Ice Nine Kills’ Latest LP Is A Scary Good New Record

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Halloween is almost over, but horror, like evil, will never die.  Metalcore band Ice Nine Kills is an act that seems to live by that mantra, having released so many albums based on horror novels and movies throughout its life.  The band continued to prove that Oct. 15 when it released its long-awaited new album, The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood.  The wait for this record was well worth it, as this critic and any of the band’s fans will agree.  That is proven in part through the musical arrangements featured in this record.  They will be discussed shortly.  The movies represented in the new album add to the record’s appeal in their own way and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted does its own part to make INK’s new album successful.  All things considered, they make the album another successful offering from the band that is not just a great musical Halloween treat this year, but a great addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums.

Ice Nine Kills’ latest album, The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood is another successful new offering from the band that the band’s fans new and established alike will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are important to the record’s success because of the mix of familiar and new sounds and styles that they exhibit.  Right from the album’s outset in the album’s title track, audiences get the band’s familiar melodic metalcore approach, complete with front man Spencer Charnas’ solid mix of clean vocals and screams and the band’s familiar choral element that has become such a trademark of the band’s songs.  From there though, the band changes things up in ‘A Rash Decision.’  The ominous piano line that opens the arrangement is familiar, but as the arrangement progresses, it very quickly turns to a decidedly Slipknot-esque composition with its heavy, driving guitars, screams, and pounding, solid time keeping.  This is an approach that the band has dabbled with in the past, but never to this extent.  ‘Assault & Batteries’ meanwhile takes audiences back to the sounds so familiar in The Silver Scream and even all the way back to the band’s even earlier hit song, ‘Communion of the Cursed.’   Listeners get even more of the noted Slipknot influence in ‘Funeral Derangements,’ which is one of the album’s many singles.  Perhaps the most notable of the album’s arrangements comes in the form of ‘Rainy Day’ (yes another of the album’s singles).  The incorporation of the electronics into the song conjure thoughts of songs from the likes of Gravity Kills and Spineshank.  That newer sound pairs with the arrangement’s more familiar metalcore elements to make it one of the album’s most notable musical works.  Audiences who want even more new approaches and sounds get that in the distinctly death metal style ‘Take Your Pick.’  Considering that this song features a guest appearance by Cannibal Corpse front man Corpsgrinder, the comparison there is immediate.  To a slightly lesser degree, audiences can also make a comparison to works from the likes of Whitechapel.  From there on out, audiences get plenty of familiar sounds and styles in every song that follows.  At the same time, the songs still boast their own identities, even with that familiarity noted.  Keeping all of this in mind, the mix of new and familiar from one arrangement to the next and even within certain songs makes for reason enough for audiences to hear this record.  Of course, the musical arrangements featured in INK’s new album are collectively just one part of what makes this album worth hearing.  The movies that are represented throughout the record make for their own interest.

The movies that INK chose to represent in its latest album are important to note because unlike so many cinematic sequels, they are not just re-hashings of the material from the original.  From the singles already released so far, audiences know that classic movies, such as Pet Sematary, American Psycho, Child’s Play and Resident Evil are represented here.  Also represented are seemingly the likes of Cabin in the Woods (‘A Rash Decision’), The Fly (‘F.L.Y.’), and even Psycho (‘The Shower Scene’) among others.  Hellraiser is seemingly represented here in ‘The Box’ as is The Evil Dead in ‘Ex-Mortis.’  Simply put, between the movies listed here and the others featured here, INK has opted to not just re-visit the movies visited in the songs from The Silver Scream and its initial sequel/spinoff, The Silver Scream: The Final Cut.  What’s more, the band also made sure to pick movies from across the horror spectrum and history.  Not only does this serve as respect for those movies, but it could very well serve as a starting point for a lifelong love for (and potentially obsession with) those movies for new horror fans.  To that end, that and everything else noted here shows why the movies chosen for this record are important to the album’s success.  Even with this in mind, there is still one more item to address here.  That item is the record’s sequencing.

The sequencing of The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood is important because it ensures the album’s energy remains just right from start to end.  The album starts off in ominous fashion, but doesn’t wait long before it really picks up.  From there, the energy barely shifts at any point.  When it does, it is subtle at best.  The result is that it does just as much to keep listeners engaged and entertained throughout the album as its content and the very cinematic history presented through the featured movies.  Keeping all of this in mind, there is no doubt that the sequencing of INK’s new album is just as important to note as the album’s content.  It all comes together to make the album its own welcome musical love letter to Hollywood’s horror history just as much as its predecessors.

Ice Nine Kills’ recently released album, The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrrorwood is another successful offering from the band.  It is a work that the band’s established and newer audiences alike will enjoy.  That is due in no small part to its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements offer listeners a solid blend of familiar sounds and styles, and newer approaches.  The whole there makes for plenty of engagement and entertainment.  The movies that are represented throughout the album are of their own importance.  That is because they are not just repeats of the movies represented in the band’s most recent records.  They continue to show the band’s love for Hollywood’s rich history of horror while also continuing to potentially introduce audiences to that rich history.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  That is because it ensures that the record’s energy remains solid from start to end.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the album another successful offering from Ice Nine Kills and one more of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood is available now through Fearless Records. More information on Ice Nine Kills’ new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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MPI, Cohen Media Group Making Their Name With Their Latest Uncovered Classic

Courtesy:  Cohen Media Group/mpi media group

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group/mpi media group

The partnership between Turner Classic Movies and Warner Home Video has made the two companies leaders in re-issuing cinema classics.  Universal Studios is a close second thanks to the recent re-issues of Cape Fear, its Alfred Hitchcock Essentials collection, and it Universal Monsters collection. Now two more companies are staking their claim in the classic movie world.  Those companies are Virgil Films and Cohen Media Group.  Early in 2013, the two companies partnered for the release of what is one of the single greatest classics of all time in the Thief of Bagdad.  Now months later, they have released an even lesser known classic in Perfect Understanding.

The plot of Perfect Understanding rests in the agreement between Swanson’s Judy and Olivier’s Nicholas that could be equated to an open marriage.  Right off the top, it’s obvious just how original this is, considering social norms and values of America in the early 1930s.  The agreement between the couple is meant in order to break the trend that the couple sees among its friends.  Neither wants to end up like their friends.  Ironically enough, it is because of the agreement that the couple reaches the point of its friends.  The ensuing story is unlike anything that fans of the rom-com genre have seen since.  It’s obviously not just another typical boy meets girl-loses her-gets her back in the end story.  It’s almost Shakespearian in a way when one really goes back through the story a couple of times and analyzes it at a much deeper level.  It should also be noted here that despite a run time of an hour and half, the story actually moves along at a relatively easy pace.  This, along with the largely original story is another positive to this unearthed gem of a classic film.

For a film of its era and its style, Perfect Understanding could very well have been much longer and less able to relate to viewers, even today.  Luckily, it didn’t do that.  And roughly eight decades after it premiered it’s still as funny today as it was in its premiere.  Taking into account the film’s age, it’s incredible that it still sounds and looks as good as it does to this day.  What audiences see and hear is largely what audiences heard when the film first premiered so long ago.  It is a true testament to those charged with restoring the film to its original glory.  And now thanks to those individuals, a whole new generation of film buffs can enjoy this rare classic.

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“Beneath The Scars” is 12 Stones’ best work yet

New Orleans, Louisiana based 12 Stones is likely one of the most underrated bands in modern mainstream music today.  Frontman Paul McCoy played a role in the debut hit from mega stars, Evanesence.  12 Stones also found a place on the soundtrack to the hit 2002 Dwayne Johnson movie, The Scorpion King.  And with three successful studio albums under its belt, one would think this band would be much more well known than it is.  With the release of its fourth full length studio, 12 Stones may have finally cemented its place in mainstream rock.

12 Stones’ new album, ‘Beneath the Scars’ is currently slated to be released May 29th via Texas-based Executive Music Group.  The band’s new album is the most rock solid (yes bad pun there) album that the band has released to date.  It opens with the hard rocking social commentary of ‘Infected.’  [Paul] McCoy sings on the album’s lead single, “I feel weak/I feel numb/Had enough/of this poison we’ve injected/living in this world infected.”  The song discusses how the state of things in the country and the world has really gone down.  He goes on to sing as part of the chorus, “Time is running out”, hinting that the world needs to change and soon.  It’s a statement that’s bold without being preachy.  Add in the guitar work of Eric Weaver, and the band has a great start to a great album.

The band hardly lets up after ‘Infected.’  From there, the band launches into the uplifting but equally rocking, ‘Bulletproof.’  This is one of those pieces that every listener will appreciate.  McCoy sings on this song, “The fight has made me stronger/I could never turn my back now/Don’t you point the finger/Your words no longer break me down/I’m finally taking over/The truth has surfaced all around/The days of going under/Have risen up and can’t be found.”  From there he breaks into the chorus singing, “love, hate, pride bottled up inside/let it go/gonna let it go!/I’m feeling superhuman/I’m invincible, I’m bulletproof/I’m on a revolution/I’m invincible, I’m bulletproof/Don’t you know I’m bulletproof?”  All said, it’s a great defiant, full throttle, adrenaline pumping anthem that tells would be bullies they won’t hold anyone down.  It’s the sort of anthem to which every listener can relate.

‘Bulletproof’ is only one of many positive songs on “Beneath the Scars.”  Listeners will also enjoy songs such as:  ‘That Changes Everything’, ‘I’m With You’, and ‘Only Human.’  These tracks add that much more enjoyment to the album.  They’re only part of what makes this album so enjoyable.  One of the biggest highlights is the explosive arena anthem, ‘Psycho.’  It’s one of those songs that will undoubtedly become a major hit of the band’s live shows.  Mccoy sings to audiences, “Join me if you dare/’cause we’re gonna leave the rest behind/I’m feelin’ so alive/losin’ all control/I can feel it in my soul/We can finally let it go/Everybody’s going psycho!”  Psycho here isn’t meant in a bad way.  McCoy is just saying he feels great and in turn, has so much positive energy.  It’s just a great positive arena rock anthem that will get any fan moving whether at home, at a party, or in the arena.  It would be no surprise if this song becomes one of the album’s many potential singles.  Any of the songs on this album could potentially be used as singles.  It is that well balanced both musically and lyrically. 

“Beneath The Scars” is 12 Stones’ best work to date.  The only deciding factor in how well this album does is whether or not it gets the support that it deserves from mainstream radio.  And that rests squarely on the shoulders of the programmers at the stations nationwide.  Regardless of whether or not said programmers give the album its deserved airplay, 12 Stones has made the wait worth it for its fans and audiences in general.

The band is currently out on tour, getting audiences pumped for the release of “Beneath The Scars.”  It’ll head through Broussard, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama this weekend.  Next week sees the band resting up in preparation for its performance May 20th at the famed Rock on The Range Festival.  Fans in Syracuse, New York will get to see the band live on the 27th.  More dates are likely to be announced.  And fans who want to keep up with those potential dates can do so online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at