Macabre - Murder Metal[b]A long, long time ago, in a village far away, a young lad listened to Body Count, Pantera to satisfie his metallic needs. He was happy with his cds, but always had this feeling that it would be so cool if there would have been this one band, that combined various styles of metal, sounded crazy and had some serious sickening lyrics. Then, like an answer to an unholy prayer, Macabre's Unabomber cd fell into the boy's hands. The boy listened it, and a whole new world opened up for him. The world of extreme metal. Thank you for that, Macabre.[/b] After a short while that little dude got himself the well known and pretty controversial Macabre cd 'Dahmer', a detailed concept album, containing 24 tracks about the life of homosexual cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. The way some tracks sounded (sickening, brutal or extremely funny) and the fact that these three Chicago sickos took the time to write the story in such riveting detail, maded the damned thing one of my alltime favorite metal albums, and it still is today. And what a long wait Macabre fans have had for their new work, 'Murder Metal'! With al this waiting, expectations have risen up to scandanavian hights. But finally it came out, and I expected to hear one of 2003's greatest releases. But shock ran through my head. It is completely, and totally disapointing. First thing that is one hell of a bummer on the new Macabre is mister Corporate Death's vocals. Where on earlier releases he served us a platter full of variated vocals, from icy screaming that makes ones hair stand on end, to incredably deep and woofer-molesting grunting. However there are still a lot of styles of 'singing' on Murder Metal, it misses the great combo vocals. Most of the record is sang screaming, his master grunt as heard on the classic track 'Hitchhiker' is used way to sparsome. And even worse: Mister Death's voice seems less powerfull. On some tracks he even sounds like he has swalowed a dryed out rat. And that's just baffeling, considering his ever overpowering voice on 'Dahmer'. Has he fucked his voice up for good during touring? Or is it actually supposed to sound like this? I can't imagine.. Next is the big thorn in the eye here. It is the absolute disapointing build up of the album. Or should I say; lack of build up. It is no more then thirteen tracks that have absolute nothing to do with each other, other than the obvious fact that it's all about serial killers. The big problem this 'setting' of the album produces is that too many material on Murder Metal contains the same concept; Brutal death with a 'funny' chorus. The first four tracks it remains hilarious, after five my laughter turned in to a grin and by the time the closing track 'Fritz Haarman Der Metzger' let loose a thundering piece of extreme metal, followed by once again that 'funny' chorus, it made me feel angry. The power of the comedy on 'Dahmer' was that the brutal tracks had some hidden jokes, but the laughter was nowhere to be heard in the atmosphere of the music (on those songs). The tracks that sounded rediculously cheerfull were funny, because the rest [i]sounded[/i] dead serious. On 'Murder Metal' it seems that they've chosen a nonstop concept of the Brutal versus Comedic talent. The result: utter overkill. Some songs are just plain [b]bad[/b]. The Wustenfeld Maneater for instance, about the German cannibal who more or less mail-ordered his victim and shared his medium rare cooked Penis for lunch with, sounds like Macabre felt like they had to write the song because it was a important news event about a serial killer, they couldn't afford to leave out. Another great example of that 'what the fuck were you thinking' material is the opening track 'Acid Bath Vampire' it is supposed to sound brutal, but is actually deadly annoying! Please don't attempt that sound again, it is so fucking wannebe meshuggah-like.. Yes, I am too unhappily surprised to be writing this about Macabre. As far as I can enjoy the brutal material, it sounds typical Macabre. Great songs such as The Iceman (why not much more stuff like that on the cd??) and the great punk rithems on Poison. No fuckups there. Maybe a bit unoriginal, but that doesn't bother me as much as the comedy overkill on Murder Metal. Add all these dissapointments up with the fact that we have had to wait so damned long on this cd, and it's still short (just over 40 minutes including the waiting time for the ghost track), and not even all of the material on Murder Metal is freshly written for the album. I just can not understand why this album fails to fascinate me as the older Macabre material did, with Dahmer as absolute highlight. Is Macabre fresh out of creativity? Have they so suddenly dryed out? Or is it just a mediocre release inbetween of the older stuff and some great releases to come? I very much hope it is the last option. A crying shame, I hoped , even better: I expected Macabre to do head-smashing well, but they've let down. I am seriously concerned about Corporate Death's voice, and hope it sounds a hundred times better when Macabre returns to the lowlands. Biggest dissapointment of 2003, as far as I am concerned. Some listening tips: 'You're Dying To Be With Me' , 'The Hillside Strangler' , 'Iceman' and 'Poison' will just do. Big ass bummers: 'Acid Bath Vampire', 'Fatal Foot Fetish', 'Morbid Minister', 'The Wustenfeld Man Eater'..