As mysterious as the shadows which undoubtedly spawned them, Dr. Spookenstein is an entity which remains in the dark but from their hidden domain unleashes sounds which equally thrive upon and incite nightmares as they surely ignite the passions. Stalking similar roads to those well-trodden by the likes of Misfits, Danzig, Michale Graves, Calabrese, and Blitzkid, the North Carolina horror punk band has conjured a stirring death drenched album in the shape of They Came From A World Long Dead which just hits the sweet spot at every turn. It challenges as much as it sends flames of pleasure shooting through the heart, the result an ultimately exciting and bruising treat.
They Came From A World Long Dead follows the well-received album Devil Clown Hunts the Town of 2010 and marks Dr. Spookenstein as one predatory and intimidating band in sound and intent. The release offers numerous recognisable influences and flavourings to its compelling and contagious night shift but also plenty of original and striking elements bred solely by the band. It is not flawless but never is anything less than compulsive listening and at its pinnacles a senses buffeting rapture instigator.
The punk fuelled Hang ’em High barges through the ear first, it’s thumping rhythms and ear trawling basslines an immediate lure into the aggressive heart of raging riffs and fiery energy. The core hook and bass riff is a ‘plundered’ delight which is like a returning best friend though one is unsure of its original home and with the strong vocals and infectious chorus leaves only highly enthused adoration in its vibrant wake.
The album is a little inconsistent at times though mainly through the vocals which vary from excellent to ‘wobbly’. Actually as in the following Witch Bitch when the vocals are less impressive they are still good but strangely seem to be running different notes and melodies to the sounds. On this track the voice has a definite decent Misfits attack whilst the music is a more classic rock inspired fire and the two struggle to lie with ease side by side. It is just a niggle which occurs from time to time but generally a minor aspect against the strength of the album.
At the heart of the album a wealth of outstanding tracks stomp through the ear to forge the greatest pinnacles on the release. The Ramones lilted I Don’t Wanna Go To Hell is first, its anthemic breath and incendiary energy takes no time in recruiting the listener to its thrilling cause and with an excellent metallic twist and surge nearing its climax shows the invention and mischief of the band. Challenging for best track on the album You Will Burn also ripples with imagination and enterprise within its uncomplicated and raptorial presence. Another metal stoked riot of irresistibility the track swaggers and weaves around the ear with gladiatorial expertise and a devilish hunger to own the senses and beyond. With its ear stroking riffs and beckoning vocals driven by the oppressive metallic intrusions it ensures there is no defence to its immense glory.
The Fog is an equally addict forming instigator, its Misfits/Balzac like beckoning a raging invitation to join vocally and with limbs its punk rock tempest of pleasure whilst Fire In The Sky with its scorched guitar teasing and hard rock stance just treats the listener like its helpless puppet, manipulating body and passions with its magnetic incitement and melodic hooks. The track in between its most compulsive moments breaks out riotous rock riffs and sizzling guitar taunts which recall the likes of Metallica, it is a mix which intrigues and satisfies from start to finish echoing the album as a whole.
Though the occasional song does not live up to its surrounding companions it is still an enjoyable lull in the elsewhere raging pleasurable storm and with songs like the title track, a song which starts by inspiring only uncertainty and leaves behind definite satisfaction, They Came From A World Long Dead is a thoroughly intriguing and intoxicating joy.
The mighty We’ll Take Your Face also has to have a mention, another track with an impressive claim to top honours. It is a tempest of metal and classic rock invention with a punk heart which at times teases Municipal Waste realms with a Murderdolls gait, quite simply horror punk at its best.
They Came From A World Long Dead chews on the ear and heart with accomplished insatiable greed and receives an equally potent reaction in return. It is a great release and its creators Dr. Spookenstein angling to be your new favourite horror punk nightmare.
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