Halloween is now just a few short weeks away, which means some of us will be putting together a spooky soundtrack to accompany another scary season. But where’s the best place for us to find some creepy chords, some horrifying harmonies, some terrifying timbre, some eerie earworms? Radar has the solution, so read on…. if you dare….
Last year, Bostonian metalcore outfit Ice Nine Kills released their fifth album, The Silver Scream, in which every song is based on a classic horror film, and it was an absolute belter! And now, as of 25 October, we have a deluxe edition of the album, called The Final Cut, featuring extra spine-tingling tunes that are bound to make your Halloween even creepier…
Each track on this record is expertly woven together with an exquisite level of loving care that will make even non-metalheads smile. The band’s mountain of musical talent, coupled with expert production and a small army of guest musicians, make this album more deserving of the word “silver” in its title.
It is an absolute jewel.
Paying homage to a range of horror classics, from A Nightmare on Elm Street to Saw, and from Friday the 13th to Stephen King’s It, this album is, at points, what it needs to be in this situation; absolutely terrifying. Tracks such as “The American Nightmare”, “Enjoy Your Slay”, and “IT Is the End”, are genuinely scary. Spencer Charnas and Justin DeBlieck’s unclean vocals send a razor slicing straight into your soul.
Crunching breakdowns bury themselves in your brain and possess you into banging your head. The backing orchestra create a sense of paranoia that places you slap-bang in the middle of the movie scene - being chased by a masked madman with a machete. The chills that are sent down your spine by this record are delicious.
And then, just when you feel like running crying to Mummy, you’re hit with gorgeous overtures of melody, as INK tap into the emotional side of horror. Tracks such as “A Grave Mistake”, “The World In My Hands” and “Love Bites”, serenade you with orchestral heart-pouring.
There are even sections of the heavier songs that take a reprieve from the brutality of metalcore, to offer a taste of soothing symphonic pleasure, such as “Thank God It’s Friday” and “The Jig Is Up”.
And as if that wasn’t enough, tracks like “SAVAGES” and “Freak Flag” are bouncy, fun, bite-sized chunks of post-hardcore that will make you want to simply join the monsters and serial killers for a huge party! “SAVAGES” would undoubtedly get the fans at Warped Tour jumping. It almost says, “yeah, I kill lots of people with chainsaws; what’re you gonna do about it?”
The cherry on top of this scrumptious sundae of a record is the lengthy list of guest musicians. The band’s former vocalist Jeremy Schwartz returns for one more jam on “Rocking the Boat”. Actress Chelsea Talmadge (of Stranger Things fame) offers some serene vocals to “Love Bites”.
Sam Kubrick, grandson of Stanley, offers vocals of his own on “Enjoy Your Slay”; a wonderful nod to the fact his granddad directed the movie the track is based on, The Shining.
Perhaps one of the more favoured parts is the feature of JR Wasilewski and Buddy Schaub, the brass section from ska punk outfit Less Than Jake, on “IT Is the End”; a genius nod to INK’s early ska punk roots before they branched into metal.
The new additions to this wonderful album, The Final Cut, include acoustic versions of existing tracks “Stabbing in the Dark” (featuring vocals from Trivium vocalist Matt Heafy) and “SAVAGES”. Rather than just make these songs gentler, the acoustic treatment gives them a slightly new flavour that delivers their take on their father films (Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre respectively) in a different sinister manner. Almost as if you’re chatting with a known serial killer over a cup of tea.
The deluxe edition also includes a cover of everyone’s favourite Halloween anthem “Thriller” by the late, great Michael Jackson, and a brand-new song based on the satirical horror flick Scream. These are still to be unleashed to the world, but its unforeseeable that the quality will drop…
If you are a fan of metal, horror films, or both, you MUST hear this album whether it’s Halloween or not. This album scares you, but its genuine respect for the genre also means you have a bloody fun time! It’s a crime that INK have not been shown more love for this record.
In a scene where too many bands are getting ridicule for what they’re coming up with, these guys have poured their heart and soul into writing this love letter to horror and have created nothing short of a masterpiece.