Born out of the ashes of Murderdolls, frontman Wednesday 13 has had, in my opinion, had a solo career that greatly eclipses what he did with the late Joey Jordison. I’ve been a big fan of the man and his band for years, so when we got the email through for a sneak peek at his new album, I had to check it out! Read on to see what I thought…
After a brief, creepy intro track in ‘Severed’, the album launches straight into a heavy, almost death metal riff to open ‘Insides Out’. It’s slow, crushing and downright evil. Wednesday’s low vocals come in over the top, sound really cool double tracked with more of a scream behind it. And if anything, the riff for the chorus is catchier than the vocals. They’ll be good to chant live, but the high note crying out between the low chugs is amazing. The bridge is just as slow and dark, with the drums being a particular highlight when the double bass drums come in. It’s a simple, fun, heavy track to open up the album with.
‘Exhume and Devour’ bring back the punk and old-school horror elements simultaneously. A great bass riff and some distant drums behind Wednesday’s almost carny voice introducing the track. A huge guitar riff kicks in after that reminds me of ‘Get Your Grave On’. In fact, the whole verse does, especially with the drumbeat too. The chorus is alright again, but so far both have been the only slight disappointment on the album. They’ve just not got the hook to them that some of the bands previous track have. Still though, this is a good horror metal track none the less.
A great riff opens up ‘You’re so Hideous’. Wednesday teases us with the chorus before we head into a surprisingly uplifting instrumentation through the verses. Of course, the lyrics are still dark, making for an interesting contrast. The chorus is almost a classic rock riff with some mean but entertaining vocals over the top. We also even get the first guitar solo of the album in this track, with his talent being shown off well. We then get hit with a final chorus to close out another good song.
The uplifting punk riffs continue in ‘Good Day to be a Bag Guy’. It’s still heavy though, especially behind Wednesday’s dark verses. We finally get another catchy chorus, the lyrics being simple but easy to sing along to. They’re also punk AF and will get people having a bad day immediately on board. It’ll be another that’d go down a storm live, which feels like the main factor when writing this album. The solo was another nice one, especially when it vaguely followed the main vocal hook. And it dropping down to just drums and the chorus vocals after was a nice touch, again making it even catchier and something I can see them leaning into fantastically live. A great track, and one that easily makes the playlist!
‘Return to Haddonfield’ has an almost power metal feel to it from start to finish. It’s actually my favourite track on the album because of it. It’s somehow the ballad track of the album, think ‘Skeletons’. The chorus is huge and mega-catchy, the verses building perfectly towards them, and we even get my favourite solo on the album. It’s everything I want out of a Wednesday 13 track, and I’d put it up there among any of their previously released hits. It makes the playlist with ease. Damn, it’s such a shame that I don’t think this will end up in Halloween Ends in a couple of weeks, because it’d be the perfect song and fit for that movie and the band deserve that sort of hype.
The title track picks up the pace again with an almost thrash level of chugs. The track itself is another great one, heavy and balls-to-the-wall throughout. Even the chorus reminds me of a thrash metal song. That’s probably why I love it, being a thrash kid at heart. But the riffs are great, the solo is good and the vocals fit it all perfectly.
‘Hell is Coming’ features an almost Black Sabbath level of evil in its riff. It almost gives it a sleaze edge in the verses too, like a South of Salem/Falling Red type of feel. Again, the chorus is great, them having really picked up after I’d said the first few tracks weren’t great for them. While this song is pretty basic and mainly just based around variations of the AWESOME riff, it’s a great track and another that easily makes the playlist!
‘Halfway to the Grave’ feels the closest thing to their clear inspiration, Misfits, on this album. Having said that, there’s some of that sleaze/arena rock creeping in again with the huge chorus and catchy harmonies ans backing vocals. Honestly, it could have made a really good single, as the mid-tempo anthemicness of it all would definitely make a good selling point. Even still though, it’s a damn good track yet again. It’s simple, heavy and catchy and very Wednesday 13. Good stuff!
‘Christine…’ channels similar heavy thrash vibes as the title track does. It’s a quick, to the point and infectiously catchy track, but doesn’t do anything we haven’t heard already on this album. Then we reach the closing track and another slower, ballad-like track, ‘The Other Side’. The opening riff is huge and rather black metal. It drops out for the verses, Wednesday’s vocals giving off a little Axl Rose energy for some reason. It’s a HUGE chorus, the riff coming back in behind the anthemic vocals to make everything sound massive and emotional. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my favourite ballad ever, some of the lyrics, while meaningful and full of emotion, were a tad simple and almost cringy. However, the sentiment is very much there and it makes for a heartfelt, catchy song, and a surprisingly good way to close the album.
Overall: This grew on me more and more throughout. I’ve not experienced such a bottom-heavy album before. I, like most people, usually love the opening tracks and then feel it peters off towards the back half. With this, however, I wasn’t too sold on the first three tracks, but then got into it after that. Everything from ‘Good Day…’ onwards was fantastic. Hopefully the rest will grow on me with a few more listens, but either way I loved this album and HAVE to see them live again soon!
The Score: 8/10