If you think of spooky rock 'n roll and you can only come up with Zombie and Manson, we have a problem. First off, you need to add in Alice Cooper. Second, no creep list is complete without The Duke of Spook, Wednesday 13.
Wednesday is back with a new album Necrophaze. His music is always on my Halloween/Spooky playlists. The man's music ages like fine wine. This is the tastiest of them all.
The album also features Alice Cooper, which is a treat. Other treats include Roy Mayorga of Stone Sour, Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom, Christina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, and Jeff Clayton of GG Allin's Murder Junkies.
It's no secret that with an album by Wednesday, you're going to get all things creepy. His music, which is widely based off of his love for things creepy, shows that.
The album kicks off with a rhythmic beating that sounds like the castle level of Mario. Add in the spoken word, and you get that same sense of panic as you enter the Necrophaze. Once the guitars and drums kick in though, you can't help but move. The opening track, which holds the same title as the album, sets up the next 11 tracks perfectly.
Second on the album is "Bring Your Own Blood", which you can hear already on Spotify. This song references horror titles throughout the history of cinema. It's the perfect accompaniment to the overall feel, which starts out like your typical teen slasher. The drums on this track paired with the synth makes it a definite dancer. If I could compare it to anything from Wednesday's previous catalog, I'd say it has a "Bad Things" feel.
The panic and spookiness increases with "Zodiac". Featuring news recordings discussing the Zodiac Killer, as well as readings of the killer's letters. If you don't know who the Zodiac Killer is, you've been living under a rock. The killer was never identified, and although it's basically a cold case, it is still open and active.
Anyways, back to the song... Wednesday croons softly before his crescendo, speaking as if he were the killer. In my opinion, this is one of the best and creepiest songs on the entire album. It adds the speck of fear that this killer has never been found, and is still out there. Okay, so the legit Zodiac Killer may be dead by now, but who knows? The fact is, fear and evil still walk the Earth, ready to strike at any time.
Middle of the Creepy Road.
"Monster" is an upbeat song in contrast with the beginning of the album. This gives us a bit of a taste of the guests on the album. Necrophaze features multiple special guests, and in this case, Christina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil makes this tune complete.
The album grows solemn with the beginning of "Decompose", but as soon as the guitars hit, it's back to normal. This track is also available now on Spotify for those who want to hear it, but it's not one of my favorites.
"Be Warned" is fucking creepy. That's all there is too it. It's spoken word against piano; a ghost story. I don't recommend this one at night when you're home alone. It sets up the rest of the record perfectly though. What could be so creepy about a laugh? Not catching my drift? You'll see.
The Hearse and What's to Come.
"The Hearse". Holy fuck balls. Drummer Kyle Castronovo is a beast on the double pedal. What he is playing does not even sound humanly possible. Between him and the rest of the band, Wednesday has found the perfect combinations of musicians to execute his style.
The musicianship epicness continues into "Tie Me A Noose". The guitar solos in this one add a vibe that makes the song standout from the others on this record. It's not quite 80s glam, not quite metal, but 100% creep.
"Life Will Kill Us All" is surprisingly upbeat sounding and positive at first. The underlying synth on this tune sounds like it belongs in Stranger Things, not that Stranger Things is positive. Little things like that though are really what ties Necrophaze together. The entire album tells a story, and if you close your eyes, you can see it. Each song pays homage to something in the macabre, whether it's a show, movie, song, etc. It's condensed into these tracks, and "Life Will Kill Us All" embodies that even further.
The Home Stretch.
"Bury the Hatchet" sounds like straight up punk. It's vastly different from every other song on this record as far as sound goes. You can tell that this was more than likely Misfits inspired. No, it doesn't matter which fucking era, Graves and Danzig both added something rad. If Danzig leaves Misfits again, Wednesday as my vote for vocals, and this song should be his audition tape.
You feel the end coming with "Necrophaze Main Theme (End-Credits)". It feels like every creepy show I watched growing up. It's Tales From the Crypt. It's Are You Afraid of the Dark? This is Creepshow. This is Goosebumps. It's going on my 2019 Halloween Playlist for sure.
Closing out the album is "Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)". Yep. It's a WASP cover. But it's what a cover should be. Hell, it's what the original should've fuckin' been, and I love that song. Afterall, what horror flick is complete without an 80s cover? Plus, fun fact, Blackie Lawless (WASP vocalist) was supposed to be the original Sammi Curr in Trick or Treat. If you have no idea who Sammi Curr is, then I personally demand that you educate yourself before buying this record.
After all, Necrophaze would make Sammi Curr proud, and if Songs in the Key of Death existed, this would be fucking it.
We've had the opportunity to cover Wednesday twice here at ZRockR. The first time I saw him was in 2015 at local haunt Count's Vamp'd. It's been a minute since I've seen him, obviously, but with the release of Necrophaze, I am hoping we get a visit soon! If we do, I'll see you at the show.
Listen to Wednesday 13 on Spotify! Two songs from Necrophaze are already available!
PHOTO CREDIT: Live photos of Wednesday 13 by Stephy Hayward for ZRockR Magazine.