1980s power balladeer and one-time punk Belinda Carlisle said it best; heaven is a place …
Delicate tinkling on the ivories opens Darkc3ll’s latest album, but don’t be fooled; Haunted Reality wastes no time descending into darkness. Distorted synths burble beneath vocalist Dracman’s creepy crooning, bringing to mind With Teeth-era Nine Inch Nails. By the halfway mark, Darkc3ll fully indulge their love for schlock-horror on Toxic Mutant Hero. Sounding like the bastard child of Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper, Dracman waxes lyrical on ‘monsters in our beds, creatures in our closets and under our beds’. Whilst he lacks the same level of sarcasm, irony and cynicism possessed by the Godfathers of Goth, Dracman is all about having a good time, particularly on cuts like Raise Your Horns (Army of Darkness) and Creepshow.
Darkc3ll are more about providing a soundtrack to debauchery rather than being completely terrifying.
Synths permeate Haunted Reality and are perfectly balanced with the distortion, serving to complement rather than overwhelm. There is an equal balance of pop sensibility with metal stomp that wouldn’t see Darkc3ll out of place in either the pit or on the dancefloor. Drummer Macabre does a fine job bridging the two worlds, alternating between double-kicks and dance beats with some inspired patterns.
It would have been interesting to see Darkc3ll pursue the sinister vibes of the opening songs on Haunted Reality to their fullest extent. However, Darkc3ll are more about providing a soundtrack to debauchery rather than being completely terrifying. Think of Haunted Reality as the ghost train you saw at the Show as a kid. Though you didn’t piss your pants, you had enough fun to go back for another ride or two.
FOR FANS OF: KMFDM, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie
STANDOUT TRACKS: ‘Stab Me (With Your Crucifix)’, ‘Creepshow’, ‘Stitch Your Heart’
Haunted Reality is out Halloween, October 31st, via RTD Records.