23 Tales of Terror
The Lurking Corpses

by Jason Hoffman 23 Tales of Terror

The Lurking Corpses deformed in 2001 as a horrific blend of punk and metal. In between their many gigs at The Art Factory and local mortuaries they found the time to record 23 Tales of Terror. As you might fear, this means that said CD contains 23 songs, ranging from the mercifully brief “Zombies (Across The Hill)” (1:02) to the merciless epic “The Witch’s C***” (9:05). Most of the songs, however, hover around the punkly traditional 2- to 3-minute mark.

The Corpses combine their charming punk metal with lots of sound samples, usually as introductions, in the vein of Rob Zombie. For the most part each song is very heavy guitar (compliments of Count Lupos Lycanthrope the Mad) with voice (Lord Vladimir Von Ghoul) and a smattering of crash symbols. The bass (Baron Boneripper of the Hills) and drums (The Leper) creep out now and then, but for the most part they are six feet under. While mastered by Tempel Recording Studios, the album was recorded by G. Montgomery at The Ensomberoom, a place known for containing large vats of formaldehyde.

While there is definitely some repetition of styles and guitar sounds in these 23 tracks, there were a number of surprises. The very first lyrics shock your sensibilities, with references to both murder and necrophilia, before slamming into “When Your Body Dies,” a classic punk song with metal guitars. “Fear The Wolf” manages to sound downright creepy with hoarse vocals that alternate with singing that has a bit of 80s British about them. Fast metal just short of thrash is on the slab for “Meet Me in the Graveyard,” and “Amy” is punk at its finest, eviscerating the listener with fast, razor-sharp riffing. Both “Ghoulita is Out Tonight” and “Sweet Lycanthropy” have a demented 50s style given a ghoulish punk treatment, and are both quite enjoyable in this wicked novelty. Black Sabbath influences in the grinding dirge-like tone of “March of the Lurking Corpses” are sure to bring a smile to your skull, while “Mummy C**” features a falsetto muppet voice singing against a typical thrash growl, reminding me of the 80s band Grim Reaper.

While most of the album features fast riffing, “Bleed For Satan” opens with a guitar figure in near as ringing tones as the dead can muster before thrashing a bit into a very interesting bridge, and “Bucket of Flesh” is all acoustic guitars and congas, showing that even corpses have a tender side.

The poetical muse runs strong in these gents with Hallmark lines such as “Her body’s rotting and she’s looking for some meat” (“Zombie B**ch in Heat”) and “Pus filled lesions / Blessed by her sores” (“The Witch’s C***”). Somewhere a high school creative writing teacher is undergoing extensive psychotherapy.

You won’t find vocal harmonies or pretty melodies on 23 Tales of Terror, just gutsy guitars that rip out your intestines and tie them tightly around your neck, just the way they like it. To paraphrase my lethal wife, “Listen to The Lurking Corpses and you’ll want to die.” Available at Convolution Records (located in the YWCA) or the Wooden Nickel Collectors Store.

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