1) Patient Zero
2) Carfax Abbey
4) Soul Of Fire
5) Dark Prince
6) In Moonlight
Well, talk about a hell of a killer birthday present. Released on Halloween 2017 (yes, my actual birthday), The Theatre Zombies have returned with another delicious slice of horrorpunk infused with a pop sensibility that fits with their previous releases while showing some growth. We’ve looked at The Theatre Zombies before, having reviewed their 2012 release Before Daybreak here and their last release in 2016, A Name Whispered In Fear here. Having featured the band heavily in the past, it only seems natural that we take a look at Welcome To Oblivion, so here we go.
The album blasts out of the gate with “Patient Zero,” an appropriate zombie tale which exudes the fun and slyly wicked style of poppy horrorpunk the band has become known for. The band, consisting of guitarist and lead vocalist Rob Harms Belmont, bassist/vocalist Michael Van Buren and drummer/vocalist Tommy Tran, with additional backing vocalist Ashley Gardner all absolutely shine on this record. I’ve long praised Belmont‘s vocal stylings, and easily consider him one of the best vocalists in the genre today. The band moves from one form of the undead to another, focusing “Carfax Abbey” on Count Dracula’s legendary place of residence in England after the fated trip of the Demeter. The nonstop momentum of the album continues through “Archvile” and into “Soul Of Fire” before listeners are treated to an absolute gem.
From the first moment I heard “Dark Prince” I was blown away. With most bands that I have reviewed, usually only one or two songs make it into my daily rotation given how many bands I come across, but The Theatre Zombies are one of the few bands to buck that trend. With songs from all across their discography inserting their way in, and “Dark Prince” immediately did that. I’m not even sure what it is that I can explain about it, but it’s just one of those tracks that hits in all the right ways. An absolute banger as the kids would say (do kids say that nowadays?!?).
The (all-too) short album comes to a close with “In Moonlight” which is another fast and ridiculously catchy track, but as good as it is, it pales in comparison to the preceding track. But do not sleep on it by any means, as it could be the one that hits with you the way that “Dark Prince” did with me.
At this point, I simply can’t help but question how The Theatre Zombies are not bigger than they are. In my eyes, they are among the absolute elite in the genre today, and have been for quite some time. Some may be turned off by the more pop-punk style, which truthfully I usually am with most bands, but again, something with them just clicks. The only gripe I can make about this album is the short length, as I would much prefer another full-length from the band. And when that’s the only thing you can complain about, you know you got a winner on your hands. As the end of 2017 approaches, having been a year chock-full of great horrorpunk albums, Welcome To Oblivion stands near the top without a doubt.
Head over to The Theatre Zombies Bandcamp page to grab your copy of Welcome To Oblivion for $5, and grab the rest of the band’s back catalogue while you’re there! And be sure to give the band a Like on their Official Facebook Page!