Being in a hardcore band for 25 years can make it pretty darn tough when …
It’s difficult to know where to begin when talking about Macabre, the weird Chicago veterans who write silly songs about serial killers. For the uninitiated, that might actually be the best introduction to this truly unique metal entity.
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Bearing all the hallmarks of the sound they created twenty years ago on the savagely inventive Dahmer, Carnival of Killers will be immediately problematic for a lot of first-time listeners – and even those who will be rejoining the fun after almost a decade – because of its sheer outrageous quirkiness.
Every song is a seemingly random and chaotic collision of different shades of extreme metal with occasional intrusions of bastardised nursery rhymes, children’s songs and folk songs, all of them dealing with the depravities of psychopaths. It’s not just the music that’s unhinged. Corporate Death’s vocals run the gamut from an almost unbearable shriek to a deranged sing-song croon, usually all within the space of a single song; this is, as mentioned, something of an acquired taste as Macabre goes from weirdly sinister (Tea Cakes) to just straight up weird and silly: The Wheels on the Bug is a take on The Wheels on the Bus, except it’s about Ted Bundy, a subject they’ve written about before.
Every song is a seemingly random and chaotic collision of different shades of extreme metal with occasional intrusions of bastardised nursery rhymes, children’s songs and folk songs, all of them dealing with the depravities of psychopaths.
In fact, pretty much everything here is something Macabre has done before, and somewhat better, on Dahmer and Murder Metal, 20 and 17 years ago, respectively. Carnival of Killers is odd, catchy in places and strangely compelling at times, but it’s not particularly memorable, the production is thin and flat and the jokes have been done before. It’s certainly a challenging listen for new audiences, but older fans might go away thinking they’ve heard it a couple of times already.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Slaughter House, Tea Cakes, Corpse Violator
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Pungent Stench, Impetigo, Exhumed