Horror Metal. It’s a term that is in grave danger of being overused these days. Every time I turn around there’s some band out there throwing on some dead people-type masks or make-up and proclaiming, “Look at us, we’re edgy!!” More often than not they are anything but, and quite frankly what they are is a bunch of noise. Not so with Saint Paul, Minnesota’s THEE MASSACRE. Their debut EP Horror drops today, yes TODAY, Halloween. Couldn’t have scripted that any better myself. And lemme tell ya, this band is the real deal. The music cuts like a bone saw, and the atmosphere succeeds in being downright scary where it needs to be, touching on murder, dismemberment, cannibalism, and all the goodies in between.
Formed in 2013 the band cut their teeth by sharing stages with the likes of BEHEMOTH, 1349, GOATWORE, and INQUISITION. Made up of Eric McMahon (Vokills), D.J. Gunnarson (Guitar), Blaine Santillan (Bass), Jeffrey Kornfeld (Keyboards and other spooky sounds), and Chris Piette (Drums) THEE MASSACRE are really onto something here. We’ve got the guttural growlings of Death Metal, the eerie and ethereal tones of Black Metal, and some interludes in between to add to the fear factor.
We open with “Retribution” a spoken-word introduction in which someone is vowing to slaughter some beautiful people: the sorority girls, the popular kids, and the like. This gives way to “Drenched in Blood and Sweat” which comes down with all the force of a claw hammer on a coed’s skull, again with that menacing synth behind it helping paint the picture. Next up is “Skin Suit”, which manages to be brutal and melodic at the same time. This one might be my favorite. We then get told “The Location of a Severed Head” before the final assault begins.
“Her Name is Death” would definitely have to be my other winner. Everything about it just works. The guitars are bone-crunching, the screams are agonizing, and the song really sounds like it’s coming to get you. Run all you want, it knows eventually you’re going to fall or get tired, whichever comes first. Closing out the all-too brief EP is “Bloodshed and Torture”, Gunnarson grinding away, sharpening his axe, ready to split heads open while McMahon unleashes more death growls. And just like that, it’s over. THEE MASSACRE is without a doubt one of the bands to watch in 2015 and beyond. I really can’t wait to hear what they can come up with for a full-length because this tease of an EP Horror simply isn’t enough for me.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Her Name is Death”, “Skin Suit”, “Bloodshed and Gore”, “Drenched in Blood and Sweat”