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“…he killed young girls, cut off their buttocks, only the most succulent meat he would eat…”
While ‘87’s Grim Reality rips and shreds the surface of what Macabre can concoct, Gloom massacres it with nineteen more tracks that were carved into leathery flesh over the two years between bloodbaths. There are lyrics here that will spring the giggles on you. They may mesmerize with their unusual and unexpected musical adeptness. Their uncanny penchant for peppy, upbeat vibes behind images of families mowed down by gunfire in McDonalds is legendary in certain circles. They’ll probably never find themselves in the forefront of any genre, and that’s just as it should be.
Nineteen tracks is a load to delve into individually, and I find it best to grab the standouts and throw them some written identity. One cannot bypass the tearing ode to humanity at its selfish best, “Trampled to Death”, an unyielding destructor about the (in)famous The Who concert where people were stampeded by their neighbors for better seats. A batty harmonization of perky half nasal-half monotone vocals is the main focus of many a chorus on Gloom, starting with the catchy “Trampled…” and sweeping over into the upbeat “Holidays of Horror”, the entirety of “McMassacre (James Huberty)”, “David Brom (He Took an Axe)”, “Green River Murderer (He’s Still Out There)” and a few others. Like a madman’s temper, vocals swing from an inhuman screech to a throat-searing shriek and down into a pit of thrash bawl and about fourteen points in-between that cannot be dubbed sane. The musical departure of “Evil Ole Soul”, about cannibal Jociam Kroll, is a pleasant acoustical ditty that will detail yet another stamp in the band’s horrendous din (and will follow over into serene “Nostradamus”), complete with impromptu 'round-the-campfire vocals. The short but violent “I Need to Kill” mutates into unkempt grind madness and with any sort of known punk influence taking a long deserved haul down to the lake to drown, meanwhile the surprisingly tight breaking structure of “Ultra Violent” is a first for the band. Despite its uneventful chorus, “Rat Man” is perhaps one of the best laid out tracks here, alive with some primo riffwork and solid structuring with “Hey Laurie Dann” not too far behind. A few different riffs, most in the maniacal realm, interlope the longer “Funeral Home” to set the sails on the lp's end.
Macabre are the Peek Freens of thrash/speed bands. They’re never a danger to any of music’s imagined crowns, nor will any of the three ever run for Congress. They’re about as relaxed as a marked man hiding next door to the mob’s clubhouse even though their sound can deflect most caliber bullets. Between their morbid sense of humor and unbridled, crazed resonance, they’re most undoubtedly a cultivated taste.
Only Macabre would have a fan club address of Downer’s Grave, Illinois (okay, so it is actually Grove, but hey...).
Just to make it clear, I have the version with six bonus tracks.
What can I say, this is outstanding. "Embalmer" was the first Macabre song I heard, and still remains one of my favourites, McMassacre is a real gem (foreshadowing McDahmers ;)), but my favourites here are the more sloppy, punk influenced songs ("Trampled To Death", "David Brom Took An Axe").
The great thing about this CD is that you can give it to a punk, and he'll most probably enjoy it; you can give it to a hardcore fan, a grinder, a metalhead and have similar results. The production has it's bad moments in this CD (especially on my LIVE bonus tracks), but it's still a great achievement in the grind world by the masters of murdermetal. Though not superior to Sinister Slaughter or Dahmer, this is still an amazing album. I wouldn't pass this up (or any other Macabre album) if I were you.
There are several versions of this CD. One with just the Gloom album, which is still in print (as far as I know), one with six extra bonus tracks, and one with their Grim Reality demo tacked onto it (which is out of print).
Get this if you're a fan of stuff like Raunchous Brothers, Combat Wounded Veteran, Burnt By The Sun.