Sunday, February 20 2011 00:00


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macabreThere's times I think that being from Chicago (and possibly the Midwest in general) causes a large portion of the population to graviate toward the dark side of life by default. It's probably the same reason that so many horror films are set in Illinois. Between the mobsters, supernatural phenomena, and generally weird shit that goes on, it's no wonder that Chicago is the home base of MACABRE.

Pumping out their twisted brand of "Murder Metal" for over a quarter century, the band returned this month with the release of GRIM SCARY TALES. Having already tackled the likes of JEFFREY DAHMER, RICHARD RAMIREZ (The Nightstalker), ED GEIN (The Plainfield Ghoul), and DAVID BERKOWITZ (Son of Sam), 'SCARY TALES brings together a collection of the world's most vicious mass murderers and serial killers for an audio adventure.

With "Burke and Hare," "Countess Bathory," "Dracula" (Vlad himself checks in on the album cover), and "Lizzie Borden" all the subject of song, one of the more intriguing numbers closes the album, that being "The Sweet Tender Meat Vendor." A tale of German wackjob Karl Großmann, a Sweeney Todd-esque serial killer that sold meat and hot dogs containing the remains of some destitute young women, "Meat Vendor" itself sounds like a piece ripped from a rock opera. You could almost sing-a-long as they speak of "turning people into cannibals" unknowingly.

In usual MACABRE fashion, the music ranges from death metal to parody, with elements of country riffage and operatic vocals popping in on occasion. Personally, I've never been a fan of their vocal tomfoolery, but GRIM SCARY TALES is executed in true MACABRE fashion. It's metal with a dark sense of humor, and you'll either dig it or you won't.

Rating: 3.5/5

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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