute to House Greyjoy from the Game Of Thrones series, Iron Price. When you hit the middle part of the album, some of the songs seem to blend into one another a little bit, which some may argue is the drawback of the band’s signature sound and the grip they hold on to that sound with. As the middle of the album moves to the final third of the album, one big highlight is No Voyage Home. The track tells the tale of the doomed voyage of the Demeter, which is of course the legendary ship that brought none other than Count Dracula from Transylvania to London. Hearing a different take on the classic Dracula tale is both refreshing and interesting.
As the final part of the album comes along, we are treated to what I will say is not only my favorite track on the album, but maybe of 2016 so far. As I had spoken to Belmont about the album prior to listening, I had enthused about how I couldn’t wait to hear Winslow as I had a feeling it was about my favorite musical of all-time, Phantom Of The Paradise. Thankfully I was right about the topic, and even better, the band have put together one hell of a track. Everything about the song just seems to click, for me at least. Again, I may be a little biased on this one given my attachment to the subject matter, but the song just kicks ass.
As the album comes to a close the band pays tribute to Salem’s Lot and everyone’s favorite ghost with the most, Beetlejuice, with House Of Ancient Evil and Recently Deceased respectively. Kincaid closes the album and works just like the final songs on their prior albums, wrapping things up nicely while also leaving the listener wanting more.
Of course, I also need to comment on the album art. As I’ve said in my previous reviews, The Theatre Zombies always have some of the coolest artwork in the genre. For the cover of A Name Whispered In Fear the band chose to use a retro 8-bit look, highlighting a castle in the background (undoubtedly there due to Belmont‘s obsession with the Castlevania game series) and blocky renditions of Winslow from the aforementioned Phantom Of The Paradise, the Xenomorph from Alien among other characters that the album features. Just an all-around incredible art from a band who has always been at the forefront of awesome album covers in the genre.
A Name Whispered In Fear does not reinvent the wheel, but it is an album that stays true to their previous work, while also indicating a band that only continues to get better with every release. This is an album that is absolutely perfect for throwing on and cranking it in your car as you drive. There is no doubt that you will be singing along and having a great time.
Grab your copy of A Name Whispered In Fear and all of the band’s previous releases at The Theatre Zombies BandCamp page and give the band a Like over on their Official Facebook page. Tell them Mister Gore sent ya!