Recently it was announced that Denver (where I dwell) will play host to the first Denver Death Metal Fest, a whole slew of local and national death metal bands (and Satan’s Host). The event is 2 days before Halloween and the headliner is none other than death metal piss-takers, Macabre. When I saw that I was instantly intrigued as nostalgia washed all over me. You see way before I was into metal and just reaching the outer rim of punk, I was into Macabre. For some reason their album Sinister Slaughter was a big hit with my pre-teen group of friends. I’m not even sure I knew what death metal was but we knew we liked this. Probably because of how fucking gory and ridiculous it was. I’m sure we didn’t fully grasp the joke at the time but alas we were Macabre fans, and that lasted through the classic Dahmer album and then I just sort of forgot about them. Seeing that name on the concert bill got me interested in exploring their other albums I’d not heard so I landed on the Dahmer follow up, Murder Metal.
How to start with Macabre? Suffice to say, Macabre has been around for the better part of 30 years practically, with a whole slew of EPs and five albums. Macabre’s shtick is all their music is based on and about serial killers. Each album is almost a theatrical performance of music ranging from punk, death metal, thrash, grindcore and classic children’s nursery rhymes and playground songs reworked to feature violent and horrendous lyrics, all at the same time taking the piss out of death metal and extreme music as whole. The joke culminated in awesome affect with 2000’s Dahmer, a concept album about Jeffery Dahmer.
Move to 2003 and murder metal finds Macabre doing what they do best, killer death metal about horrible acts by serial killers, with Corporate Death’s highly distinct (and polarizing) vocal approach. Having heard this for the first time today Murder Metal seems to be more restrained theatrically than their previous albums. Yes, it’s still humorous but there’s much less jumping around musically and it seems like they got a little more serious as a band this time around. Which is fine as they’re excellent musicians and the music on this one is solid but it seems less ridiculous and only with a band like Macabre can that be a negative. It’s still a good album, just not as good as the previous three.
Overall though, it reminded how much fun this band is and I’m looking forward to seeing them live come Halloween time.