From the unlikely death metal mecca of Portland, Oregon comes the debut LP from Frightmare. Maniac Neil, a legend in the PDX death/grind scene, is the lone mastermind behind Frightmare and he’s really into the gory death/grind of the early Earache days. Think Carcass and Entombed, both before 1993. He’s also heavily inspired by the slasher movies of the 1980s, which fuel most, if not all, of the lyrics.
Frightmare is not a modern death/grind band in terms of technique. First, the band isn’t all that polished. “Thorn in Their Side” could be stand to be tightened up, but that’s part of the charm. This band has the same old-school feel as Pungent Stench, Mortician, and Repulsion. Some of his leads may be weak, but Maniac Neil knows how to write a riff. My only complaint concerning the music on “Midnight Murder Mania” is the lack on imagination on some of the songs. Some songs mirror the influence too closely and the listener can easily identify the Carcass parts, for instance. It’s a minor gripe, but it’s still legitimate.
Portland is not only home to killer metal bands like Frightmare, Ghoul, Lord Gore, and Bung, but it’s also home to a number of comic book creators, including Spider-Man author Brian Michael Bendis. Frightmare supports the whole PDX scene by having two artists from Portland’s “Tales from Uranus” comics to do all of the album’s artwork. Very cool of them.
An LP version of “Midnight Murder Mania”, of sketchy origins I would guess, has turned up on store shelves lately. I saw one down at Sound Exchange not too long ago. Vinyl purists will want to jump on this quickly, since Razorback (unfortunately) doesn’t press vinyl anymore.
In short, this record gives you 10 tracks of slasher-flick-inspired, Portland gore-grind radness; plus a pretty brutal cover of “Devil lock” by The Misfits. Beware the PDX Ripper!
EDIT: Frightmare themselves contacted me to let all of you know that Ghoul are in fact from Oakland and Tales from Uranus comics are based in Illinois. Sorry for any confusion!
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