Countdown to MDF X: (48) Macabre

If you like true crime, serial killers and Grimm’s fairy tales AND you also love metal, then Macabre is your band.

Hailing from Chicago, this clever trio includes Corporate Death (Lance Lencioni) on guitars, vocals, Nefarious (Charles Lescewicz) on bass guitar, vocals, and Dennis the Menace (Dennis Ritchie) on drums. They have been putting out recordings since 1987.

Some gore metal bands like to use music styles like grindcore to frame their horrific lyrical content. Macabre does this too, but they are also just as likely to use more minstrel-like tunes with some clean singing and more traditional song structures. Their lyrics are generally based on true events and historical facts. Macabre’s most recent album, Grim Scary Tales, recounts murderous exploits through the centuries beginning with the Emperor Nero, Vlad the Impaler (Dracula), Hungarian serial killer Elizabeth Bathory, New Englander accused of killing her parents Lizzie Borden, French serial killer Joseph Vacher (aka the Killer of Little Shepherds) and German serial killer Carl Großmann, among others.

Macabre do not limit themselves to metal but freely blend folk, punk, thrash, acoustic and just about whatever styles they want as they see fit. The musical talent is evident throughout and the vocals are strong and harmonious. They even have an entire collection of campfire songs that should be in every astute child’s record collection. Macabre Minstrels: Morbid Campfire Songs, released in 2002, includes their charming version of that well known children’s song that all we had to sing in elementary school, “The Cat Came Back,” as well as many other classics such as “Tom Dooley” and a bluegrass song about the Ed Gein family. Seriously, I am not making this up. Think of Burl Ives with a really sick, sick sense of humor.

Friday afternoon at the Maryland Deathfest with Macabre should be very interesting indeed. I’m going to prepare for a sing-a-long.

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