There was a time in Cinema Suicide history where I ran a sister site called Soundtrack Apocalisse and a friend of mine, Tim Fife, did some totally sweet interviews with guys like Fabio Frizzi and Claudio Simonetti as well as a number of album reviews for movie soundtracks. Well, apart from Jovanka Vukovic, I’m not sure anyone ever actually visited that site. Tim began production on a documentary and the whole thing died a very sad, quiet death as a result of neglect. Since then, I haven’t bothered to approach music reviews. In the meantime, for reasons I’m still trying to work out, I went ahead and named the band Calabrese the official rock band of Cinema Suicide, mostly because I was binging on their music at the time. Remarkably, Calabrese, three spooky brothers from the A.Z. reacted positively to it and while I’m sure the thought hasn’t crossed their mind since the email I sent declaring them awesome, we have gone back and forth a bit, resulting in them sending me an advanced copy of their latest full-length, Calabrese III, They Call Us Death for review.
As the name suggests, They Call Us Death is the third full length, following their initial Midnight Spookshow EP, and it marks yet more evolution in their sound. Horror rock has a tendency to live in its own separate space, embracing the well trodden conventions of psychobilly bands like The Meteors or Demented Are Go while others cultivate their romance for The Misfits and Samhain, never really branching out and trying too hard. As long as you write songs about horror movies and work a lot of doo-wop style woah-oh-oh into your lyrics, you’ll be fine. Thankfully, Calabrese has the talent and vision to buck the trend and combine these elements with strong songwriting. Their appeal does not hinge on your feelings about horror movies and that’s what sets Calabrese apart from most horror rock bands.
They Call Us Death offers 12 tracks, each one a hard edged exploration of horrifying topics. The brothers Calabrese have removed the brakes with this release and from start to finish, the pace is breakneck while maintaining not necessarily a poppy hook, but a quality that keeps it from falling into vicious, repellent territory. Unfortunately, what this means is that They Call Us Death lacks a couple of tracks like Voices of the Dead and Vampires Don’t Exist from the previous album, The Traveling Vampire Show; a pair of very infectious earworms that keep you repeating them until you hear the songs in your sleep. No one track on They Call Us Death seems to stand out from the rest but from wall to wall, They Call Us Death is a consistently solid album and I can’t really ask for much more than that. They Call Us Death is out on March 20th and can be preordered at their website.