THE ELECTRIC WARLOCK ACID WITCH SATANIC ORGY CELEBRATION DISPENSER
Maverick, artist, film-maker and totally bonkers avant-garde music maker, Rob Zombie returns with another boundary-pushing work of heavy metal art. Selling over 15 million albums worldwide, it's been three years since his last, but according to Zombie his latest release is worth the wait, saying 'seriously our heaviest most f**ked up musical monster to date.'
As he rightly suggests it's heavier than much of his other work and is certainly a monster. It feels somewhat fragmented and desultory as a body of work, mostly because of its length. Zombie teases and titillates our insatiable appetite with sound-bites and frustratingly short tracks (11 of the 12 run at under 3 minutes). They are like Grindhouse trailers, little tasters of something bigger and nastier that never materializes. Although as you would expect from Zombie, there's plenty of pulp pop culture and horror references beginning with the second track, Satanic Cyanide! The Killer Rocks On!
In a sermon, American preacher John Hagee referred to books about witchcraft and the occult (including Harry Potter) as literature which would 'open your mind to the Prince of Darkness' and rock music as 'Satanic Cyanide.' In classic Rob Zombie style he sticks two fingers up with growling thrash metal riffs and dirty vocals. The Life And Times Of A Teenage Rock God has an insane beat in the vein of Dragula and is one of the catchier songs on the album. There's a sense of irony here about the early rock n roll scene and possibly even a rip on Marc Bolan as the original 'Warlock Of Love' or indeed an electric warrior/ warlock. He also happened to be one of the first teenage rock gods, who did indeed incite the 'freaks to come and worship.' Unfortunately, it's another short sharp track that like the heyday of the teenage rock god, ended too soon.
Well, Everybody's Fucking in a U.F.O has a bit of System Of A Down feel to it and is destined to be a Rob Zombie classic. With a southern rube vocal drawl and hoe-down stomp chorus, the track will have the mosh pit freaking out like a hillbilly high on moonshine.
The Hideous Exhibitions Of A Dedicated Gore Whore is a classic Zombie nod to the horror genre with a cheesy spooky organ vamping out like Edgar Winter's Frankenstein while listing the monster themed tatts of the aforementioned Gore Whore. It's all meant firmly in jest, but any horror-con fan will have probably seen one or two of these chicks on the prowl.
Meanwhile, while Zombie's gonzo brain is working overtime with splatterings of greatness, 80s B- movie horror style soundtrack interludes like Super-Doom – Hex Gloom PT 1 are interwoven between the 'full length' tracks, linking the album to his cinematic forays.
In The Bone Pile has another classic Zombie industrial riff with sleazy vocal sampling, once more bringing elements of humour to the album. Get Your Boots On, another track that doesn't take it's subject too seriously, has a classic rock riff with a swinging 50s drum beat. It makes you wanna jive and headbang at the same time, something only Rob Zombie could get away with.
Wurdalak is the only track to clock in at over 3 minutes, is a little disappointing compared to some of the crazy hooks we have heard earlier. It's grimy and atonal in places harking back to Zombie's noise metal roots. The sinister piano outro leaves the album hanging as if it's begging for a sequel, which will more than likely not live up the expectations of its predecessor.
There's so much you want to get your teeth into with this album that it becomes hard to eke out more than a handful of buzz phrases and a few choice riffs. It's bonkers and brilliant in places, but there's just not enough of it. If Hagee is correct and we are all going to hell after listening to the Devil's music, it might as well be in an orgy of heavy metal although it's going to take Rob Zombie more than 31 minutes to get us there, but it's a good start.
Groupie Rating 3/5