Review: “The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood” by Ice Nine Kills

After the huge success of “The Silver Scream” in which self confessed Horror film lovers Ice Nine Kills payed homage to their favourite titles in the genre with 13 cuts of horror themed theatricore, including “The American Nightmare” (A Nightmare on Elm Street), “Thank God It’s Friday” (Friday the 13th) and “Stabbing in the Dark” (Halloween) it should come as no surprise that the Boston based quintet are back at it again with “The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood“. To make it happen, guitarists Ricky Armellino and Dan Sugarman, bassist Joe Occhiuti, drummer Patrick Galante and Spencer Charnas returned to producer and collaborator Drew Fulk (As I Lay Dying, A Day To Remember), who produced and mixed “The Silver Scream” to help make their nightmarish visions become a blood stained reality. The devil is however in the detail and it should be noted that this is a new incarnation of the band with Spencer Charnas being the last man standing from the band that recorded “The Silver Scream“…

…The sequel to the all American classic opens with a double homicide as Ice Nine Kills not only have an introduction track but also have an introduction piece as the first 60 seconds of the title track, a cut that showcases all the band have to offer inside 4 minutes blending all of the extremes they have within them seamlessly. It becomes abundantly clear as the album plays out that when the band created these cuts, the creative juices were flowing like blood from a fresh wound because each one is stuffed to the gills with every kind of sonic treat you could possibly want… and then some. There are so many nuances with little noises and moments that pop out of the mix, you may never catch them all, from bullet sprays to piano moments to programmed break beats and vinyl scratching, its all here and delivered with a high octane energy that makes it almost impossible to match. Cuts like “A Rash Decision” and “Assault & Batteries” have the odd moment that other horror themed bands have attempted before on a lower budget but here, the production is everything and the polish has taken everything to the next level. The album sounds immense, it’s very much the big screen experience that begs for the listener to locate the best possible listening device and dive into pure escapism. The homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho comes in the form of “The Shower Scene” becomes an arena filling sing-a-long anthem with unclean vocals backing the epic cleans making it an obvious choice for a single before everything gets turned up to 10 for the psychotic “Funeral Derangements” that sees the band drawn on some Slipknot influences for some unhinged madness. Charnas unclean vocal parts here are a whole new level that we’ve not witnessed from him before and the results speak for themselves. Industrial Metal influences from the likes of Rob Zombie and perhaps even Motionless In White creep into “Rainy Day” for something fresh while still maintaining the essence of the bands core sound and the tongue in cheek humour of “Hip To Be Scared” is a fittingly hilarious mid album moment.

This might be a new line up but this is not a new Ice Nine Kills and everything that you would expect from one of their records is here, present and correct. If anything this is an enhanced version of Spencer Charnas vision, INK on steroids, and how far they can take the extremes of their sound in both directions makes for a lister blast test here. You might think that with Cannibal Corpse vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher on board, INK would roll out their heaviest material but actually it’s follow up, “The Box” which features clean vocals from both Brandon Saller of Atreyu and Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King is just as heavy and in places deceptively so as the band have so many slick transitions at breakneck speed delivery. Their death defying leaps from one moment to the next sonically, keeping you on your toes like the twists in the plot of any fast paced psychological horror film and you may find your heart racing between them as you simply don’t know what’s coming next. Each cut is a short sharp shock that causes all the senses to be tingle and there are times when you don’t know if you should be hitting the pit or laughing your ass off – or both. If there is a problem with this new heavier breed of Ice Nine Kills it’s that the harmonies of old maybe a little too commercial for the heavier fan and perhaps that means that INK have evolved into something of a gateway band. When it comes to “Wurst Vacation“, it’s like a fearsome half way house between KMFDM industrial tinged madness and the bands core sound, another thunderbolt of a change up in which Charnas seems unhinged with schizophrenic lyrics on tap and then its followed by “Ex-Mørtis” which sounds like it belongs to a stage show in London’s West End. “The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood” has everything and the kitchen sink on board the runaway train and each risk has paid off with the highest reward [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Opening Night…
  2. Welcome To Horrorwood
  3. A Rash Decision
  4. Assault & Batteries
  5. The Shower Scene
  6. Funeral Derangements
  7. Rainy Day
  8. Hip To Be Scared (ft. Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach)
  9. Take Your Pick (ft. George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher of Cannibal Corpse)
  10. The Box (ft. Brandon Saller of Atreyu and Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King)
  11. F.L.Y. (ft. Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail)
  12. Wurst Vacation
  13. Ex-Mørtis
  14. Farewell II Flesh

The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood” by Ice Nine Kills is out 15th October 2021 via Fearless Records

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