Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: The Lurking Corpses - Workin' for the Devil

Although they've been around since 2001, Indiana based 'horror metal' band The Lurking Corpses haven't gained much notoriety in the underground. It has been six long years between their last release, Smells Like the Dead, and their most recent quest for Satan's cause; Workin' for the Devil. This time around the fiendish ghouls have transitioned to one of the ultimate labels for their demonic, Halloween loving kind, Hell's Headbangers Records. This October will see The Lurking Corpses re-introduced to the masses, straight from hell.

Genre: Death Metal with Punk Influences
Release Date: October 14th, 2014
  1. Workin' for the Devil
  2. The Gate
  3. The Leech and the Worm
  4. Tonight
  5. Blind Dead Arise
  6. She's Alone Again
  7. Dead Fuck
  8. Lady Frankenstein
  9. You're Dead
  10. Love Fades Away
  11. No One Will
  12. In Hell (I Wait for You)
  13. Christina is Dead
  14. The Legend of the Swamp Hog
  15. Tormentor (Slayer Cover)
Total Playtime: 58 minutes, 42 seconds

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Rating: 9.0/10




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Although they've been around since 2001, Indiana based 'horror metal' band The Lurking Corpses haven't gained much notoriety in the underground. It has been six long years between their last release, Smells Like the Dead, and their most recent quest for Satan's cause; Workin' for the Devil. This time around the fiendish ghouls have transitioned to one of the ultimate labels for their demonic, Halloween loving kind, Hell's Headbangers Records. This October will see The Lurking Corpses re-introduced to the masses, straight from hell.

For most of the world, Halloween comes but once a year; for the rest of us, there's psychobilly horror punk and Acid Witch. The Lurking Corpses have found a way to combine a substantial influence from the crooning horror requiems of The Misfits, at least the respectable Danzig and Graves eras, with some of the darkest shadows that metal has to offer. Though despite how much predominance that the band have incorporated from the well revered horror punk legends, one would be hard pressed to pass this release off as simple worship. The fusion is something that is recherché to metal, it hasn't been heard a lot and it's a welcomed refreshing take on death metal specifically.

The tracks embrace straightforward punk psychobilly hybrids that make use of impenetrable power chords and quick punk rock drumming. The rhythm guitarist has created riff structures that are hauntingly anomalous, all the while instilling a crunchy distortion that brings the overall horror theme to atmospheric life. Precision placed pinch harmonics explode like landmines around scattered tracks, such as "The Gate", and reinforce the death metal ideals of the content. The complexity of the material comes with the exotic solos from the lead guitar, which are often mindblowingly accelerated and elaborate, as in "Blind Dead Rise". The only unfortunate aspect of these mesmerizing leads is that they are mixed a little loud and thus take on a grainy quality, compromising the audio quality at times. Acquiring its fair share of the limelight, the bass thunders along in the background and is even allowed a small woody solo in "The Legend of the Swamp Hog"; a track that takes on a slight reminiscent value of "So What" by Metallica.


Holding govern above all the other fiendish details of Workin' for the Devil are the vocals. Lord Vladimir von Ghoul is an absolute jack of all trades when it comes to his vocal talent, from sounding like the Cryptkeeper from Tales from the Crypt at the beginning of the title track, to his immaculate emulation of both Glenn Danzig and Michael Graves' vocals in "The Leech and the Worm" and "Tonight", straight to the mastery of both death metal growls and black metal shrieks heard in "Dead Fuck"; the listener will never be able to guess which vocal persona he may take on next. The lyrical matter drips like venom from his tongue for the majority of the content, though he can create a romanticized deathly mood in the listener during the terrifying soft ballad of "No One Will"; a track that's about murdering the one that you love so that no one else can have them, and then fucking their corpse. This song itself does serve as a reminder of the classic Misfits favorite, "Saturday Night".

An important essential for any artist, of any medium, to learn is that more is not always better. The Lurking Corpses may have found it more beneficial to end the album on "In Hell (I Wait for You)", as the songs thereafter fail to hold up to the amazement that the rest of the material accomplishes; the Slayer cover song doesn't really fit in, either. Workin' for the Devil has twelve solid tracks of 1950's rockabilly bred with death metal and punk to create a solid experience that will be unique for many spins to come. It's guaranteed that you will be hard up to find any artist with a similar sound to The Lurking Corpses, although many horror punk bands carry a similar weight without the gloriously vile metal aspects. October is shaping up to be a gruesome month this year, don't miss out!

Digital Download Provided by: Hell's Headbangers Records

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