Taking A Stab at the Scene – Another Cult Indie (NOT metal) Review
Destination of Madness
Graveyard Calling Horror Records 2014
Fatal Exit (148)
Horror Visions (165)
Final Flash (177)
Paranoid Symptoms (183)
Dark Ultimate (193)
Fright Night (206)
When Darkness Began (220)
Final Destination (240)
I contacted Graveyard Calling through social media and was delighted when they asked if I would like to peruse some of their newer releases when I mentioned that I reviewed music for Horror-Writers.net.
Not knowing what to expect I jumped at the chance, after all not all horror related music is metal, though I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that a great deal of it is! I’ll branch out, take one for the team, and try something a little different and unfamiliar.
This particular label is a little different and refreshing! They like to fly a “retro” flag, in as far as, they release…wait for it…cassette tapes. C’mon who else still does that? There is still hope for those that continue to drive vehicles with only a cassette player, and most probably an entangled rats nest of wires in order to listen to CD’s whilst driving.
Fear not, they also offer digital downloads, in case like me, you no longer own a tape player, but are lucky enough to have a connection to the internet.
This is a first for me. I will be the first to admit that most, (OK…all!) of my previous reviews have been based on and around the metal genre. Also I’ll admit, begrudgingly, that not all have been based around the horror genre either (Lawnmower Deth for example which is more comedic fun, with catchy riffs and an accent, than anything else. Thanks again for letting me slip it in Ren. Insert winky face here! [Editor’s note: Anytime Cult! Actually, no, every once in awhile. Otherwise keep it horror! – Renfield])
This release cannot be classed as either rock, or metal, although it does feature fast beats. A note worthy of mentioning; the digits in each of the parentheses are the bpms. Bands have combined these two, very different, genres in the past, some more succesful than others, most notably the Australian (I always thought they were British!) band Berserker (on the Earache label), whose remix of Morbid Angel’s “Abominations” is at first a little strange, somewhat different but rather enjoyable.
Onwards to the music, before my keyboard turns orange and my supply of cheesy snacks is fully depleted.
Today’s release is by a Greek band called Darknesss, not to be confused with the British band of the same name (minus an ‘s’) that specialize in enjoyable parody type (both in image and sound) hard rock. I have been informed Darkesss (three s’es!) are “Darkspy” artists, though I know not what that is, I’m sure I am about to find out!
The first thing I notice is the similarity to what I would consider rave music, but with a eerie backdrop (what some might presume to be echos from an insane asylum, complete with screams and cackles of laughter) I am enjoying what I am hearing thus far but don’t feel an urge to break out the glowstix just yet.
The first song fades nicely into the second. The sound effects in this track are noticeably more torturous, sadistic and darker in theme. Horror Visions is a standout track. The sound clips work well with the beat and gives it an altogether soundtrack type feeling, my only concerns that a few clips towards the end remind me of Lucio Fulci’s The New York Ripper (Quack like a duck…anyone?)
I’m a couple of tracks in and I already fear I may be hearing these electronic beats and rhythms, growing steadily faster with every track, as a soundtrack to my dreams tonight.
Final Flash is a track I am enjoying. Within it there is dialogue pertaining to religion and damnation and it’s still at a speed I can handle as an electronica rookie.
Five tracks in at this point and I am of the mind that this may be an album you can’t just dive into. I am new to this scene and this may be a little more than I bargained for (as an introduction).
I am enjoying the speed and rhythm changes but am of the mind that some of the songs drag on past their “best by date” with what I consider to be not enough variances in tempo.
In the Dark Ultimate there is a sound byte that reminds me of a Newton’s Cradle desk toy (Google it if you don’t know) that at first I found to be amusing but after three minutes I was just wishing it would stop…please!
At 240 bpm, the last track, I believe it highly unlikely to still find anyone standing on the dance floor without the aid of “tiny digestible mood enhancements” laced with copious amounts of caffeine.
Listening to the album as a whole, I can’t help try as hard as I might, but think of certain scenes in “Trainspotting”. Most vividly, the scene that comes immediately to mind, is the one in which the dead baby crawls across the ceiling, but I digress.
This may well be and I would recommend it as an album you could play as a backdrop to a Halloween party. (With exception to the last couple of songs though.) One that’s overflowing with adult beverages, revealing costumes and open minded people. Alternatively it could be an album you might blast at two in the morning, on a week night, in order to get the police to arrive faster than they normally might.
I won’t be listening to this again this week, I’ve spun it (is it possible to spin a download?) four times for review purposes. As it progresses, not only do the beats get faster but a feeling of dread washes over you. It’s as though the beats are those of your heart’s rhythm, everything starts to spin with a sense of pounding urgency. The backdrop of the catacomb like sterile madness and sound bites of whispers, laughter and screams add to this effect. At times it’s a truly harrowing experience as my mind is whirling, awash with beats, images of open air festivals and super model like teenagers swaying to strobing lights. The last half specifically makes me envision dimly lit long, unending corridors, with doors on either side. Which when I pass, in my haste, leave burning images of depravity on my retinas.
If you are looking for a pallette cleansing audio experience, by all means give this a try, however I must warn you…the beats will “haunt” you.
Graveyard Calling Horror Records can be found on Twitter @GraveyardCallin
Expect surprises from these guys in the future. They are specializes in 80’s Synth and Electronica releases for now (all horror themed) and hope to indulge in other genres in the near future, perhaps into other avenues and forms of media. All the best of luck guys.