Friday, October 31, 2008

Review: T-Virus - Horror Thir13teen (2005)

T-Virus [ MySpace ]
Horror Thir13teen
Blood and Guts Records

Six years ago a computer salesman and a janitor joined with three welders to form a Gothic metal band called My Own Kingdom. It took only a year for these five blue-collar Swedes to retool their sound and adopt a variation of punk 'n' roll that allowed them to hang on to a little bit of a Goth edge, and so T-Virus was born. Released in 2005, Horror Thir13teen was their debut (and so far only) album.

T-Virus' sound can be summed up as a mix between Bad Religion and Rancid, with subtle synth tricks blended in to lend an eerie ambiance. They certainly have a more metallic edge than the standard punk revival group, largely due to the meaty riffs and quick solos from Patrick and Micke Persson. Another element that sets them apart is the lyrical content which, except for one sexually-charged track ("Your Little Princess"), revolves around horror movies. Hell, the band took their name from the Resident Evil series of movies and video games. With song titles like "Resident Evil", "Living Dead Doll", and "Kill Her Tonight" it should be fairly obvious that these guys have a thing for zombie splatter.

The song "Your Little Princess" stands out not only because the lyrics buck the trend, but also because it's the heaviest and most "metal" track on Horror Thir13teen. Seppo Pykkö's thunderous blast beats set the pace for an assault of riffs that give the song a very '80s speed/thrash sound while the little bit of a porn voiceover at the end ensures the song remains one of the most memorable on the album. One of two tracks that standout for me is the catchy - but all too brief - "Horror Night", the piano accompaniment helping to make it sound as if it's straight out of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The other notable song is "The Curse", which is the most Gothic sounding track on the album. With memorable synth/riff harmonies mixed together with some noodling solos and a dark piano piece, it's sure to be a favorite around Samhain bonfires.

Horror Thir13teen is an enjoyable album of hooky punk 'n' roll that fans of the aforementioned Rancid and Bad Religion will enjoy, provided they can tolerate the sometimes campy lyrics. Horror rock fans that get a kick out of bands such as Electric Frankenstein and Murderdolls will also be intrigued by this release. While by no means groundbreaking, this album is still a fun listen.

Track Listing
1 They Came Marching Out of Hell 2:49
2 Living Dead Doll 3:31
3 Resident Evil 4:09
4 Horror Night 1:58
5 Your Little Princess 2:39
6 Monster 3:59
7 Caroline 2:31
8 Playing Chess With the Grim Reaper 2:55
9 You're Not Alone 1:48
10 Born a Bastard 2:34
11 Kill Her Tonight 2:25
12 The Curse 4:23
13 The Cannibal Song (We Eat People) 2:13
Total Runtime 37:54

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