Wednesday 13

Transylvania 90210: Songs of Death, Dying, and the Dead

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Although hard to fathom nowadays (since just about every single band is smearing on the eyeliner), there was a point during the '90s when "theatrical metal" was completely dead. But thanks to the success of Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, the genre returned from the grave, as both artists proved that wearing makeup didn't automatically make you a pop-metallist like Poison. By the early 21st century, a whole new breed of similarly styled rockers appeared, such as the Murderdolls, whose frontman, Wednesday 13, began issuing solo outings. With Wednesday looking like the offspring of Plasmatics guitarist Richie Stotts, 2005's Transylvania 90210 is his second solo release overall, and sounds quite similar to the recordings from his full-time band. "I Walked With a Zombie" contains expected horror movie-esque lyrics, although the punk-pop riffs bring to mind blink-182. Elsewhere, however, the expected heavy sludge riffage reins supreme ("House by the Cemetery"), while the album closer, "A Bullet Named Christ," is a haunting, piano-based ditty and "Elect Death for President" sounds like an outtake from Antichrist Superstar. Newcomers to the "horror metal" genre should enjoy Transylvania 90210, but longtime admirers of the aforementioned artists will have heard it all before.

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