Macabre ~ Grim Scary Tales (Decomposed)
Release Date: February 8, 2011
For those of you who love the morbid side of music, and I mean murderers, famous butchers, serial killers, and slashers of the heyday, Chicago’s Macabre is your band. Their newest album, which marks the band’s 25th anniversary, Grim Scary Tales, doesn’t disappoint. The record packs fourteen tracks of gruesome fables and serial butchers into a fun to listen to, slightly technical death-romp.
Grim Scary Tales is the band’s first album of new material since 2003’s Murder Metal. There are three things that listeners have come to expect when listening to a Macabre album. One is that the lineup will be the same as it has been since 1985. This record is no different with vocalist, guitarist Corporate Death, bassist Nefarious and drummer Dennis The Menace all returning. The second thing is that you’ll get educated on a wide variety of serial killers, and other horrific villains. And of course you can always expect smile inducing lyrics and fun if not sometimes campy musical romps.
On Grim Scary Tales the band have kept their style true to form with speedy, technical, death metal, lightning speed drumming, and vocals that aren’t exactly growling, but they don’t fall into the category of “screaming”, either. The band coins themselves “Murder Metal”. As is true for most Macabre tracks, the lyrics are historically accurate – in fact Macabre has even met with some of the serial killers and villains mentioned in their songs.
Grim Scary Tales starts off hard and heavy with a lightning paced history of the 1st century A.D. Roman serial killer, “Locusta”. It just as quickly changes paces with the folk-inspired, campfire worthy “Nero’s Inferno”.
Among the gory yarns spun on this record are the stories of Mary Cotton a 19th century serial killer who used arsenic to kill off her 9 children and several husbands and suitors. She was hanged at 40 years of age in 1873. The same year that the “Bloody Benders”, a quartet of killers from Kansas, were discovered for their heinous acts. The foursome ran the Wayside Inn where they would kill wealthy guests over dinner and drop them though a trap door in the floor. Macabre turned this tale into an almost country style square dance romp.
Macabre has never taken itself too seriously, and that humerous nursery rhyme style element is present on tracks like, “The Big Bad Wolf” and “Lizzy Borden”. Also included on this record are dirges about Bella the Butcher (the Norwegian American serial killer who is responsible for some 40 murder including her own children), Carl Großmann (who killed some 50 women and used their body parts for meat at his hot dog stand), and Countess Bathory, among others.
Listen to “The Big Bad Wolf”:
Just the song titles alone bring a grin to the face. Songs like the “The Sweet Tender Meat Vendor” which closes out the album, or “The Ripper Tramp From France”.
If you’re already a fan of Macabre, this album will be another one for the favorite pile in your CD collection. If you’re a new fan, Grim Scary Tales will be an excellent beginning education on serial killers, Dracula, and nursery rhymes. Macabre has a deep cult following among death-metal fans, and you really have to check this album out in order to understand why. Words really don’t do it justice.
Highlights : The Big Bad Wolf, Locusta