Monday, 22 July 2013

The Twelfth Doctor....Who?

So, in Doctor Who's fiftieth year, we will be getting a new Doctor! Of course, despite many false starts and rumours, the announcement of Doctor #12 has yet to be made.

There have, as usual, been numerous rumours in the press about who the new Doctor may be, but the newspapers and journalist usually take ounces of truth and spread it thick, adding their own opinions into the mix until it spirals into, essentially, blatant lies. What we do know, 100%, is that we are getting a new Doctor on Christmas Day. And that is it.

The last time Steven Moffat had to choose a Doctor, he had very clear expectations as to who he wanted. Not in terms of a specific actor, more a type of actor. He wanted somebody older, mid-40's, or roundabouts. He ended up casting the youngest Doctor ever in Matt Smith! Will Moffat have similar thoughts this time around? Will he, this time, try and find that older Doctor he wanted back in 2009, before Matt Smith ruined everything by being so brilliant? Or does he like the idea of somebody young and wild controlling the TARDIS?

Will the Doctor even be male? The idea of Time Lords changing their sex is now officially canon, and a great many actors and actresses have discussed the idea of the new Doctor being female, even more than before. But should 'he' be female? I find it hard to believe that the production team would decide automatically to make the next Doctor a woman, but less hard to believe that if a lady auditioned for the role, and bettered her male counterparts, then she would be cast. A lady Doctor would certainly make things interesting, but the idea, the novelty of him now being a her would have to be dealt with swiftly, otherwise, ten episodes in and the Doctor still going, “I'm a woman now, women are cool!” would be awfully tiresome.

So, who would I like to play the Doctor? I would certainly prefer an older actor this time around, and perhaps somebody I have never heard of. Somebody who can fully embrace the character of the Doctor, in the same way that Matt Smith did. There is a lot of controversy about certain actors at the moment, in particular, Daniel Rigby, of the BT ads. But I have given up saying who I want, or what I want. Because the last time I did that, we got somebody who totally confounded my expectations, and he was excellent. So if the next Doctor is another youth, I will have to put my trust in Moffat to find the right youth. He did it in 2009.

Whatever happens, 50 years after Doctor Who's conception, we are getting a brand new Doctor. And that is still the most exciting thing ever, whoever he or she may be.

'Of Ghouls and Men' - Album Review

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!


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
  • Shining
  • Rock'n'roll For the Dead
  • Zombie Nation

Also check out:
For more information, visit Raizing Hell's Official Facebook Page: Raizing Hell

Cory Eadson, 2013