Wednesday 13 – Horrifier (Album Review)

Wednesday 13 Horrifier album review

Wednesday 13 – Horrifier
Released: October 7, 2022


Wednesday 13 | vocals
Roman Surman | lead guitar
Jack Tankersley | guitar
Troy Doebbler | bass
Mike Dupke | drums



“Horror is like a serpent; always shedding its skin, always changing. And it will always come back. It can’t be hidden away like the guilty secrets we try to keep in our subconscious.”Dario Argento.

If there was a quote heavy metal/horror punk rocker Joseph Michael Poole – or better known as North Carolina’s Wednesday 13 – would hold in the highest regard and have on a framed poster in his bedroom and shrine to all of his horror film memorabilia – this statement from the acclaimed Italian screenwriter, director, producer and actor of the genre, Dario Argento, would in all probability be it. As Wednesday 13’s multiple transformations and advancements throughout a stellar career featuring a monstrous discography that would almost challenge Cedric Bixler-Zavala in volume, are serpent or reptile-like. Multiple evolutions in different skins, hunting different prey in the form of fans in various environments but never really evading his identity and purpose. 2022 has brought upon Joseph Poole’s ninth studio album under the Wednesday 13 depiction entitled Horrifier and suitably released the same month as Halloween – the question is however: Are we dealing with the venom of a taipan or a timid and mild pet carpet python?

Instrumental opener ‘Severed’ emits the aura of an austere horror film introduction, the listener can almost visualise the movie credits and dark ambience through the sound alone. This resonance can be suitably described as a collaboration between John Carpenter, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross who had decided to watch all four Jaws films on repeat without sleep and then collectively recreate the theme song utilising only a Korg Monologue XD synth. Undoubtedly unusual, but in all sincerity, what horror film isn’t? That’s why the genre is so fascinating.

From macabre to merciless – ‘Insides Out’ is a breakdown-filtered gothic metalcore chant along the lines of earlier Eighteen Visions and it is arguably a highlight of Mr Poole’s career. This may read as an identity crisis, in all reality though, this is actually a recreation Wednesday 13 should have explored years ago; perhaps on this ninth LP this was the charmed number – hell there are nine films in the A Nightmare Of Elm Street franchise.

‘Exhume And Devour’ carries this heavy instruction on in a peripheral value, similar to how Avenged Sevenfold moved away from their metalcore roots but still utilised that bloodstained chugging ink in Waking The Fallen. ‘You’re So Hideous’ then slithers into familiar territory for Joseph Poole with elements of industrial, glam and horror punk; in all honesty though, Jeff and Darren Geare who were the chief writers for the recently released thriller The Retaliators would certainly want to consider this track for the sequel. Matter-of-factly why not cast Wednesday 13 as the next super-villain? He will undoubtedly Spook & Destroy.

‘Good Day To Be A Bad Guy’ follows this soundtrack sentiment, however this isn’t along the slasher motif. For this writer, visualising this track actually recalls the 1999 coming-of-age sports comedy drama released in 1999 entitled Varsity Blues. Cue the “hate comments” but picture this, actor Scott Caan as Charlie Tweeder hungover, driving to a game inspiriting himself with some aggressive and catchy Murderdolls throwback metallic punk. See it? Better yet, try to un-see it.

‘Return To Haddonfield’ is a reference to the Halloween film franchise (and earlier discography) and in reality a foreseeable topic for ’13; in all likelihood this is a song for the die-hards and would suit the multiple screenplays’ soundtrack, although it could decompose gruesomely and become the hidden body which somehow doesn’t feel like it would alarm Joseph or his allegiance in that “too cool for you” concept. The title track then thankfully returns to that metallic edge featuring some Megadeath ‘The Killing Road’ inspiration met with, believe it or not, a Beastie Boys ‘Sabotage’ bridge. It is baffling yet kind of brilliant.

Break out the bourbon or moonshine, throw on the dust-gathering Down t-shirt and get ready to re-watch Tucker & Dale vs. EvilWednesday 13 has the sludge horror motivation score doused and delivered with ‘Hell Is Coming’ heroically. ‘Halfway To The Grave’ had the potential to unearth some true Misfits mastery but bleakly lands more in the Mötley Crüe sector with Alice Cooper shadowing, thankfully. ‘Christine: Fury In The Night’ desirably brings back that edge craved by the masses of devotees to Mr Poole who effortlessly blends a metallic punk Ministry-encouraged composition minus any industrial components in a veracious hard-hitter.

The slow burner conclusion ‘The Other Side’ feels like a goth glam ballad co-written by Alice Cooper, Guns ‘N Roses and Type O Negative – the idea oozes genius, the creation however, is a murky swamp of overkill (much like a horror film). Who knows though, there may be a sequel to Jennifer’s Body and guess what song would fit perfectly in ANY scene of that film? It must be acknowledged though, the poetry which Joseph Poole showcases in commemoration to Joey Jordison on this farewell letter is authentically sorrowful and memorable.

So is Horrifier the taipan snake that delivers deadly venom or the friendly pet carpet python? It is neither. Full-length number nine is comparable to the strongest mock viper, when attacking, this snake strikes in viper-like fashion from a coiled position but its venom is not fatal to humans. Although, snake bites can leave a physical wound and mental trauma – both vivid characteristics. So in his own stealth way, Wednesday 13 still will ‘Tell You Like It Is’ in his own grotesque fashion.

Wednesday 13 Horrifier album review

Wednesday 13 – Horrifier tracklisting:

1. Severed
2. Insides Out
3. Exhume and Devour
4. You’re so Hideous
5. Good Day to Be a Bad Guy
6. Return to Haddonfield
7. Horrifier
8. Hell Is Coming
9. Halfway to the Grave
10. Christine: Fury in the Night
11. The Other Side

Rating: 7/10
Horrifier is out now viaNapalm Records. Stream here
Review by WillOakeshott @TeenWolfWill

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About Will Oakeshott (47 Articles)
Funny bloke, writer, Journalist, Vocalist, bit of acting, music, comedy and dad joke lover. Love: music, beer, bodyboarding, movies, books.