Grim Scary Tales

Written by: PP on 14/02/2011 03:15:20

About once a quarter a disc sneaks its way to my review pile which is too strange, different, and unique to be given justice on a simple description on paper, but yet that's the impossible job I'm tasked with when dissecting the new Macabre album "Grim Scary Tales", the first one by the band since their 2003 record, the notorious "Murder Metal" which finally put a title on the bizarre style of experimental metal this band has been known for since their 1987 debut "Grim Reality". Their self-proclaimed genre is, and bear with me because I'm really not kidding, 'serial killer murder metal', a suitable definition for what this band is all about.

You see, their lyrics have an immaculate and strong focus on serial killers, mass murderers, and sick gore humour, albeit being based on (mostly) true stories and legendary figures and personalities in the serial killer circles. The band go so much up into their concept and persona that each member has actually sat down and chatted with convicted serial killers.

I wish that was the only strange and inexplicable part about "Grim Scary Tales", but it is not.

Basically what the listener is treated to is an incredible amalgamation of genres splashed and bled out onto the walls of a room we'll equate with the album title "Grim Scary Tales". Grindcore and extreme metal is the starting point, but within seconds the band shifts into death metal, only to morph into a happily sung folk songs moments later, not to even mention the cabaret-esque theatric music that recalls TL's infamous Foxy Shazam description "it sounds like a piano is flying down a staircase", though in an utterly incoherent and indescribable manner. The soundscapes simply range from ghastly and doomy to bright and joyous with the occasional drunken rambling in between. It's difficult to translate Macabre to paper because they are so freaking strange, even to a scribe who's been through over two thousand albums during his career.

As a matter of fact, I'm a bit puzzled as to what to think about Macabre in general or their newest album. A part of me wants to praise it for being an ingenious mixture of genres that shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence, let alone placed in the texture of a single album, and for its endlessly entertaining lyrical universe, not to even go into the amount of thought and creativity that must go into producing an effort like this. But a bigger part of me wants to discredit it for the horrific clean vocals, the nonsensical song structures and the somewhat chaotic arrangement of all the different genres. So I'll just say it's been an experience to say the least, and go for a pretty good rating, mostly based on the story-telling and the brave, all-encompassing experimentalism surrounding this record.

Download: Bella The Butcher, Mary Ann, The Black Knight, The Bloody Benders
For the fans of: serial killer legends, horror stories, weirdo metal
Listen: Myspace

Release date 31.01.2011
Hammerheart Records / Willowtip Records

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