(MONSTER MAN RECORDS; 2013)
I guess it’s time I come clean. I wasn’t a big fan of the original Misfits. I’m really not sure if it was Glenn Danzig’s vocals or the… uh… crappy production; I’m tempted to go with the latter, as I was rather fond of Samhain and Glenn definitely hooked me with the gloomier-than-thou Danzig. The first Misfits album I owned was the 1997 “reunion” offering, AMERICAN PSYCHO, with Michale Graves replacing Danzig. It was also around this time that I got to know Jerry, Chud and Doyle. I liked those guys and I liked that version of the band. After Graves, Doyle and Chud left, I got to know returning drummer Robo, former Black Flag guitarist Dez Cadena and, of course, Marky Ramone. Any time I can hear anything new from ANY of these Misfits, I’m a happy camper. Must I say it? I must! I must! He’s ba-ack! I am ecstatic that Doyle has risen from the grave with a new band and a new record, ABOMINATOR.
The title track opens the album, a punk/metal hybrid that’s all buzz-saw riffs and doom-laden lyrics. When Alex Story intones, “You will pray for death,” you can almost hear the spirit of Vincent Price laugh and add, “Indeed!” Mister Story sounds a bit like Rob Zombie on “Learn To Bleed,” a thundering Black Label Society style metallic blues with impossibly heavy double bass drum action from everyone’s favorite Abominable Doctor, Chud. “Dreamingdeadgirls” is the best song about necrophilia since “I Love the Dead” in 1973 (although Frank Zappa’s “Dead Girls of London” a few years later comes close). The vocals have a watery, compressed quality that works very nicely in this context and the chorus is a cool, retro “Teen Angel” sort of vibe.
With a buzzing, stinging guitar that hovers just below the pain threshold, “Headhunter” is a bass heavy (compliments of former Graves bassist, Left Hand Graham), chunky blast of grinding metallic bliss. For some utterly insane reason, “Valley of Shadows” reminds me of something that you might hear from Warrant. It manages to rise above thanks to a better bottom end, darker lyrics and harsher vocals. “Land of the Dead” is akin to Danzig’s metal onslaught. In other words, it’s almost oppressively heavy and scary.
“Cemeterysexxx” has all the boys and ghouls (sorry… I just couldn’t resist) heading out to the graveyard because “Making love with the dead is the only time I really feel alive.” Doyle incorporates a unique trick into his solo by using tonalities (as opposed to notes); you just don’t hear that kind of thing in this type of music and it works quite well as a result. Doyle’s stinging guitar punches over a slow burn, down-tuned Alice In Chains type of affair carries the first half of “Love Like Murder” before it kicks into early Misfits punk overdrive. This is one of the better tracks from any Misfit (current or former) that I’ve heard in quite awhile.
“Mark of the Beast” features a creepy, atmospheric intro, while the drums have a certain cool swing to them, turning what could have been a rather pedestrian metal slog through the mire into something much more interesting. “Bloodstains” is the song where Doyle finally breaks free of the restraints, reminding us why we’ve missed him so much. The tune is like a sick zombie boogie wonderland. Coming off like a perfect hybrid of Graves-era Misfits and Danzig’s riff-heavy metal, “Hope Hell Is Warm” is the perfect way to close a very fun record. Don’t stay away so long again, Doyle… we need you to scare us back into shape! ABOMINATOR is available as a standard CD and download from all of the usual suspects. A double vinyl version (with a bonus song, “Drawing Down the Moon”) is available exclusively at the band’s web-site, officialdoyle.com.