Macabre Dahmer

Chicago's Macabre blends punk, prog, jazz and every shade of metal, from power to grind, with no discernible gimmicks - just optimal musicianship. From their 1993 groundbreaking Sinister Slaughter album to their late '90s "death metal unplugged" combo, the Macabre Minstrels, this durable outfit has stuck it out together for over 15 years without any line-up changes. Continuing their penchant for serial killers, Dahmer is a 26-song chronicle of the life and times of Jeffrey Dahmer, the cannibalistic murderer who has now surpassed his hometown's beer as the sicko who made Milwaukee famous. Macabre's meticulous attention to detail renders their heavier tunes in Technicolor metal: the Cynic-al girth of "Into The Toilet With You"; the Slayer-ly wailing doom-death of "Scrub A Dub Dub," the guttural, Morbid Angel-ic speed sludge of "Hitchhiker" and the Sadus-styled thrash fest of "Exposure." Even award-winning producer Neil Kernon (Queensr├┐che, Spiral Architect, Dokken, Hall and Oates) is in on the action-packed fun of "Jeffrey Dahmer Blues," in which he plays a convincing blues guitar with much more than a Homer Simpson seriousness. As always, though, Macabre shines brightest on their twistedly hilarious adaptations of traditional tunes. "The Chocolate Factory" cops Willie Wonka's "Oompa Loompa" theme song with a Munsters slant and "Coming To Chicago" is a revved-up punk reading of "She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain." The group soars at a Lawnmower Deth velocity on the old standards "In The Army Now" and "To Grandmother's House We Go," then adds monstrous melody to "Dahmer's Dead," the wicked witch's death mantra from The Wizard Of Oz. With ardent fans from Mr. Bungle to Dick Clark, Macabre has created yet another nursery rhyming, murder metal masterpiece that's sure to elicit devilish grins all around. (Olympic)