Wednesday 13 has seemingly never been short of inspiration, but by his own admission, even this horror-obsessed frontman had a hard time summoning the creative spirits during the pandemic. So, he turned to his happy place – his home studio housing a mancave of horror memorabilia – and the result is Horrifier. As implied with songs like Exhume And Devour, the time spent there did nothing but perk up his taste for blood. Most macabre of all, and ranking as one of the band’s heaviest drops to date, is Insides Out, which opens with a bowel-trembling breakdown almost as terrifying as the idea of your innards on show. Wednesday’s snarling pleas of ‘Scream for me, bleed for me’ offer a sludgier side to the normally sleazy mob making them sound more like Crowbar than frequenters of the Sunset Strip.
While it might not come as any surprise that the band have penned another bunch of songs about things that go bump in the night, Horrifier plays to their versatility. It leaps from horrorpunk sleaze – check out the W.A.S.P.-y Halfway To The Grave – to Southern tones on the whirring, Pantera-esque Hell Is Coming. You’re So Hideous bundles all of the band’s energy into a catchy ode to Medusa, while Good Day To Be A Bad Guy is a throwback to the Fang Bang days.
As usual, Horrifier comes with a few morsels for the horror movie buff: the John Carpenter-inspired Return To Haddonfield – a nod to the movie Halloween – and industrial scarefest Christine: Fury In The Night, stripped from Stephen King’s spooky tale. But while all these tracks tread familiar ground, it’s the genuinely heart-wrenching The Other Side – Wednesday’s personal ode to the sudden loss of his mother and Joey Jordison – that reveals a deeper side to the ex-Murderdoll. It may have started with a momentary lapse of inspiration, but Horrifier is as thrilling as any of Wednesday’s work to date.