Some headbangers have been surprised to learn that the Devil's Whorehouse -- a band that guitarist Morgan "Evil" Håkansson and bassist Roger Svensson, aka B.War of Marduk fame, co-founded as a side project -- aren't black metal and don't sound anything at all like Marduk. But then, side projects are supposed to give musicians the opportunity to try something different -- that's the whole point of a side project. And if Håkansson needs a break from black metal and the corpse paint crowd every now and then (Svensson left the Devil's Whorehouse), he certainly gets it on 2009's Blood and Ashes -- which maintains the Misfits/Black Sabbath/Samhain/Glenn Danzig obsessions of previous recordings. Considering that the Devil's Whorehouse started out as a Misfits/Samhain cover band in 2000, it makes sense that the Misfits and Samhain continued to influence them when they started writing original material -- and the mock-horror themes of the Misfits are rehashed with delightfully campy results on infectious metal/punk tracks like "Snakes out of the Mouth of Hell," "Speak the Name of the Dead," "Oceans Turn to Blood," and "Werewolf Nation." Actually, this band's interest in the Occult is one thing they do have in common with Marduk, but while Marduk and many other black metal bands sound like they are dead serious about the Occult, Blood and Ashes comes across as ironic and has a sense of dark, twisted fun. Plus, the Devil's Whorehouse aren't nearly as musically extreme or as heavy as Marduk. By 2009 standards, this 37-minute CD isn't the least bit groundbreaking, but the fact that the material is highly derivative doesn't make it any less infectious or enjoyable. Blood and Ashes is well worth hearing if one is a die-hard fan of Glenn Danzig and the bands he either influenced or was a part of.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson