posted on 10/2003 By:
Rock music has a long and hallowed tradition of mocking itself. Metal has kept that tradition alive in the form of bands like SOD, Gwar, Spazztic Blur, OLD, Lawnmower Death...on and on. It's appropriate and perhaps even necessary to illustrate how silly all the talk of death, blood, Satan and grimness can be. Metal is such an over the top form of art that it practically begs to be satirized. With Murder Music the result feels more punk than metal, despite what amounts to some truly remarkable and fiendishly hefty musicianship and riffs. Positively phenomenal drumming and bassisms are where the whole project starts. The music strikes me as having likely been written by the bassist, just because the guitars are almost always riffing and chording behind manic bass lines. This has the effect of giving the music a deathjazz-written-by-clowns feel, which is not to say you can't find seriously fucked up guitar work here. Occasionally the songs drum up variations of children's songs, which can be fun or tiresome depending on your outlook. Nevertheless the musical side of this project is so well represented you almost wish it wasn't in such a silly cause... A problem, at least for me, lies in the hack lyrics and vocals. It's funny to hear the dude screech like Danni Filth's somewhat less evil twin, but in the end I keep thinking of Green Jelly, or sometimes even Gwar, but without the freshness. And if they are trying to be funny then they need to find a new angle in their lyrics. Mocking the grotesque has been done and by quite a few people. Comedy is tricky. Like I used to tell my son when he was eight and would repeat the exact same joke forty-seven times every hour, things are only funny once, maybe twice. Then they are just get old. Back on the musical front, the production is superb, crunchy, lively and nasty. The bass has that very treblish sound you might associate with mid eighties Maiden, the drums have a good "kittish" mix; and the guitars are about average sounding - nothing caustic, but not weak. The vocals are up in the mix, but for a novelty recording that's about what you would expect. All in all it sounds clean and keeps the level of interest high. Bottom line: It's a fun little diversion. It takes itself and you as the punch line to a joke every metal fan has not only heard, but probably lived to in one degree or another. The idea is nothing new - and is in fact really old, but the music on this disc makes it worth a listen all by itself, I will enjoy a listen every now and then.
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