“Happy New Year, have another album” must be Wednesday 13’s motto.
This will be number nine in ten years including live and compilation outings so he must have taken a break somewhere. EP’s and singles have flowed too.
The funny thing is, regarding my above statement, all the quantity never seems to dilute the quality, the man is a song making machine.
You can track a few ebbs and flows in style and production, tinkering with the winning formula. We even got an acoustic album last year. When it comes to straight up plugged in material though, Wednesday 13 is as reliable as a Swiss watch. His own readily identifiable brand of horror metal could almost be a cousin of the music put out by Rob Zombie, all full of sampled intros and rasping vocals. The differences are chasm like though, here the songs are more venomous and less tongue in cheek.
You get the sense that while Zombie seeks merely to entertain, Mr 13 has quite a lot to get off his chest. He might choose to vent in often obscure ways but titles like Bombs, Guns And Gods – This Is A War leaves little to the imagination. A diatribe against the foolishness of armed conflict and using religion to justify your actions, it’s hard hitting stuff both musically and lyrically. Predictable? Well given the subject matter the artist’s stance is a given but there is still a mastery in the way it’s all blasted out. The angry vocals and dystopian intro give the feeling that this song is as much a warning than an observation. We’re all heading to shit and Wednesday 13’s crystal ball is working just fine.
Pounding guitars and a sandpapered voice can only take you so far though, you need something extra to stay afloat. On Monsters Of The Universe Come Out To Plague it’s the diversity that keeps everything from turning beige. We know and love the fast cyber metal stuff but the real ace here is the slower material which adds much needed depth. You get an eighties goth vibe on I Love Watching You Die where the constant humming of synth also reminds those old enough of new wave bands like OMD or Ultravox. The following song Into The Crop Circle is also played at a slower tempo but is still pretty venomous. Here you could almost be listening to a slightly irked Alice Cooper.
While everything is all hunky dory and as it should be, even the more creative touches can’t hide the lack of a real killer tune. It’s a case of consistency without any high end penetration. The problem is that this is an excellent album without having anything to make it truly memorable. This is why other works stick in the mind even if they are patchy.
One moment of genius can allow someone to be remembered for an album that is only remembered for that one flash of inspiration. Wednesday 13 is in need of his Halo moment, but set in an album just like this one. If that were to happen it would make him a music god. For now he must remain mortal but still remarkable.