Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls- Murderdolls

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 7/10

If Rob Zombie albums are a tribute to horror movies, then this entire band is an homage to the horror genre. Featuring Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison, this horror-punk band is all about zombies, scream queens, mutilation and blood, lots of blood. And that’s exactly what you’ll find on their debut album. These 15 tracks are full of grotesque imagery, harsh vocals and tons of aggression. But this album is plagued by repetitive lyrics and songs that begin to sound alike. Nevertheless, it’s still an entertaining album.

You can find what Murderdolls are all about in the opening track “Slit My Wrists.” In order to show the listeners that they aren’t your average band the track begins with classical music before the record is scratched and the drums and guitars take over. This song is full of horror images meant to shock and appall, but it seems like the song is nothing but a list of things that would make most people recoil in disgust. Vomit, guts, bloodsuckers, and of course wrist cutting are all found in this track.

From there on, the songs follow the same format: lots of horror imagery and lots of anger. There isn’t really a song on the album that stands out as better than the others. The music sounds pretty much the same, similar images and themes are found in all the songs, and the lyrics are repetitive. It also make the songs sound the same after a while. This isn’t so bad for the first five tracks, but after that the songs grow tiresome. Even though they may not be bad, they don’t grab your attention and soon you’re ready to change the record. This is the biggest issue with the album.

It’s pretty obvious there’s a theme at play here. The album is full of images and references to horror movies. The song “Dead in Hollywood” cleverly lists off the names of actors who starred in infamous horror movies and characters from said movies. “She Was a Teenage Zombie” is about…a teenage zombie. There is even a song called “Dawn of the Dead,” which could damn well be a theme song for the movie of the same name. But while all the songwriting may not be that great here, the band shows off their wit when they take children’s rhymes and turn them into nightmare tongue twisters. “Twist my Sister” starts off with “Old Macdonald had a farm/E-I-E-I Oh my god.” There are tons of twisted takes on the kid rhymes found throughout the album and it gives their lyrics a playful touch. It’s actually pretty impressive how manage to take these rhymes and make them their own.

Though they don’t change much, the vocals are pretty wicked on the album. They are provided by front man Wednesday 13 and he’s not shy about making his presence known. Most of the songs often start out with his scratchy yells before he goes on to screech out the rest of the lyrics. Not only are his vocals unique, they add to the attitude and demeanor of the band. His voice is filled with aggression and hate, which perfect for the mood of every song on the album.

As mentioned before, the band features Joey Jordison of Slipknot fame. And while he is a mastermind behind the drum kit, this album allows you to see how talented he is with a guitar. The guitar work won’t exactly blow your mind and it’s not going to revolutionize guitar playing, but it’ll at least leave an impression. Some of the solos are pretty cool and will get you moving, while the riffs are loud, fast and aggressive. His guitar playing definitely has punk edge to it with how fast he plays and the typical three chord progression that he does. It may not be anything phenomenal, but it’s cool to see him behind another instrument.

Overall, this album gets 7/10. It’s not that the songs are band, but after a while they get repetitive and tiresome. Also, they start to sound the same after the tenth track. The album would’ve fared better if there were less tracks on it because after awhile you begin to wonder why the album is still going. But it is still entertaining with Wednesday 13’s wild, unchained vocals and their playful lyrics about zombies and necrophilia. If anything this album shows promise from the band and that you shouldn’t give up on them. Needless to say, their second album is much, much better.

What do you think about this album? Is there a song you think is awesome that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

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