Heads For the Dead
Slash ‘n’ Roll EP

Heads for the Dead are a great band and one of my favorite old school death metal bands from the last several years. If you don’t believe me, check out Frank’s review for their latest full length, Into The Red where I am name dropped as being a fan. I really enjoy their old school Italian Horror aesthetic in their artwork and the music itself, which gives me a Necrophagia vibe. On the new one here, they decided to try something different.

They abandoned metal altogether and made a dream pop record…

Just kidding. They brought those HM-2 pedals out to play and just in time for Halloween, decided to put together an EP full of horror movie theme reinterpretations and a couple of appropriate cover songs. These aren’t just total rehashes of the themes, either. They’ve added those buzzsaw guitars, lyrics, and bring the heaviness.

On the first track, “Maniac,” there’s an underlying backbone of the theme, but Ralf’s biting snarl and the headbanging riffs are the stars here. If you didn’t know this was covering the theme from the “Maniac” film, you would just think it’s a bad-ass old school death metal track with some background synths, not unlike recent Angerot. Having seen the film a few times, I must admit I don’t recall the theme much, but that’s not going to be an issue with the next one.

Second in line is “Halloween,” and of course everyone knows this one. The interplay between the John Carpenter theme and the guitars is downright masterful. Maybe it’s the familiarity of the theme itself, but this definitely makes the track stand out from the rest and has taken a spot as my favorite on here. It should also be on every seasonal playlist. Perhaps even ours.

The next one is of course quite recognizable as the theme from “The Thing,” where John Carpenter is not actually credited as in the “music department.” Yeah… Anyway, this track kills as well. The interplay between the buzzsaw guitars and the background theme synths is very well executed, and a great lead into the two covers.

The last two tracks are the previously mentioned, appropriate covers. “Skulls” from The Misfits is first, followed by “Pet Sematary” by The Ramones. It’s not easy choosing a favorite out of these two. If you’ve heard both of them before, and let’s be realistic, you probably have, you’ll find them as recognizable and catchy as ever. Those buzzsaw HM-2 guitars definitely bring that heaviness to the party.

So, with an EP of five songs, all of them being covers in a way, one might ask the point. Well, the point is that this is awesome and Heads for the Dead have yet to disappoint me. I think it’s a great idea to do what they have with the horror movie themes. Perhaps it has been done before, and if so, I’ve missed it, but this is well worth your time.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
October 29th, 2021

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