Macabre – Il Richiamo Dell Ombre represents a marriage between experimental metal and horror. Where Alice Cooper, Gwar and Slipknot had their flings with dark themes, The Undergrave Experience bought the ring and committed. Not just a stage gimmick, Macabre is two songs comprising forty-three minutes of horror movie music.
Fusing rock and orchestral instruments with drawn-out doom voices, the band creates a sound unlike anything I’ve ever heard on a rock album. Any part of Macabre would have fit in Halloween, The Evil Dead or any other dark horror movie without alteration.
The album opens with Mater Mortalis Tenebrarum, a twenty-four-minute song with a dramatic entry. Translated to “The mother of mortal darkness,” the song’s feel is morbid and epic. It uses slow piano to set a creepy mood and electric guitar to usher in gloomy counterparts.
Zombie Graveyard Horizon (Ballata Mortale) continues the metal opera that is Macabre with a more introspective sound. Listening to this song, I can just see a downtrodden protagonist overcoming his inner demons in preparation for a final battle with evil.
Without words, The Undergrave Experience provokes our minds to imagine the desolate, the morbid and the triumphant. They don’t tell us a story. Instead, they pull the tale from our own psyche. The album really is a testament to music’s powerful hold on us. When listening to Macabre, I felt the emotions portrayed in the songs. My heart raced and steadied with the pace set in the album. My mood changed from dreadful to hopeful, slipping back and forth without my consent.
When I first listened to Macabre while driving, I didn’t want to point my car at the nearest pedestrian, but I did imagine such a story. And I experienced the bitterness and anger raging inside the potential antagonist. Yes, this is powerful music.
Though not something I would listen to while just hanging out with friends, Macabe is one of the few unique albums you will find. It borders on brilliance and is perfect to listen to when creative work calls for darker inspiration.
1. Mater Mortalis Tenebrarum
2. Zombie Graveyard Horizon (Ballata Mortale)