The second album from the Murderdolls took nearly ten years to complete, but it was fucking worth the wait. The band’s debut album was decent enough, but it was plagued with songs that sounded the same, music that never changed, and too many tracks. The guys must’ve sat down and pinpointed these issues because this release is far better than their first album. It’s energetic, intense, has better songwriting, and the songs fucking rock.
The band brings their a-game with the dark track “Chapel of Blood.” This has got to be one of my favorite songs, though it is hard to choose. It has an intense riff that’ll get you headbanging before Wednesday 13 gets to the chorus. This song is like a serial killer’s theme, so of course that means there is gruesome imagery. The opening line says it all: “Take my hand and you will never see the daylight again/come in, come in, into the blood red chapel of sin.” It sounds like some scary shit, but you’re too busy rocking out to be afraid.
A lot of the songs on the first album didn’t stand out and became pretty boring after the eleventh track, but all the songs here are awesome. With the exception of one, the songs are interesting, intense, energetic as hell and each have their own sound. As the album goes on the songs get better and better. “Drug Me to Hell” is another intense song that begins with a shuddering riff that sounds like a motor revving up. It’s a hard song that manages to be kind of catchy at least regarding the chorus. “My Dark Place Alone” has an amazing intense riff that gets you going wild. It’s aggressive in both sound and feel. The only song that feels like a throwaway is “Nothing’s Gonna be Alright.” It’s not horrible, it’s just not as energetic or interesting as the other songs. Though there are a lot of tracks here, the album never gets tiring.
A big difference on this album is their the band tone down their horror-punk image. The first album was riddled with references to Frankenstein, vampires, zombies, and necrophilia. They do keep the graphic and disturbing details in the songs, but they deal more with murder and death, rather than horror movie monsters. Honestly, it’s a breath of fresh air. The horror movie theme got a bit tiring before and led to some corny sounding songs. Also, the lyrics to those songs were very repetitive. And while they go back to this technique for the dark love song “Summertime Suicide,” their songwriting is improved overall. Yet, they still keep in the playful lyrics.
Wednesday 13 would often say things like “Old MacDonald had a farm/E-I-E-I Oh my god” on the previous release. At times it was cheesy, others it was really clever. While it doesn’t happen as much here, when it does it’s pure gold. The track “Bored Til Death” finds the singer screaming “I’m making a list/checking it twice/gonna find out/who’s naughty or nice.” My favorite one comes from the closing track “Hello, Goodbye, Die.” 13 re-invents classic cheers for his own twisted nightmare: “We can bring a firecracker, sismal bomb, homicide, homicide, rock, rock, rock.” Whenever I hear it, I think about the Bugs Bunny, Bugs Bunny Rah rah rah cheer from Looney Tunes. It’s great how the band manages to take these kid related cheers and make them so cryptic.
Another issue with the first album is the music never varied. That problem is fixed here with each song actually managing to stand out. The sound is more guitar focused since the solos are very intricate and more inspired by conventional rock. It’s one of the first things you notice besides the vocals. Songs now actually have different tempos to them as well. “Homicide Drive” is a slower paced song that trudges along, while “Rock n Roll is All I Got” is really fast and seems to take influence from punk rock. Some of the songs even have melody, which can make them catchy. You can hear melody in the guitars on the track “Nowhere.” It even sounds a bit upbeat compared to the rest of the work here. On this track the punk influence comes back, but it also mixes in elements of rock n roll. Because the music changes so much it keeps the album from getting stale.
Wednesday 13 has a unique voice to say the least, but his vocals weren’t that strong on the first release. Plus, he screamed so much that it just got old. Here, his vocals are on point. Yes, he still screams, but he does it to draw your attention to a certain line or to get the listener pumped up. He actually does a lot more singing here, which is a nice change from when we last heard him. Basically, his vocals are easier to swallow this time around making the album more pleasant to listen to, if you can call his music pleasant.
Overall, the album gets 9/10. This album is so much better than their debut. The songwriting is improved, the music actually varies, the songs never get boring and Wednesday 13 sounds his best here. All the songs fucking rock and will get you pumped because they’re so energetic. Though fans had to wait a long time for this release, it was well worth the wait. There’s no word on whether the band will be doing a new album, but let’s hope they do especially since this album was fantastic.