January 22, 2009

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Dance Club Massacre, Circle of Death
Metal Blade Records, Nov. 11, 2008

Howls, shrieks and wizzer-keen pig-grunts over sloppy guitars never sounded so theatrical, or at least as big as by the hand of Chicago avant-screamo-metalheads Dance Club Massacre, who, after not quite setting the world ablaze with their debut Feast of the Blood Monsters, appear ready to make their, let’s admit it, rather intriguing moniker stand for something besides Meet The Metal Blade Band Of The Week. The fiendishly cleverly named “Ode to the Barracuda” features one of their typical Screamy Screamington vs Hog God vocal battles, but the placement of demented roller-rink organ points to a sense of what-the-hellness that’s older and wiser than its post-black-metal trappings warrant. Similarly, “Return of the Blood Monster” is what might be considered a skit, with Vincent Price babbling psychopathically from out of an ’80s-horror Casio-keyboard cheesefest. More squealing and pig-monstering carries “Have You Ever Chopped a Wolf,” this with oldschool goat-demon-metal as impetus, and guess what, there’s a hidden track worthy of Venom in their heyday: “99 Bottles of Beer” as interpreted by Cradle of Filth interpreting Black Flag. B+ — Eric W. Saeger