Macabre

Grim Scary Tales

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Macabre have longevity and persistence on their side, that's for sure. This Chicago-based death metal trio has been around since the '80s, and like ZZ Top, the band has never had a single membership change. They're fixated on serial killers and other psychopaths; their 1993 album Sinister Slaughter featured 20 tracks, each named for a different famous maniac, including Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez, John Wayne Gacy, and on and on. Their 2000 album Dahmer, by contrast, was a concept album telling the story of Jeffrey Dahmer from beginning to end. Grim Scary Tales is more akin to Sinister Slaughter, as each track is the story of a different villain, but this time, the figures are historical in nature -- the Roman emperor Nero gets a song, as do French aristocrat and serial killer Gilles de Rais, Vlad the Impaler, Lizzie Borden, Countess Bathory, and many others. The music is primitive death metal, occasionally erupting into nursery rhyme or cartoon-theme melodies, and the vocals go back and forth between guttural growls and high-pitched, hoarse shrieking. Longtime Macabre fans, who find depth in the band's lyrical fixations, will doubtless be thrilled at their heroes' return. Most metalheads, and everyone else, can safely skip this one, though.

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