Slayer

Playlist: Lovin’ the Dead

If your local stores are being taken over by red and pink teddy bears and lots of chocolates, then you know Valentine’s Day is on the way. Some see it as a romantic day to remind that special someone you love them. Others see it as corporate made up bullshit to sell more greeting cards and candy no one will finish. So instead of recapping sappy love songs that every playlist on the internet will be talking, let’s look at the dark side of love no one wants to talk about: necrophilia. For reasons that remain unknown for the majority of the population, some people really get off on the dead. It’s a taboo subject, making it perfect for rock and heavy metal stars to talk about. There are a disturbing amount of songs about necrophilia out there, so let’s check out a small sampling. Just remember when you’re listening to songs about caressing dead flesh and breathing in rotten smells, have a happy Valentine’s Day.

“Night Shift” – Siouxsie and the Banshees

Siouxsie and the Banshees have never shied away from the Gothic and the macabre, but here they get downright disturbing. This track from their 1981 album Juju, paints a graphic picture of a madman who kills women and then has their way with them. Siouxsie sings “The cold marble slab submits at my feet/With a neat dissection/Looking so sweet to me /please come to me/With your cold flesh/my cold love.” Her haunting delivery and the dark lyrics are enough to give you chills. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the song is based on the crimes of Peter Sutcliffe aka The Yorkshire Ripper. The English killer murdered 13 women between 1975 – 1980. He was finally convicted in 1981. So yeah, this song is kind of terrifying.

“I Want You…Dead” – Wednesday 13

Wednesday 13 has made a career out of singing about the dead. Writing songs about loving the dead is kind of his thing and it’s no different on this track from his solo debut album. Here, he makes it clear how he likes his women, no longer breathing: “Give ’em to me decayed, give ’em to me anyway/I don’t care ’cause you know I only want you/Dead, dead, dead.” He doesn’t even care if his dead lady decides to come back to life, kill him slowly or butcher, he just wants them dead. Thankfully, 13 spares us of the details of what he wants to do with the dead. But it’s not hard to put two and two together.

“I Love the Dead” – Alice Cooper

Is there any surprise Alice Cooper has a song about necrophilia? Coming from the album Billion Dollar Babies, an album exploring the dark, sick perversions in humans, Cooper sings about how much he loves the dead. It’s pretty straight forward as he sings about how he likes the dead “before they’re cold” and how he has “other uses” for them. If it wasn’t clear enough what plans he has for them, the bridge of the song features Cooper moaning and groaning in the throes of what I can only assume is pleasure. It may be one of the tamer songs about necrophilia sparing gory details, but for 1973 it was beyond scandalous. It remains one of Cooper’s most beloved songs and one that puts the talents of the band on display.

“I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy” – Antony and the Johnsons

This is probably the most beautiful song about the dead on this playlist. The haunting, yet beautiful voice of Anohni is enough to bring you to tears as she sings about a dead boy she found. Though the person is clearly dead and the protagonist even wonders if she should call a doctor, she lays with him anyway. Slowly, she falls in love with him though no one else understands the relationship. Oddly enough, it’s very sweet and sentimental. It’s haunting and downright gorgeous, which you don’t expect from a song about the dead.

“Corpse in my Bed” – Creature Feature

With psychedelic music made for The Munsters, this horror rock duo actually questions how wrong it is to have a corpse in your bed. They don’t go into disgusting detail, but like other songs on the playlist, they find comfort in their dead love. The singer here doesn’t care if his love is just skin and bone. The only thing he seems to mind is the smell, which is a mix of “rancid milk and moldy pears.” He later admits he’s just alone and doesn’t want to be by himself. Why he just doesn’t meet someone online is beyond me. At least he seems to just be lying next to the corpse in this song.

“Last Kiss Goodbye” – Lordi

It makes sense that a Finnish metal band that frequently dresses as demons occasionally sing about loving the dead. In this track, frontman Mr. Lordi sings about finding a lovely dead woman under the trees, wrapped in leaves, yet knowing he can share his desire with no one else. He vows to keep it a secret as he gives her one last kiss. The song takes a somewhat comical approach to the subject with the line “It’s been years since we last met/Now it’s fall and the leaves are wet/I think you must have lost some weight/but you’re still lovely.” For a song about necrophilia, it’s surprisingly upbeat. You’ll find yourself singing along before realizing what it’s actually about.

“Heirate Mich” – Rammstein

This track, which means “Marry Me” in German, finds a widowed man so desperate to be with his loved one again he goes to extreme lengths to be with her. The song details him digging into the earth, pulling her up, and caressing her cold skin. The lyrics get a tad disgusting when Till Lindemann sings about her skin feeling like paper and pieces of her falling away. The man is tortured as she has slipped away from him once again. Rather than talking about screwing dead corpses, this is a tragic tale of not getting over losing a loved one. The song doesn’t seem as shocking, disturbing, or nasty as the others on the playlist. It’s quite sad, making you feel bad for the guy. Of course with its boot-stomping rhythm and intense vocals, Rammstein still finds a way to make the song brutal.

“Dead Girls” – Voltaire

Voltaire deals with all things dark, Gothic, and macabre, so it makes sense to find one of his songs on the list. But this one differs from most here. Rather than being about not getting over a lost love or just having a weird fetish, Voltaire tells the story of a man who prefers his women dead because he has rotten luck with living women. This man loves the dead because they don’t hurt him, fully accept him, and are kind in a way no other woman has been. Looking at it this way, you feel bad for the guy. He only feels comfortable around the dead, even though he knows it’s pretty strange. Thinking about it that way it’s not as creepy, but still creepy.

“Chrissy Kiss the Corpse” – Of Montreal

You wouldn’t expect this jaunty tune to be about a girl with a disturbing habit. Sounding like an upbeat vintage beach party tune, the band sings about finding a corpse at the bus stop and having fun with it. But drawing on it and putting a match between its toes is nothing compared to what Chrissy does with it. Granted it’s only a kiss, nothing too graphic, but the song suggests this isn’t the first time Chrissy has exhibited such behavior. Even the cops that come by wanting to check out the action. Is doing the actual kissing of the corpse more disturbing than watching it happen? Eh, this song is weird either way.

“Die My Bride” – Murderdolls

Wednesday 13 pops up again with another song about loving the dead with his former horrorpunk outfit the Murderdolls. Here 13 gets a bit more graphic as he details all the blood and gore. He’s not just digging up girls to get busy with. He goes for a fresh kill before he says “I do.” There’s talk of pulling off fingers and bashing in heads in this gruesome song. It sounds like a plot of a shlocky b-horror movie, which makes sense coming from 13 and crew.

“Fuck the Dead” – GG Allin

When you’re known for cutting and shitting yourself on stage, threating to commit suicide live, and fighting with the crowd, a song about necrophilia doesn’t seem so shocking. So of course, it would be a topic GG Allin would cover. Allin isn’t subtle about desires in the least. The hook is nothing but him shouting “fuck the dead/fuck the dead.” And he goes for distasteful as he describes eating maggots, rotten smells, and screwing every cold orifice. It’s disgusting and lewd, much like Allin himself.

“Necrophiliac” – Slayer

This song isn’t just about screwing the dead; it’s about breeding the spawn of Satan. This is the type of song that scared the shit out of parents in the 80s. It’s full of bloated corpses, lewd imagery, sex, and of course, the devil. After doing the deed with the corpse, a demon bursts out of the body and takes revenge against the one who took advantage of the dead body. Now, the necrophiliac has to spend the rest of his life in hell burning in the fiery depths. So, I guess it’s teaching a lesson about not fucking dead bodies?

“Born in a Casket” – Cannibal Corpse

Cannibal Corpse is known for shocking and disgusting people with their album artwork alone. So, a song detailing necrophilia is par for the course. This song pulls no punches and maps out every nasty, gruesome detail about the deed: the rotten smell, oozing goo, and green pus. Just when things couldn’t get nastier, the breeding produces an unholy spawn, which proceeds to feast on the dead flesh. And of course, there’s mention of “devouring the afterbirth.” This song isn’t for the faint of heart, that is if you can understand what they’re saying. Maybe it’s best to have the lyrics handy when listening to this one.

Which song about necrophilia got under your skin the most? Which ones did I forget? Let me know in the comments!

Skeletons in the Closet – Children of Bodom

SkeleRelease Year: 2009

Rating: 6.5/10

It’s standard for musicians to do a few cover songs in their career, but cover albums are usually reserved for those that need to revive their career or are desperate for some cash. There doesn’t seem to be many modern artists making these full length albums anymore, which is why this Children of Bodom release is a little odd. The guys have done some awesome covers before, which made this record promising. Unfortunately, song choices, length, and lack of variation holds the album down.

This release is 17 or 18 songs long, depending on which you get, and after a while the tracks start blending in with one another. But COB does manage to get a few stand out tracks that are worth fans’ time. The weirdest and most pleasing cover is “Oops…I Did It Again.” For some reason metal bands love covering pop songs and Bodom is no different. It’s funny to hear Alexi Laiho sing the infamous hook while blazing guitars fire off in the background. Their version would’ve been even better if they kept out the female singer and tossed in some more guitars. For some reason they didn’t go as far as they could’ve here. It’s like they wanted to keep the vibe of the original and just added in some shredding guitars. It’s definitely entertaining, but isn’t as good as you expect it to be.

Another decent cover is Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Looking Out My Backdoor.” It definitely is strange to hear the guys do a take on a southern rock song, but that’s what makes it so interesting. While they add in metal touch with intense vocals and signature guitars, they manage to keep the southern feel with the twangy banjo during the bridge. Their take on Alice Cooper’s “Bed of Nails” is pretty straightforward, yet still pleasing. They pretty much just punch up the energy and the heaviness of the music with the addition of Alexi’s growling vocals. For Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me” they keep the fun, party vibe of the track and faithfully cover Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell.” While these songs manage to stand out the others don’t do as well.

For their covers, Bodom stay faithful to the originals, too faithful. On tracks like “Don’t Stop at the Top” and Slayer’s “Silent Scream” they sound so close to the original versions you question why you want to listen to this one. A lot of the time the only difference between the two songs is how the music is being played and Alexi’s vocals. Just listen to their take on Iron Maiden’s “Aces High.” They actually do a pretty good job, but it sounds so much like the Maiden version it doesn’t hold your interest for long. This issue is present for just about the entire album. Their cover of WASP’s “Hellion” again shows off their impressive musicianship and doesn’t sound bad, but there’s nothing about it that separates itself from the original. It’s fine that they didn’t want to stray too far from these songs, but they don’t do anything to make them their own or show a different side of the band.

Overall, the album gets 6.5/10. While there are some notable covers, most of the record falls flat. Lack of variation on just about all of the songs makes most of them dull. They may sound pretty good, but they don’t do much to make their version distinct from the original. The tracks they picked are interesting and tackle different genres, but there are only a few you’ll want to hear again. Also, the album is way too long. Maybe if it was shorter the listener would get bored so easily. This is probably why more artists don’t release cover albums.

I Found My Breaking Point: Bullet For My Valentine rages through Chicago

downloadRiviera Theater May 21st

I’ve liked Bullet for My Valentine for a long time now, but over the past couple of years they’ve grown into one of my favorite bands. Unfortunately, I was always unlucky with catching them live. I would usually find out they were in town either the day of or the day after the show and it would piss me off to no end. But this was the year I was meant to see them and while it didn’t match the epicness of Green Day and Muse, it was still an awesome and fun show.

I’m not even going to comment on the opening acts because I didn’t see them. I saw Stars on Stereo and they were okay. Nothing fantastic; just a mediocre band with a typical singer who thought she was more attractive than she actually was, but their LED screens flashing behind them were cool. And they were pretty good at pumping up the crowd, so I’ll give them that. For the rest of the bands I stayed in the lobby with my friend and from what we could hear from Young Guns and Halestorm, we didn’t miss much. But when it was time for Bullet, we were more than ready.

They began their set by playing “Raining Blood” by Slayer over the PA and it got everyone pumped. It was most likely a tribute to Jeff Hanneman who passed away a few weeks ago and you could tell it really got to everyone. People just started going nuts even though no one was on stage and when the guitar solo came on everyone roared and cheered as if Hanneman was on stage himself. It was really amazing to see. It also showed a unity and bond with everyone there. After that, the banner with the album art for Temper Temper came down and out strolled Matt, Moose, Jay, and Padge. The crowd was going nuts for the entire show and you can tell the band were loving every minute of it. I swear I saw small smiles on their faces as the crowd would sing their songs to them or when Jay showed off his massive guitar skills and wowed the crowd. They way he looked after every lick was “Yeah, I’m the baddest!”

They opened with the best song from the latest album, “Breaking Point.” And that’s when the circle pit started. Now, I wasn’t a part of it, but I could see it was going on during the entire show and it just seemed like everyone in there was having a good time. If someone fell, the pit would stop, they help the person up, and then continue. Much better than some other pits I’ve seen at other shows. Otherwise, the place went crazy after Matt howled out “Yeah!” from the song. It’s the perfect track to begin with because everyone got pumped and started jumping up and down for their favorite band.

But it was the next song that got to me. When I heard the heavy drum beats of “Your Betrayal” I went nuts. My heart started pounding and I was jumping up and down before they got into the song. This was the one song I was dying to hear live and apparently I wasn’t the only one. After the opening lick, the entire crowd sang the opening verses and after awhile Matt stepped back and let us do the singing. It was every bit as awesome as I imagined it would be. There was some banter between songs, but I couldn’t understand a single word aside from “CHICAGO!” I blame the loud crowd and their Welsh accents, but they still seemed pretty please with the Chicago crowd. After all, we did show them a lot of love.

While the set list could’ve been longer, it was at least really good. They played at least one song from all of their studio albums and I felt like they picked the best ones from each: “Waking the Demon” and “Scream Aim Fire” from their second release, “4 Words to Choke Upon” and “ Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow” from their debut, “The Last Fight,” which began really soft and slow with Matt sounding sweet before tearing into the track and making everyone mosh, and “Pleasure and Pain” from Fever, and finally “Dirty Little Secret” and “Riot” from their newest album.  I was especially pleased with the songs they did from their new album because I thought they were the best ones. I was really worried they would try to do some of the mediocre ones found there.

Of course they left and came back for an encore. I think they enjoyed everyone shouting “Bullet! Bullet!” as they were teasing us for another song. And yes, the last song was “Tears Don’t Fall.” It was as if everyone was waiting for this moment because the entire place exploded. Moshing, crowding surfing, singing, and jumping all ensued. At that point it didn’t matter if you couldn’t see the band or hear them sing. You knew what song they were doing and you knew it was time to get wild. I only wished they would’ve segued into “Tears Don’t Fall Part 2.” It would’ve been an epic way to end the show.

So, while it wasn’t the most amazing show of the year (at least not for me) it was still a really good time. The band and the crowd were great. We were all there to have a good time and hear some great music. If Bullet comes to your town, I’d say go just to at least see them once. But just be warned, you will come out sweaty and sore. Out of all the shows I’ve been to, this one has to be the sweatiest and one that left me aching the most. Thanks again Bullet.

Complete Setlist:

Raining Blood -Slayer song

Breaking Point

Your Betrayal

Waking the Demon

Riot

4 Words (To Choke Upon)

Temper Temper

The Last Fight

Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow (What Can I Do)

Guitar Solo

Dirty Little Secret

Drum Solo

Scream Aim Fire

Encore:

Pleasure and Pain

Tears Don’t Fall