Formed in 2010 by Liv Decay and Oly 'Sinnister' Sinn, Raizing Hell (whose line-up is completed by Mr. Zombie on guitar and Demented Vlash on bass) are finally ready to unleash their first full-length album to the world. Titled 'Of Ghouls and Men', it is a worthy addition to the new wave of horror punk, and something very different.
The album goes for the jugular right from the off. There are no lengthy guitar solos or moments of deep introspection here. This is straight-up, pounding shock'n'roll, with the spirit of old-school punk and a vocalist who could almost be described as an evil Dolly Parton!
'We Are Raizing Hell' opens the album, and is a great self-referential tune in the style of Motorhead's 'We Are Motorhead'. Kicking off with some seriously frantic drumming, the song explodes with Mr. Zombie's razor-sharp riffage and the thundering bass of Demented Vlash in a way that the 'Head would most certainly be proud of. Liv Decay rasps through the song like she's channelling Lemmy Kilmister himself, although her trademark hollar is present and correct.
'(Do It) All The Way' is next, a vicious edge to the riffs here that is reminiscent of the Murderdolls. Liv too, manages here to sound like a female Wednesday 13, although she switches to the softer melodies with ease, lending the tune a welcome depth. This is another instant of the band taking their influences, and bending them to suit their own style, instead of just copying and imitating.
'Love To Hate' is a schizophrenic combination of bluesy beats and insane speed. The juxtaposition emphasises the heavier moments as well as the softer, more haunting parts of the song, threading the elements together rather beautifully.
It is at this point that I started to consider the bands' name – 'Raizing Hell'. 'Of Ghouls and Men' is just one huge party, and the band really do live up to their name. 'Thing For Murder' is a case-in point. A modern pop-punk guitar riff and Decay's country-and-western style singing make impossible NOT to dance, especially during the chorus!
'Shining' – a special song for the band – is altogether heavier, almost metal, to begin with. Demented Vlash's shark-attack bass intro leads into some serious axe-work (look at the song title-pun intended!), before progressing into a haunting, yet catchy, tune that could easily have appeared on the Misfits' 'Famous Monsters' album! 'Shining' yet again shows the band bending their influences, shaping them around their own music, and the beautiful chorus and lyrics are an absolute must for all the horror fanatics out there! A stand-out track!
'One Way Road' is a proper highway punk anthem something to blast out when your speeding off into the sunset (or dreaming about speeding off into the sunset), while 'Terror Television's' cry of “Kill or be killed!” is a call-to arms to maniacs everywhere.
'Invasion of the Infrasluts' switches from horror to cheesy sci-fi – a foul-mouthed tyraid of lunacy with an uber-fast chorus, and terrifically old-school guitar riffs. Think the Misfits' 'Teenagers From Mars', but a hell of a lot more insane, and you're halfway there.
Call it dark-pop, anti-pop, or whatever, but 'Cemetary Bash' is a weird mix of creepy lyrics and a beautifully sung chorus that is almost Shania Twain in it's essence (not a bad thing)! Liv Decay isn't afraid to show off every facet of her amazing voice, and Oly, Mr. Zombie, and Vlash all rise to the occasion with murderous ease.
And speaking of murderous ease, just when you think the band have exhausted their potential for any more epic horror punk anthems, they give us 'Rock'n'roll For The Dead'. Essentially a country-and-western-meets-hard-rock riot, this stand-out track transcends genres in a way that horror punk has never really dared to before, and will likely have the fans in the audience jiving and grooving more than just headbanging! An absolute corker of a song!
'Of Ghouls and Men', like all parties, has to end sometime, and this album closes with flair. Not, as expected, a homage to 'Dawn of The Dead', 'Zombie Nation' is actually an attack on the mindless sheep of society, glued to reality television and following the crowd. It's about the need to be individual, to make your own way in life, and with the intense riffage, rumbling bass, rolling drums, and a big, singalong chorus, 'Zombie Nation' summarises the whole of 'Of Ghouls and Men' in three and a half minutes, and leaves you craving more!
'Of Ghouls and Men' is one hell of a debut album! Each musician approaches their instrument with confidence and skill, and Liv Decay stands apart from all the other female vocalists out there by daring to be different. Raizing Hell have a fantastic core sound, and yet they aren't afraid to experiment, and think outside the box.
'Of Ghouls and Men' wasn't made to be analysed and dissected. It was made to blow your balls off. Buy it, turn it up to 11, and have the best horror party this side of Halloween. If you like horror punk, you will LOVE this!
RAIZING HELL ARE:
Liv Decay – Vocals
Mr. Zombie – Guitar, backing vocals
Demented Vlash – Bass, backing vocals
Oly 'Sinnister' Sinn – Drums
'Of Ghouls and Men' Stand-Out Tracks:
- Thing For Murder
- Rock'n'roll For the Dead
- Zombie Nation
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Cory Eadson, 2013