Returning with the follow-up to their 2013 album Abominator, the eponymous band of former (current?) Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein deliver As We Die. While Abominator is a fine album in its own right, As We Die shows considerable growth as a band. No doubt helped by three years of near constant touring and the addition of live drums from Brandon Pertzborn (Black Flag, Ho99o9), this album shows a little more diversity of song structures, dynamics, and mood. Overall, it’s a bruiser of an album that offers more than 40 minutes of horror-punk/metal that aims straight for the jugular.
The lyrics of vocalist Alex Story (Cancerslug) are the perfect compliment to Doyle’s ferocious guitar playing. Indeed, his stories of beasts, witches, and serial killers fit wonderfully within Doyle’s larger-than-life guitar riffs. This shouldn’t indicate this is merely a throwback to Doyle’s Misfits days. Rather, the energy (and anger) on this album is totally fresh and often exciting. Further, the album features some of Doyle’s finest work as a guitarist. Especially on the solo to “Blood on the Axe” and the leads on “Dark Gods Arise” and the album closer “Night of Sin.”
Across 13 tracks, the album straddles the line between hardcore punk and metal, frequently combining the two. Some tracks are quite catchy, like “Witchcraft,” “We Belong Dead,” and the albums first single “Run For Your Life.” Others are more brutal, like “Virgin Sacrifice” (featuring guest vocals from Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe), “Show No Mercy,” and “God of Flies.” As alluded to earlier, the addition of live drums on this album make it feel more like a live band than a studio product. Pertzborn’s relentless double-bass attack and overall fluidity as songs shift from doom to punk and back gives the album a certain looseness that Abominator, at times, lacked. Overall, it’s the sound of a band that has jelled over time.
We’ve had As We Die in near constant rotation since it was released. If you liked Abominator, this album is no let down. If you’re on the fence, just go to one of their live shows. My money says you’ll leave with the CD (or vinyl) in your hands.
– J. Kevin Lynch
6/8: New Orleans, LA – Southport Music Hall
6/10: San Antonio, TX – The Rock Box
6/11: Dallas, TX – Trees
6/12: Austin, TX – Come & Take It Live
6/13: Houston, TX – Scout Bar
6/14: Oklahoma City, OK – Thunder Alley
6/16: Mesa, AZ – Club Red
6/17: San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick
6/18: Santa Ana, CA – Malone’s
6/19: Las Vegas, NV – Beauty Bar
6/20: Salt Lake City, UT – Liquid Joe’s
6/21: Colorado Springs, CO – Sunshine Studios
6/22: Merriam, KS – Aftershock
6/23: Duluth, MN – RT Quinian’s
6/24: Waterloo, IA – The Reverb
6/25: Arlington Heights, IL – Home Bar
6/26: Toledo, OH – Frankie’s
6/28: Clifton, NJ – Dingbatz
6/29: Niagra Falls, NY – Evening Star Hall