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51Jj7Ztg9yL. SL160 After a succesful run on their self-released EP, THE ROAD LEADS TO NOWHERE, New Mexico's LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT have returned with AMONG FLIES, their first full-length set of horror-influenced metal for Siege of Amida/Ferret Records.
Kicking off with the almost obligatory instrumental syth intro Overture of the Maleficia, LAST HOUSE rolls into the crunchy Forever Dying, a tale of a young woman who found her death at the hands of an axe-wielding killer, only to have her "twitching corpse kicked into the sea." By the end of the second track, the band makes a clear statement on what their listeners can expect for the next 44 minutes.
Vocalist Tyler Semyaza uses each track to tell a story, as written from the thoughts of a murderous psychopath. While the lyrics can be viewed as frightening, their delivery is best served with a deep growl, as opposed to the nasal-tinged bark that often dominates the mix, as most of the vocals are doubled-up throughout the album. Musically, the band functions great as a whole, and is most effective when they fall into a heavy groove. Arguably the strongest song on the album is in the ninth spot with Liath Loinneach, starting off with a guitar tone and groove that recalls Wolverine Blues-era ENTOMBED. Nearly all bands in the metal realm have a habit of falling into the machine-gun drumming and "who can play the fastest" rut, and sadly, LAST HOUSE is no exception, with almost every track featuring at least one section of the bass/snare/bass/snare trappings. Fortunately, the good outweighs the bad, for a solid album, that could've been a great album with a little more tweaking.

Dark and gritty like the film from which they took their name, LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is both enjoyable and painful at times.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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