The horror metal legends WEDNESDAY 13 have returned with their seventh album, Condolences. As Wednesday has explained to us (see our interview with him), the band took an entirely new approach this time around, enlisting the help of producer Zeuss and working together in a studio to create their record. What makes Condolences stand out as a record compared to WEDNESDAY 13‘s back catalogue?
The album opens up with Last Rites and leads to the first song, What the Night Brings, which sounds like your typical WEDNESDAY 13 record. Laden with spooky synths and heavy, chuggy riffs, it’s a decent track that makes you think that nothing much has changed in the time since WEDNESDAY 13’s previous record, Monsters of the Universe: Come Out and Plague. The next track on the album, however, completely changes that belief. Whether it was intentional to make the listener think that not much has changed is unclear, but it’s perfectly crystal clear that a lot has happened since Monsters of the Universe: Come Out and Plague.
Blood Sick is, arguably, the best track that WEDNESDAY 13 has brought out to date, and blasts the album into the spotlight. Its sinister, muted build up alongside Wednesday’s gruelling vocals before the immense chorus seems to encapsulate what Wednesday had said about the record in our interview with him. This is how WEDNESDAY 13 should sound, and it seems to be the changes in recording and writing that are responsible for this change. The record’s overall heavier nature also adds to the impact of the album, and makes it a lot more memorable. Other highlights of the record include You Breathe I Kill, the title of which is repeated to make it dig deep into your head and stay stuck there for as long as possible. Cruel To You has some of the best guitar work on the record, and ferocious drum patterns that make you want to keep the record spinning.
One slight issue with the album is that, at times, there feels like there’s a slight crossover with MURDERDOLLS. It’s nothing extreme, however the darker and more brutal nature of the album gives it a whole new feel that is slightly reminiscent of MURDERDOLLS. This could be due to Zuess’ contribution, and is not a bad thing as such. Omen Amen is an example of this; not a bad track by any means, but it has a notable scent of MUDERDOLLS. On the whole, however, the album is solid and original, with significant development from The Dixie Dead.
Overall, Condolences is absolutely WEDNESDAY 13 at their very best. Due to the inclusion of new recording methods and new ways to co-operate, the band have fine-tuned their sound and found what should now be the quintessential standard for WEDNESDAY 13. Working alongside Zeuss has added to the overall quality of the record, and has added a much-needed thickness to the malevolent riffs, of which there are plenty. This record is the perfect introduction for those who are fans of the likes of MURDERDOLLS, and want to see what more horrors await in this similar vein of metal.
Condolences is out now via Nuclear Blast Records.
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