Wendy O. Williams / Plasmatics

Maggots: The Record

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Heavy metal concept albums are nothing new; however, this macabre opus ranks among the most bizarre ever recorded. More of an audio play than a music album, a Rod Serling-like narrator takes listeners through a disturbingly graphic story depicting genetically mutated maggots breeding exponentially until mankind is exterminated. Not for the squeamish; explicit dialogue and detailed descriptions of characters and their horrible deaths by the disgusting creatures are told with fantastic horror. Providing interlude are six apocalyptic Plasmatics songs embellishing the plot and displaying Wendy O. Williams' distinctive machine-gun caterwauling. "You're a Zombie," "The Day of the Humans Gone," "Brain Dead," and "Finale" are surprisingly decent '80s punk metal anthems with all the trimmings: chanted vocals, pounding militia-marching drums, and crunching guitar work. Once tossed off as gory camp, realized environmental changes and threats of biological terrorism made this prophetic release particularly unnerving.

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