Macabre Murder Metal

Chicago's Macabre have long been underdogs of the grind underground, combining stellar musicianship, a witty sense of humour and a fascination with serial killers into an often genius mixture of totally unique grindcore. I mean, who else combines nursery rhymes and Christmas carols seamlessly into grindcore tunes about mass murderers? And sure, it's an overdone topic in the particular demographic at hand, but these guys have been doing it for over 15 years. Having said all that, Murder Metal is a bit too little too late; these guys seem to spend too much time being tossed around between labels and reissuing their old (incredible) albums instead of crafting the memorable tunes they are capable of. Murder Metal has its moments (first two cuts and "The Hillside Stranglers” are essential for any Macabre fan), but also has too many moments of near-generic grind that could have been played by anyone. These guys are capable of bending minds, but this album merely raises an eyebrow for a moment; there's not much reeling me back for repeated listens. As good as this album is at points, Macabre is capable of brilliance, so here's to a more solid album next time (Season of Mist)