Monday, February 26, 2024

Review: Wednesday 13 – Monsters Of The Universe: Come Out And Plague

Whatever guise Wednesday 13 has taken he has always had a signature sound and maintained a dedicated fanbase. Through Frankenstein Drag-queens to Murderdolls to his solo work the ‘horror-rocker’ has always put full pedal to the medal. Real name Joeseph Poole, this is his first concept album. Slightly out of character for a ‘goth’ musician but it doesn’t seem a million miles away when you consider this is about alien invasions and government conspiracies.

From the get-go this album still has the ‘b-movie atmosphere in first track ‘The Fall Of All’ using old school sci-fi synths and creating an apocalyptic atmosphere with a gloomy riff. X-Files referencing ‘Keep Watching The Skies’  goes back to the melodic Alice Cooper-esque punk tinged glam metal. The chorus is quite infectious: “Everybody keep watching the skies/ Everything you know is a lie/ From the day your born you were born to die” A bit depressing maybe but this is the kind of lyrics that sound like they are missing from an ’80s Misfits or Metallica album.  Showing Poole and co-songwriter Roman Surman’s talent in it’s rawest form.

wednesday_13_Single ‘Come Out And Plague‘ on the surface sounds like something Marilyn Manson didn’t get past the demo stage but still sounds like classic Wednesday 13, with hints of Five Finger Death-Punch. By track 5 (‘I Ain’t Got Time To Bleed’) you get the old ‘every-song-sounds-the-same’ feeling, which won’t be a problem for Wednesday 13 fans usually but we know the former Murderdolls front-man can compose exciting and original material, which makes this even more frustrating.

It wouldn’t be a Wednesday 13 album without ‘666’ in a song title. This time around its the Mars Attack evoking ‘Bloodline 666’ – a bizarre instrumental break. Following this is single ‘Serpent Society’ a track I expected from a conspiracy-theory-themed Weds 13 album. There’s elements of horror-movie synths, gravelly grungey guitars and Cooper-baiting whisper-y vocals. A highlight of ‘Monsters…’ so far.

‘Planet Eater Interstellar 187’ (try saying that after a few pints) is also a great example of the potential of this album. Sort of Megadeth singing about Ridley Scott’s Alien. The riff is infectious and I can see it going down pretty well at this summer’s festival and on Weds 13’s upcoming tour. In all though there isn’t much else on this album to phone home about. Sounds like an interesting idea for one of the main practitioners in the ‘horror-punk’ genre to create a concept album about alien invasions and conspiracy theories but the result is more filler than killer. One for 13’s devote fanbase but don’t make this your first venture into Mr Poole’s back catalogue.

Neale McGeever
Neale McGeever
RAMzine Senior Contributor - I'm an entertainment writer ('journalist') from the North East. My favourite bands include Slipknot, Nirvana and Ninja Sex Party... I've freelanced for the likes of Kerrang!,Closer, Front, ZOO, and many others! I'm also big in to movies, video games, live comedy and ...beer!

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