I’ve often remarked that when the Halloween season rolls around, all I want to listen to is Misfits and Type O Negative. It seems I’ve been a bit remiss with that statement, because there is another very special band that needs to be added to that list. The band is Fort Wayne, Indiana’s The Lurking Corpses, who proved themselves worthy and then some of being mentioned in the same breath as those (un)hallowed bands with their all-too-brief but highly enjoyable set late Friday night (Saturday morning?) at the Bombay Bicycle Club in Clive, Iowa.
Bedecked in black cloaks and gruesome monster masks, the blood-curdling quartet unleashed a lethal concoction of horror punk, thrash and death metal that oozed as much brutality and urgency as it did catchiness. The Lurking Corpses aren’t content to merely worship at the feet of Glenn Danzig and are just as likely to rip your face off with an eviscerating death/thrash attack as they are to lodge themselves in your skull with Misfits/Samhain-esque “whoah-whoah” parts. If that isn’t descriptive enough for you, the choice of covers for Friday night’s set is telling; The Lurking Corpses paid tribute to their horrific elder gods with renditions of Slayer’s “Tormentor” and the Misfit’s “Halloween” between killer originals such as “When Your Body Dies” “Maggots Ate Her Brain” and “Mark of the Devil”.
Two things stood out for me while watching these hooded menaces stalk the stage. The first thing was songs. The Lurking Corpses have ’em, and the small but dedicated crowd recognized this instantly, banging heads, throwing horns and squeezing invisible oranges for the band’s entire set because of it. It’s obvious that The Lurking Corpses have not only studied the aforementioned metal and punk godfathers, but also the ’50s rock, rockabilly and doo-wop source material that horror punk truly mutated out of. The band is so adept at writing 2-3 minute pop songs and then covering them in heaps of blood, guts and distortion that it’s practically uncanny. The second thing is showmanship. As I mentioned earlier, The Lurking Corpses took the stage in cloaks and masks, but their theatrics didn’t stop there. Singer Lord Vladimir Von Ghoul addressed the audience in a voice that recalled the Cryptkeeper, and the band was in constant motion, turning in a kinetic performance that lived up to their ghoulish outfits. So many modern metal bands give so little thought to their stage presence that it was a pleasure to see The Lurking Corpses giving us a full-blown show, instead of just four hairy dudes standing around with instruments. It added a sense of fun to the proceedings that is often sorely lacking in the scene, without taking attention away from the music.
Although their set was cut painfully short due to the venue’s mismanagement of time, The Lurking Corpses still managed to annihilate the crowd with their energetic horror metal, leaving the chosen few fiends satisfied but ultimately wanting more. Here’s to hoping they come back sooner than later.
All photos by the lovely and talented Mrs. THKD.