I’ll be honest, the title when this got announced had me a little worried. What on earth were they on about? When the CD was picked up, suddenly it all makes sense. We have a concept album.
About horror films.
Gee, that’s not been a subject used before in EBM/electro, huh? Let’s have a look at the song titles: Spooky, Let’s Go Dark, Corpses (A Zombie Love Song), Beyond Fear, Brains…? This is not looking good.
So how does it sound? On opening track Spooky Byron takes vocals, and comes on like a twisted and fucked up jack-in-the-box, popping up amongst the horror film samples and carnival chimes to tell us how he likes his films (and apparently his women). A slightly unsettling start that flows into the title track, like a big, dark door creaking open into the album proper. We are here more into typical GodMod territory, with Jasyn inviting his unsuspecting victim (or perhaps just lover?) to take a ride on the dark side. A cracking track, too.
Next up is the aforementioned Corpses (A Zombie Love Song), which is one of two sung by Courtney. On past albums the tracks sung by her have been like shafts of light piercing the unrelenting darkness, but here this track is rather dull, and plods along without any real points of note. Much better is Undone, where the horror imagery takes a back step a little, for a really rather dark sexuality, in some respects taking us back to the ground they were treading on Viscera to fantastic effect.
The twisted horror theme returns swiftly, though, with instrumental Falling In Space built around swirling synths and treated spoken word samples, that when listened to closely really does give the vague image in ones head of spiralling downwards. It’s back to normal again, though, with Your True Face, where Jasyn wants to take us to the cemetary to see who we really are. Another slightly forgettable, GodMod-by-numbers track, unfortunately, so I’ll pass on the trip through the gates if you don’t mind, Jasyn…
Courtney then returns to start summoning things ‘from the other side’ on E.V.P.. Can the spirits help? They can indeed – this track has more bite than the past few tracks put together, and her vocals are rather more snarling than her usual sweeter sound. The synths in the chorus are used to fantastically ominous effect, too. Beyond Fear takes us into nightmares, with Jasyn again. It is notable mainly for the superbly paranoid-sounding chorus that winds tighter and tighter each time.
Byron is back again for Orange and Black, which is a fantastic romp through nightmares again, and this time they come to life, with loads of (literally) apocalyptic samples, guitar samples and a really dense sound. Closing track Brains keeps it up, too, again densely layered with samples, with the effect of a horror films’ ending where the protagonist was a zombie after all – and sidles right up to the camera to tell you so, too…
So does this all work? At least in part, it works brilliantly. It sags badly in the middle, and some ideas seem only half cooked, and what it lacks in substance it gains in atmosphere. But this isn’t quite enough. In the end it only runs out as frustrating and mildly unsettling, rather than being the scary ride it so wants to be.